Steve Nash gym owners go on legal offence against former basketball superstar

Steve Nash gym owners fire back at sports star

VANCOUVER — A chain of fitness clubs accused of using Steve Nash’s name without permission is going on the offensive and suing the former basketball superstar’s company for allegedly damaging its reputation.

SNFW Fitness BC Ltd., which runs 21 gyms across British Columbia, has filed a counterclaim in B.C. Supreme Court, asserting that it retained the legal right to use what it calls the “Nash endorsement” after parting ways with its famous frontman in 2014.

“SNFW has and continues to suffer loss, damage and expense, including but not limited to damage to reputation and the cost of rebranding the SNFW business in the context of … Nash’s public repudiation of the Nash endorsement,” says the counter lawsuit, which was filed in late 2016.

Nash’s Arizona-based company, B & L Holdings, filed a lawsuit against SNFW Fitness in October, accusing it of illegally using Nash’s brand after his relationship with two business partners fell apart two years earlier.

Besides the fitness chain, defendants in the claim include Mark Mastrov, a part-owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, and Quebec businessman Leonard Schlemm.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and none of the parties named in the legal actions responded immediately to requests for comment.

The original notice of civil claim filed by B & L Holdings says the company gave permission in 2006 for the unlimited use of Nash’s name and image to a firm responsible for running a pair of Steve Nash Fitness Clubs.

The document says the legal agreement was transferred through several companies, precipitated in part by Mastrov’s purchase of an ownership interest in the Sacramento Kings. NBA rules regulate the extent to which franchise owners can be in business with players, and Nash was with the Los Angeles Lakers at the time.

The lawsuit claims that Nash has not received any compensation for the use of his name and personal brand since he sold his shares evenly to Mastrov and Schlemm in 2014.

In their response to the notice of civil claim, Mastrov and Schlemm say the company has the lawful and exclusive right by Nash to use his name, voice, signature, likeness and image within British Columbia.

The document alleges Nash knowingly sold his stake in the company and that the rights transferred in that sale included the ability to use the Nash endorsement.

It says B & L Holdings received $1,871,180 in exchange for Nash’s shares.

Both sides are seeking unspecified damages and costs as part of the lawsuit.

Nash was twice named the NBA’s most valuable player over his nearly two decades with the league, becoming the first Canadian to receive the award.

— Follow @gwomand on Twitter

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

New Lake Country school sports fields to include track and field oval

School rec facilities to be developed on former Aspen Grove golf course

Hail the mighty Caesar: Kelowna Caesar creators expand their shop

Simp’s Serious Syrups has opened a store on High Road

Freezing rain, some snow forecasted for Okanagan-Similkameen-Shuswap

Environment Canada forecasting freezing rain and snow for much of the region

Rockets stumble again, lose 6th straight to Moose Jaw Warriors

The Rockets will have to bounce back with weekend games against the top two teams in the league

UPDATE: Homeowners keep fire at bay in Oyama garage

Fire crews are reportedly on scene of a structure fire on Broadwater Road

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read