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XFL in legal hot water after the unveiling of new marketing campaign

Jason Burgos

The XFL does not return to action until 2023, however, they may be legally forced to retool their newest marketing campaign to hype the football league’s return next year.

On Friday night, Togethxr — a media platform co-founded by female star athletes Alex Morgan, Simone Manuel, Sue Bird, and Chloe Kim — sent out a tweet revealing that they had taken legal action against the football league over a marketing video released on Wednesday.

The video in question hypes the XFL’s return next year and presents a theme built around possibility, passion, community, and inclusivity. Essentially, working “together” to form a league that is beneficial to all. They are certainly admirable tenets to build a sports brand and league on. However, the contention from Togethxr is in how the content blends the use of the X in their acronym with word together. At one point together and the X are intermingled and was apparently seen as a trademark infringement by the media and commerce company.

XFL hit with a cease-and-desist order from Togethxr

“Too often the work & creativity of women is overlooked & undervalued. Diversity & equality are the norm around here. We’re thrilled to see the XFL embrace inclusivity but this rebrand ain’t it. We’ve issued a legal notice & will continue to protect the important work we’re doing,” the organization wrote in a tweet caption showing a marketing image they use side-by-side with part of the XFL’s hype video.

It is unclear how successful a cease-and-desist legal action will be for Togethxr. In a situation of possible trademark infringement, a plaintiff has to prove the possibility that confusion was caused in the marketplace from the use of similar logos, branding, or goods and services. While there are similarities, it does seem like it might not be enough to lead to consumer confusion between the media platform and the league.

Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Togethxr was formed in 2021 with the goal of being “a media and commerce company aimed at Gen Z and young millennial women.”

Related: Get everything you need to know about the 2022 return of the USFL

In 2020, the XFL was the most notable sports league that was badly damaged by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced the league to end what was a solid relaunch season early and led to the XFL filing for bankruptcy protection that spring. In August of that year, former WWE legend and current Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a part of a group that purchased the league for $15 million.

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The XFL is expected to return early next year and have a working relationship with the NFL for data sharing and as a feeder league.