XFL in legal hot water after unveiling new marketing campaign
The XFL won’t resume operations until 2023, however, it may be legally required to revamp its new marketing campaign to promote the return of the football league next year.
On Friday night, Togethxr – a media platform co-founded by star female athletes Alex Morgan, Simone Manuel, Sue Bird and Chloe Kim – sent out a tweet revealing they had taken legal action against the soccer league over a video marketing published on Wednesday.
The video in question hypes the XFL return next year and features a theme built around possibility, passion, community and inclusivity. Essentially, working “together” to form a league that benefits everyone. These are certainly admirable principles for building a sports brand and league. However, Togethxr’s claim lies in how the content mixes the use of the X in their acronym with the word together. At one point, the X’s and X’s are intertwined and have apparently been deemed trademark infringement by the media and trading company.
XFL hit by cease and desist order from Togethxr
“Too often the work and creativity of women is overlooked and undervalued. Diversity and equality are the norm here. We’re excited to see the XFL embrace inclusiveness, but this name change isn’t everything. We have issued a legal notice and will continue to protect the important work we do,” the organization wrote in a tweet caption showing a marketing image it uses side-by-side with part of the XFL hype video.
It’s unclear how successful a cease and desist lawsuit will be for Togethxr. In a situation of possible trademark infringement, a plaintiff must prove the possibility that confusion has been caused in the marketplace by the use of logos, trademarks or similar goods and services. While there are similarities, it seems that is not enough to confuse consumers between the media platform and the league.
Togethxr was established in 2021 with the goal of being “a media and commerce company for Gen Z and young millennial women”.
Related: Get everything you need to know about the USFL’s 2022 return
In 2020, the XFL was the most notable sports league that was badly damaged by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This forced the league to end what was a strong revival season early and led to the XFL filing for bankruptcy protection that spring. In August of that year, former WWE legend and current Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was part of a group that bought the league for $15 million.
The XFL is expected to return early next year and have a working relationship with the NFL for data sharing and as a feeder league.