Why the Cleveland Guardians have a big problem with a small business in Virginia

This story was originally published by WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.

RICHMOND, Virginia. A small business owner in Richmond has faced major league legal opposition from the Cleveland Guardians baseball team.

Noah Oddo, CEO of Richmond-based Charged Up Entertainment, said lawyers for the Cleveland Guardians had approached him with a petition about alleged infringement of their team’s new logo.

Oddo said she heard from the Guardians after he applied for the Charged Up logo.

“They are trying to get me to come to an agreement to actually drop our logo or give up our legal rights to protect our brand,” Oddo said.

Noah Oddo Charge Up Entertainment 05.png

VTVR

Oddo said he finds the statement laughable because his company has been around for 20 years and has been using its logo since 2015.

He said he believes the Cleveland Guardians logo is a simple varsity “C” that he says no one is entitled to own.

According to Oddo, the Charged Up logo is a C with different lines and a lightning bolt.

He said lawyers for the Guardians argue that there has been confusion in the market and that people have confused the two brands.

“It’s clearly visible,” Oddo said. “Never in our history has anyone walked into a store or contacted us online, making a purchase, thinking it was the Cleveland Guardians.”

Guardians run baseball

AP

The new merchandise is being unveiled at the Cleveland Guardians team store opening on Friday, November 19, 2021 in Cleveland. The opening of the team store officially began the Cleveland baseball team’s name change from the Indians to the Guardians. (AP Photo/Ken Blaze)

Oddo said he spent thousands of dollars in legal fees on the matter. He said his company is a small business helping to revitalize Richmond’s Arts District by providing a place for young people and interns to come together for music, art and fashion design.

“A lot of time and resources that could have gone to other things are being spent fighting something that we consider to be baseless,” he said.

The CBS 6 problem solvers have reached out to the Cleveland Guardians for comment, but the team has yet to respond to this request.

Oddo said he was waiting for a potential solution, but said the fight to keep the Charged Up logo would continue. The case is due to go to trial in 2024.

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