Pepsi, Gatorade Threaten CrossFit with “Legal Action”

April 18, 2019 by
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On March 27, PepsiCo sent CrossFit HQ a cease-and-desist letter demanding CrossFit “immediately remove the logo from [their] web site and from any other materials on which it appears.” The graphic above is the logo PepsiCo is referring to.

  • If CrossFit refuses: PepsiCo “will have no option but to take further appropriate legal action.”
  • PepsiCo argued that the artwork violated PepsiCo’s trademarked Gatorade logo. “We believe that your use of our well-known logo infringes upon, dilutes and damages our rights in our trademark,” their counsel wrote.

As CrossFit HQ wrote Wednesday, their legal team immediately responded and informed PepsiCo that they would not comply with their demands and are prepared to defend their rights.

  • Russ Greene, CrossFit’s Director of Government Relations, told us: “I am not impressed by the quality of their argumentation, and surprised that they would threaten us given what we know about them. A lawsuit would be wonderful, especially the discovery process. Who knows what we would find, perhaps even more contact with Lanny Davis than what has already been revealed?”

The artwork was developed for CrossFit’s six-part series on Hyponatremia written by Professor Tim Noakes.

  • The Mayo Clinic defines Hyponatremia as when “sodium in your blood is abnormally low,” attributed to “drinking too much water” which can “cause the sodium in your body to become diluted.”
  • In severe circumstances Hyponatremia can lead to death.
  • According to Mayo Clinic, “Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause low sodium by overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to excrete water…Athletes should drink only as much fluid as they lose due to sweating during a race.”
  • Essentially, this advice follows CrossFit’s education and awareness campaign to drink only to thirst.
  • CrossFit isn’t the only one talking about this either. FiveThirtyEight, who is owned by ABC News, dedicated 5,000+ words detailing out the limited science behind Gatorade’s hydration advice.

We reached out to PepsiCo for comment on Wednesday but they didn’t get back to us. We’ll let you know where it goes from here.

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