Basketball star Sue Bird is suing Dwayne Johnson’s American football league over claims it copied her brand’s logo.
Bird and her wife, Megan Rapinoe, initially threatened to sue The Rock and the XFL in April, when Johnson promoted the re-launch of the league with a new campaign promising it revealed a ‘bold brand identity, signalling a new vision for the forward-thinking league’.
The branding for the campaign features two arrows pointing towards one another, between which read the word ‘together’. Upon seeing the campaign, both Bird and Rapinoe expressed belief the logo bore uncanny resemblance to the TOGETHXR media brand, of which Bird is a co-founder.
The logo for TOGETHXR also features two arrows pointing towards one another, though they are incorporated into the logo to form the ‘X’ of TOGETHXR. Bird took to Twitter to draw attention to the similarities following the launch of the XFL campaign, writing: “Well doesn’t this looks familiar.”
Rapinoe threatened legal action over the logo, claiming at the time Johnson and XFL would be ‘cookin up… a response to the Cease and Desist’, and it has now been confirmed that TOGETHXR has filed a lawsuit over the branding.
The suit claims XFL’s new logo looks and feels ‘confusingly similar to TOGETHXR’s brand and logo’, according to documents obtained by TMZ, and the founders claimed they made ‘repeated attempts’ to contact the XFL and its legal team over the issue.
However, TOGETHXR alleged XFL had ‘failed to acknowledge that it has tread on TOGETHXR’s rights’, prompting the company to file a lawsuit.
Johnson has not been named specifically in the suit, but in 2020 he led an ownership group that forked out $21 million to purchase XFL, which was bankrupt at the time, from WWE supremo Vince McMahon.
The Rock is yet to speak out publicly about the allegations that his company copied the branding of TOGETHXR, but he was vocal about the meaning of the XFL logo when it was first released, saying: “X represents the INTERSECTION OF DREAMS & OPPORTUNITY. To all our XFL players, coaches, fans; You bring the dreams – we’ll bring the opportunity. Now LFG!”
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess? 🤦♀️
Shout out to my team at @togethxr for creating a bad ass brand name, logo, and background story that resonates for so many 👀 https://t.co/QP6f0cGU3h
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) April 8, 2022
Following the launch, another of TOGETHXR’s co-founders, Alex Morgan, said imitation was the ‘sincerest form of flattery’ and gave a shoutout to the team at TOGETHXR for ‘creating a bad ass brand name, logo, and background story that resonates for so many’.
UNILAD has reached out to XFL for further comment.