Nike apologizes for apparel featuring logo similar to Naval Academy crest

Nike has apologized and ceased production on a sportswear line with the Los Angeles company Undefeated after social media backlash over the logo's similarity to the crest of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The Nike logo, which features the brand's trademark swoosh and a championship cup, shares a nearly identical structure to the Academy's logo, including the columns, flames and scrolls, where altered text is featured.


In a tweet, the Naval Academy noted the similarities and called the logo an infringement of trademark law.

"The similarities of the Nike/UNDEFEATED logo released this week and the USNA Crest are undeniable and we believe their logo is clearly an infringement under trademark law. USNA is working with Navy leadership to order Nike/UNDEFEATED to cease and desist their use of the logo," the Academy tweeted.

“The Naval Academy crest represents honor, integrity and leadership,” Naval Academy spokeswoman Jenny Erickson told the Capital Gazette, “and is emblematic of our students and more than 80,000 alumni who serve and have served our country, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice in its defense."

“It is difficult to understand why anyone would modify and use our symbol without permission for marketing and profit motives,” she added.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Nike confirmed that it would not continue with the logo, which was scheduled to launch Sunday.

“We recently were made aware of our logo being included into a design that has been previously used by one of our longstanding partners,” the company said. “We have always respected the US Navy and its Academy and have been a longtime supporter of the military."

“We do not feel it is appropriate to move forward with the collection. We apologize to anyone who was offended.”