Now the two self-made American entrepreneurs, Kevin Plank, 39, and Mike Repole, 43, are facing off in court over a high-stakes trademark dispute. Mr. Plank's company, sports apparel and accessories giant Under Armour Inc., is alleging that Mr. Repole's new venture is exploiting the Under Armour brand image.
BodyArmor Nutrition LLC, a beverage company co-owned by Mr. Repole, on Thursday responded to Under Armour's trademark infringement allegations. The start-up claimed that Under Armour's lawsuit, in federal court in Baltimore, is a "prime example of trademark bullying by a corporate giant."
Under Armour, a 5,000-plus employee company founded by Mr. Plank in 1996 and based in Baltimore, Md., had $1.5 billion in revenue last year.
Its lawsuit accuses BodyArmor, which bills itself as a nutritional "SuperDrink," of copying Under Armour's name, logo and marketing – including sponsorships of professional athletes, teams and events.
BodyArmor's similarities to Under Armour's own line of bottled water, launched in 2005, were too close for comfort, the company said in the lawsuit. Under Armour's logo is an A over a U, resembling a crisscross. Meanwhile, bottles of BodyArmor have a large crisscross on their label.
Sounds like a great plot line for an episode of USA Network's Suits ... let Harvey Specter take the case for Plank
“Under Armour is wasting their time, energy, and financial capital launching a meritless lawsuit against a beverage company, meanwhile taking focus away from their actual apparel competitors,” Repole said. “If I were a shareholder of Under Armour, I would have plenty of questions and concerns.”
Sagamore Farm hopes to debut its own brand of whiskey by the 2016 Preakness, Plank said Monday.
Sagamore Farm will pump 56-degree water collected on the Baltimore County farm into whiskey, Plank said.
The soil at the 530-acre site has the right mixture of limestone for a delicious whiskey, he said.
“That Sagamore water will be infused into some of the best whiskey the world has ever tasted before,” Plank said.
The Sagamore Farm name could also appear on more products in the future, Plank said. The farm — managed by Alfred Vanderbilt Jr., heir to the Bromo Seltzer fortune, from 1933 to 1986 — combines two luxury brands, he said.
I still think it would be great if Under Armour would be the Triple Crown sponsor and as such underwrite the insurance for a TC bonus. As it appears now no company is on the verge of putting up the funds now or in the foreseeable future.
Plank's filly "Walkwithapurpose", a three-year-old bred at Sagamore, is expected to race at the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17th.