SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A company that produced T-shirts for the Oakland Athletics with a logo created by a teenager will stop making and selling the attire in a gesture of goodwill, the team said Wednesday.
Oakland A’s spokesman Ken Pries said the team spoke to 16-year-old Ryan Frigo and explained that the manufacturer, Majestic Athletic, found the trademark for the term “stOAKed” had been abandoned.
“Majestic is no longer selling or producing the shirts and will destroy all unsold shirts,” Pries said.
In an email, Frigo thanked the team, Major League Baseball and the manufacturer for stopping the sales. However, he said he felt the meaning of his logo had been damaged.
“This is a great opportunity for the A’s, MLB and Majestic to show everyone that they take responsibility for the mistake and restore the meaning of the word, ‘stOAKed,’” he wrote.
Frigo said in a previous email that he has been selling T-shirts, hoodies, caps and other clothing items online and in shops featuring the “stOAKed” logo for a few years to reflect community pride.
He said in that email that he won’t take legal action because he did not obtain a registered trademark.
He said he has Common Law Trademark Rights, which grant protection to a mark used in commerce in a geographical location.
He launched the T-shirt project after winning a small amount of money in a contest sponsored by his Oakland high school and in order to uplift Oakland and combat negative perceptions about the city, he said.
“I created the term to represent how people in Oakland feel about their city,” he said in the email from Buenos Aires, where he is studying.
The team said the company sold 126 T-shirts saying “stOAKed” through Major League Baseball’s website for a total of $2,770. No shirts were sold at team stores, Pries said.
Last year, the FBI ranked Oakland the most crime-ridden city in California and the fourth-most dangerous city in the country. The city of 400,000 people regularly logs more than 100 homicides a year, and its understaffed police force struggles against widespread property and violent crime.
But the city also has civic pride, a thriving artist community and generations of families who are proud to call Oakland home.
“As I was growing up, I realized that there was a huge discrepancy between the people who lived in the city and the people who didn’t,” Frigo said. “I wanted to make a statement, on apparel, that simply portrayed Oakland in a positive light.”
About a month ago, someone pointed out to him that another “StOAKed” shirt was for sale online.
For now, Frigo is focused on finishing his last two years of high school in Buenos Aires and learning Spanish. He also plans to continue his work on promoting his clothing line and his love of Oakland.