Nike Suing Culpepper

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper is hoping for a comeback year on the field after dealing with late-season injuries in 2001, but right now he is also dealing with being sued.

Sports equipment manufacturer Nike is suing Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper because the company claims Culpepper breached his contract with Nike when he signed with Reebok International.

Nike is claiming that it should have been given the opportunity to match an offer made by Reebok, according to Bloomberg News. Culpepper signed a one-year deal with Nike in July 2000, and Nike is claiming Culpepper verbally agreed in October 2001 to re-sign.

"If we have right of first refusal and don't enforce it, then it would say to other athletes that the clauses are effectively meaningless," Nike spokesman Scott Reames told Bloomberg.

Reebok recently signed a 10-year apparel contract with the NFL, but individual athletes are allowed to sign other deals. According to the complaint, Reebok is planning to use Culpepper in a national television commercial.

According to the Bloomberg report, some of the numbers involved in the original Nike contract were "an undisclosed fee plus 2 percent of net sales tied to footwear and apparel that he endorsed and 2 percent of net revenue for the sale of posters and calendars. He also received $10,000 of Nike apparel."

* Tickets for the Vikings' two training camp practices with Kansas City and the Vikings' passing scrimmages will go on sale Monday. Tickets for the Aug. 2-3 practices against the Chiefs are $7 per day or $12 for the weekend. Admittance to the Aug. 7 or Aug. 13 passing scrimmages will cost $7 per scrimmage. The tickets for each of those training camp events at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato can be purchased at the Vikings ticket office at the Metrodome, the Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention Bureau and the athletic offices at Minnesota State University, Mankato. They are also available by calling 651-989-5151 or online at Regular training-camp practices are free.
* For a complete schedule of training camp, directions and tips, visit our training camp page.

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