Tight end Rob Gronkowski took the league by storm back in 2010 when he was just a rookie for the Patriots. It’s surprising for many to think that he is already entering his eighth season, yet it’s difficult to remember the league without him. His incredible play, frat guy persona, and “Gronk Smashes” have made him one of the most popular athletes in the world. Unfortunately, the tight end may be in a little bit of trouble because of something related to his touchdown celebratory spike.
Nike has recently filed a formal complaint to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board regarding the logo of Gronk Nation L.L.C. The logo features a silhouette of the tight end spiking the football, as he does after every touchdown.
The logo appears to show a strong resemblance to the Air Jordan Jumpman logo, which of course Nike owns. A Nike spokesman says they “hope to work this out to everyone’s satisfaction.” It appears that Nike will try to play nice, which should not come to anyone’s surprise given that Gronkowski is one of the most popular athletes they have endorsing their products. He was even the featured athlete in their famous “Snow Day” commercial.
“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” said attorney Troy Carnrite, a representative the Gronkowski family. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”
What do you think? Is Gronkowski’s logo an obvious rip-off or is Nike overreacting?