One day after revealing a new logo, the XFL is facing legal action from a media company owned by Sue Bird, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel and Alex Morgan.
The athletes’ company, Togethxr, announced Friday it had issued a legal notice to the XFL over the new logo, which it believes is a little too close to the company’s own “X” logo. Togethxr included a pair of screengrabs to show the similarities.
Both logos feature a distinctive, modern-style ‘X’ vertically split down the middle. However, Togethxr’s has one half white and the other half transparent, while the XFL’s is fully white.
Togethxr also points to a screengrab from the XFL’s unveiling trailer on social media that showed the video using “Together” as one of the league’s featured buzz words. In the minute-long trailer, the word “together” is said twice and briefly shown on screen once. Unity is a major theme in the copy used by league owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and chairwoman Dany Garcia, plus on other social media.
The company’s co-founders, as well as Bird’s fiancée Megan Rapinoe, noted the similarities on Twitter. Rapinoe even alluded to an oncoming cease-and-desist notice.
Of course, a case for trademark infringement has to go beyond basic similarity. In such cases, a plaintiff must also establish the likelihood of confusion based on the similarities of the marks and the goods and services. You can be the judge if consumers are going to confuse the two companies based on the art above.
Bird, Kim, Manuel and Morgan — all Olympic gold medalists — founded Togethxr last year, describing it as “a media and commerce company aimed at Gen Z and young millennial women.” Mega-agency UTA has since signed the company for worldwide representation.
The XFL is being relaunched by Johnson after going bankrupt in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, purchased at auction for $15 million. It is scheduled to kick off next February and announced a data-sharing partnership with the NFL earlier this year.