Nike’s “Jumpman” logo is an indelible piece of American branding history. One need not even be familiar with the company’s famous Michael Jordan-inspired sneakers to recognize it immediately. It’s a basketball player, legs splayed, jumping up with one arm extended holding a basketball. Now, flip it upside down. Does that look familiar?
— SneakerMob.com (@SneakerMob) October 10, 2014
The logo on the right, which depicts a man balancing on a kettle bell, was adopted by CrossFit CityPlace, a crossfit gym in West Palm Beach, Fla. And Nike’s not happy with it. Although the one-handed balancing act is a wholly different activity than going for a slam dunk, Nike Inc. filed an action against the gym with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Per the Palm Beach Post:
Nike opposes CrossFit CityPlace’s effort to trademark its logo because it believes the logo is too similar to “jump-man.” Nike says the CityPlace CrossFit logo will create confusion with the public, causing the sneaker maker “grave and irreparable damage.”
The CrossFit gym owner, Matt Brewster, isn’t taking the action lying down, however. (He’s balanced on the kettle bell, remember?) Instead, he has lawyered up to try to take on the giant sports and footwear company to keep his logo.
“They’re trying to bully the little guy because they’ve got more money,” Brewster told the Palm Beach Post. “They’re trying to scare us, but we’re not going to be scared.”
“Nike cannot manipulate the mark by turning it upright and then claiming that our upside-down handstand resembles a jump-man, i.e. Michael Jordan,” one of Brewster’s lawyers, Michael Pike of Pike & Lustig, told the Palm Beach Post. “And with all due respect to Michael Jordan, I’ve never seen Michael Jordan slam dunk a 70-pound kettle bell upside down.”