Chicago White Sox legend Frank Thomas is suing one of his former endorsement partners. Reebok released a “Big Hurt” retro sneaker last year. According to TMZ, Thomas claims he was never made aware that the sports apparel company was going to use his name for another product.
Thomas says he was signed with Reebok from 1995-1998, when his original “Big Hurt” trademark was used on a variety of Reebok products. However, Reebok reportedly did not seek his permission when resurrecting the trademark in 2013.
Thomas believes the release of the shoe makes it seem like he signed off on the product, when in reality he did not see any of the profits. He is asking a judge to block Reebok from continuing to sell the sneakers and also to pay him damages and any profit the company made from the “Big Hurt” retros.
You can understand why Thomas, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in January, is upset if Reebok never spoke to him. Signing an endorsement deal for three years in the 1990s does not give a company permission to produce new products using your trademark 15 years later.