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

Okanagan Sun tackle Chilliwack Saturday in BCFC action

The Sun will be looking for revenge at home after Corn Huskers beat them 22-18 earlier in season

Okanagan tech industry booming, contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

New study shows Okanagan tech sector contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

Kelowna church closes and makes room for Starbright

Starbright Children’s Development Centre meeting need for space with major real estate purchase

Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park starts to take shape

Student volunteers from three local schools work on trail building project

Kelowna’s Pleasure Painters to host day of art

The annual art sale will take place Oct. 20

Pavement Patty slows drivers near Rutland Elementary

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

More spots on Ale Trail to sample a cool beer

Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kamloops make up the Triang-ale Trail featuring six craft breweries

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Vernon attempted murder suspect denies legal aid

Tyson Cole said he will seek representation on his own

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s Hospital warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Most Read