It isn’t a huge surprise that Nike would use an existing logo as inspiration for a new design. However, pretty clearly lifting a design from the U.S. Navy is probably not the best idea.
Nike recently rolled out a new crest for its “Nike x UNDEFEATED ‘The Fives’ Collection.” There is an upcoming soccer event in Los Angeles in connection to the collection, which is a collaboration with .
The seal is a pretty complex design, featuring torches and pillars and banners, as well as a cup on top.
Nike x UNDEFEATED Present "The Fives" – 6.16.18 pic.twitter.com/DCHyW4ufOI
— UNDEFEATED (@UNDEFEATEDinc) June 11, 2018
That much detail means it is extremely unlikely that the similarities to the Naval seal are just a coincidence.
Military blog Task & Purpose put the two crests side by side to show just how close they are.
— Task & Purpose (@TaskandPurpose) June 13, 2018
Essentially the only differences are the logos at the top and in the middle, and the words used on the banners. Everything else is pretty much identical.
Nike has no real affiliation with the Navy, or even the Naval Academy. Under Armour is the apparel partner of the school. Nike does provide the uniforms for Army.
The shoe giant has not yet responded. According to the Capital Gazette, the Naval Academy and Under Armour are both looking into things though:
“Our legal department is looking into this and we don’t have any additional info at this time, but we certainly noticed the similarities, too,” wrote Naval Academy spokeswoman Jenny Erickson. The Naval Academy owns the trademark on the seal.
A representative for Under Armour, the top Nike competitor and apparel provider for Naval Academy sports teams, said their legal team is reviewing the use, but deferred to the academy, as the seal is not an Under Armour trademark.
Since this was a very recognizable crest that was allegedly lifted, plenty of people immediately saw the deal, and called Nike out. The Eye on Annapolis Twitter account had a particularly good retort.
— Eye On Annapolis (@eyeonannapolis) June 13, 2018
That’s a pretty perfect troll in response to the whole situation.