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Under Armour Sues Nike Over Slogan
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Protect this brand.
"I Will."

Yes, Under Armour is suing Nike over using the "I Will" slogan, stating that Under Armour has used variations of "I Will" dating back to 1998, and that Nike's use of it is infringing on Under Armour's brand and could likely cause confusion, and could "falsely suggest sponsorship, connection or association" with Under Armour.

Under Armour states that they are fiercely defending its trademark with the same vigor Nike had when defending the "Just Do It" slogan.

How similar is Nike's campaign? Nike has photos and videos on its social media sites with athletes stating one-liners like "I will sweat while they sleep" and "I will protect my home court."

Similar enough to scare Under Armour.

The USA Today article reports that in the suit, Nike claims to have $25 billion in annual sales, while loud little giant Under Armour made $1.8 billion last year.

Under Armour made enough of a splash in the past decade for most athletes and fitness people to tell the difference between Nike and Under Armour. But this isn't the reason why Under Armour is suing. It sees a monster in the industry adopting their extremely catchy phrase, and as the fitness market grows, UA doesn't not want to be caught on the short side. UA will be outmuscled and outmatched when it comes to the marketing and advertising prowess of Nike, so UA had to turn to a way that can even the playing field and call foul.

The courts.

Sometimes advertising finds itself in legal battles because it has to defend its brand at all costs. Yes, in advertising, sometimes a brand image and the message is all we got. And if the brands cannot play fair in the courts of AdLand, the play can be moved to the court of law.

We will see what happens, but we think that Under Armour has a case. Besides, who doesn't love rooting for the little guy?


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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