Oakland teen accuses A's of stealing his brand

ByElissa Harrington KGO logo
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Oakland teen accuses A's of stealing his brand
An Oakland teen is accusing the Oakland Athletics of stealing his T-shirt logo.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A teenager is accusing the Oakland A's of ripping him off.

He says they copied his T-shirt logo, but at just 16, the high school student is finding it difficult to play ball with the big leagues, literally.

Both T-Shirts say "stOAKed," spelled with an A -- a direct reference to the city of Oakland. Ryan Frigo started his brand stOAKed two years ago. He emblazoned shirts, hoodies, and hats with the word.

He noticed the A's merchandise on the Major League Baseball website just a few weeks ago.

"I was completely shocked and angry," he said.

Frigo spoke via Skype from Argentina where he's finishing his junior year of high school online. He's accusing the MLB and the Oakland A's of ripping him off.

"They injured my brand because my brand is about promoting and uplifting Oakland and they used it merely for baseball," he said.

Frigo's logo highlights the letters OAK in the word stoaked. He said it's clear the A's stole his idea because the team's shirts do the same thing.

Frigo and his mentor say this is not a coincidence, because a Google search of the word would have pulled up the brand's website and social media accounts.

"And here's a real opportunity for them to be able to celebrate Oakland together with somebody and share the momentum and share the benefit," said Michael McCune, Frigo's mentor and neighbor.

Frigo has talked to lawyers about his options, but admits he did not trademark "stOAKed". Still, he's determined to protect his brand.

"I want an apology and I want proceeds from the sales," he said.

The Oakland A's did not return ABC7 News' calls or emails.