Jason Sudeikis, Apple TV+ Sue Micah Shrewsberry For Use Of ‘Believe’ Tagline
At the tail-end of the college basketball season and the conclusion of a dramatic departure from the Penn State men’s basketball program, former hoops head coach Micah Shrewsberry firmly remains in the news cycle spotlight.
Actor and producer Jason Sudeikis and streaming giant Apple TV+ filed a lawsuit against the former Nittany Lion coach for the unlicensed use of the “believe” sign and slogan, originally coined for Apple TV+’s comedy series “Ted Lasso.”
The sign, a yellow poster board with the word “Believe” handwritten in blue ink, is a trademark element of the soccer comedy show. The replication of it, an Apple TV+ spokesperson said, was unlicensed and a direct violation of copyright code.
The Nittany Lions adopted the “believe” mindset and subsequent poster component during the team’s Big Ten Tournament run in early March. The first images of the sign emerged on Twitter on March 9, but Apple TV+ didn’t file the lawsuit until Friday, March 31.
Shrewsberry issued a formal apology on Twitter Saturday morning, garnering a slew of media attention. Even referencing the show, Shrewsberry addressed the lawsuit and accepted responsibility for the part he played in the trademark infringement.
The lawsuit is directed solely at Shrewsberry, and neither Penn State Athletics nor Notre Dame Athletics were named in the filing.
“Had [Shrewsberry] left the tagline behind with his career at Penn State, it wouldn’t have been a problem,” Apple TV+ legal representative Jeff Fox said. “However, because [Shrewsberry] indirectly made use of the slogan at both Penn State and Notre Dame, the lawsuit falls on the individual rather than the employer.”
On the day of his hiring, Notre Dame Athletics released a promotional video, highlighting Notre Dame football’s “Play Like a Champion Today” motto, with a smaller, homemade “believe” sign underneath in reference to Shrewsberry. Largely because of the video produced in South Bend, the tagline followed Shrewsberry as an individual offender and led to the filing of the lawsuit.
We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.
Editor’s note: This story is part of Onward State’s April Fools’ Day series. It is satirical, meant for entertainment, and not to be taken literally. Any quotes were made up for the purpose of this post.
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