Red Sox Facing Possible Suit Over ‘B Strong’
After last spring’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing, the Boston Red Sox did their best to pick up the city. One of the ways that the team (and its fans) showed its support for the community was by adopting the ‘B Strong’ logo, which was featured throughout the park, on the player uniforms and on items sold to the public (with the money going to charity).
But now, the team could be facing a lawsuit over the ‘B Strong’ logo from a Texas-based charity that says it has used ‘B Strong’ for the past several years.In a story in the El Paso Times, Gary Aboud, who runs the El Paso-based Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation, which honors his son, Braden, who passed away in a skiing accident in 2007, said ‘B Strong’ has been trademarked by the foundation since it was started in 2007. The foundation’s logo features a letter ‘B’ on a dove over the word ‘strong,’ while the team’s design features the team’s distinctive ‘B’ over the word ‘Strong’ in a circle.
According to the story, when the team adopted the ‘B Strong’ logo last year after the bombings, the foundation sent the Red Sox a cease and desist letter, asking them to stop using it.
Aboud said after receiving the letter, the team, which did not respond to the El Paso Times’ request for comment for the story, continued to use the logo, including cutting it into the outfield grass at Fenway Park during the World Series.
The story said that the team and the foundation have been in talks to settle the dispute for several months, but Aboud told the newspaper that an agreement is not close.
The newspaper account said the Red Sox have offered a joint-licensing agreement that would recognize the Braden Aboud Foundation as the owners of ‘B Strong’ and allow the baseball team to use it.
The hold up is any compensation for the foundation, Gary Aboud told the El Paso Times.
“They are not willing to give it up because they feel there is no marketing confusion,” Aboud said. “There is value to it because they don’t want to give it up and they are not willing to cease and desist.”
“We’re at an impasse and I’m afraid soon we will be going to court over it,” Aboud said in the story. “It’s a David versus Goliath battle.”