Rob Gronkowski isn’t always great at following the rules, but his latest business venture may get him into serious hot water.
You may not realize this (we certainly didn’t), but the New England Patriots tight end has started his own clothing line, called Gronk Nation, that presumably will sell athletic apparel and stripped tank tops to frat bros across the country. The logo for the new brand is a black silhouette of Gronkowski spiking a football. It’s a good logo, all things considered. But there is one big problem.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 30, 2017
According to Darren Rovell, Nike has filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board, accusing Gronk Nation of copying the logo from their famous Jordan brand, which uses the iconic Jumpman logo of His Airness.
But wait, there’s another twist coming!
Gronkowski is actually a Nike athlete. He’s appeared in their commercials, wears Nike cleats on the field, and even has a signature shoe released by Nike. Nike also provides jerseys for the New England Patriots (and the rest of the NFL, actually). So while the logos are definitely similar, it’s unlikely this will break down into a full fledged lawsuit.
Even Gronk’s lawyers seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing:
“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” said attorney Troy Carnrite, a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, which represents the Gronkowski family. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”
We think Nike should let Gronk do whatever Gronk wants. It’s more fun that way.