US sportswear company Sportsfuzion has filed a lawsuit in Norfolk Superior Court in Massachusetts against Nike and the NBA Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame alleging "breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, fraud, and other counts for general and punitive damages".

Sportsfuzion, which became exclusive licensee of the Basketball Hall of Fame's sportswear in 2005, alleges that Nike and the Hall of Fame conspired to eliminate Sportsfuzion by manufacturing, marketing, and selling sportswear related to Michael Jordan's upcoming Hall of Fame induction.

It said Nike will release its Air Jordan Hall of Fame (HOF) Collection into the market this summer to mark Jordan's induction.

"Sportsfuzion was built around my love and passion for basketball and my admiration for Michael Jordan," said Andrew Mirken, president and co-founder of Sportsfuzion. "Having the opportunity to work with Michael Jordan and all of the great athletes in the Hall of Fame was the dream of my lifetime. Having Nike and the Hall of Fame go behind our backs to cut us out of the deal has become my worst nightmare."

According to a statement, Nike turned Sportsfuzion down for a product partnership in late 2007, before the Hall of Fame contacted Sportsfuzion to renegotiate its contract.

"It became clear to us that Nike wanted to do a deal directly with the Hall of Fame and that meant the Hall of Fame had to get out of their agreement with us," said Steve Barlow, co-founder, lead investor and Sportsfuzion board director. "It was a complete surprise when the Hall of Fame told us they did not understand the totality of the rights they granted our company and that our agreement was not good for the Hall of Fame."

Nike did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.