Leave a Comment
If you thought the Overwatch League logo looked a bit familiar, that's because it apes the design of many U.S. sports leagues and organizations. Major League Baseball, though, looks to have an issue with the design and currently has a hold on its application for a trademark.
Before everyone gets all up in arms about MLB, understand that all the organization has done so far is request a 90-day extension of time to oppose the Overwatch League logo, according to Polygon. That request was made back in April, with the window set to close on July 26. So far, MLB has taken no known action and might not do anything before the deadline runs out. As noted in the original article, they could very well be talking with Blizzard during this hold to work out any concerns.
In short, if you look at the two logos, they're obviously similar. While the colors in the background are different, there's still a white silhouetted figure in the middle with the league's name underneath. Since the MLB logo was adopted back in 1969, they've pretty much got dibs on that particular design scheme. As a major business, they have to keep an eye out for anything that may hurt their brand, cause confusion, etc. This is no different than Bethesda going after a game called Scrolls because they feared it might cause confusion with The Elder Scrolls. Again, anyone who follows the industry will recognize the difference between the two, but the dudes in suits have to worry about people who don't keep as close an eye on these types of things. Confusion or the dilution of a brand can lead to monetary loss, which is what they're trying to avoid in these types of situations.
Again, MLB hasn't taken any action yet and may have spent the past 90 days deciding that there was nothing to worry about. But, no matter what comes out in the wash, you can't really fault them for wanting to take care of their brand.
Also, clearly things have worked out in the past with similar situations, as many other leagues including the NBA, Major League Gaming, American Hockey League and even the Indie Racing League have aped the design in the past..
So, yeah, there are a bunch of leagues out there (some tied to gaming) which use a logo similar to MLB. We've got our fingers crossed that the sailing will be smooth for the Overwatch League and that Blizzard fans and Overwatch players will have that rad banner to fly overhead. Otherwise, we're sure marketing can take another crack at it. It would probably just be a real pain in the keister. We'll find out what comes next in about a week.
In the meantime, Overwatch League currently has half a dozen teams gearing up for the first season, which is set to kick off early next year. Not bad, Blizzard. Not bad at all.