Birmingham City FC draws BTS ARMY’s anger over logo use
A professional soccer club based in England drew the ire of BTS fans over its use of a logo resembling that of the superstar boy band.
Going viral for the wrong reasons: Birmingham City FC recently announced the signing of South Korean midfielder Paik Seung-Ho, a move that should have garnered positive attention. The soccer player signed a two-year contract with Birmingham City FC, making him the first South Korean player to play for the football club.
The resemblance is uncanny: However, the club’s choice of image in their announcement post on Jan. 30 has sparked backlash from BTS fans, known as ARMYs. The controversy erupted when the club shared a logo on social media that looks identical to the BTS emblem, with the initials “P S H” replacing the “BTS” initials.
Fans react: The post immediately caught the attention of BTS fans, who expressed confusion and frustration over the similarity. Some fans accused the team of plagiarism and copyright infringement. Others even went as far as calling for legal action and tagging the social media accounts of Hybe Music and Big Hit Music.
“Congrats on signing Paik Seung-ho, but you do know that’s not actually a symbol for South Korea, right?” a commenter wrote. “It’s BTS’ (trademark protected) logo. I mean, I get it, BTS *are* the most famous Korean men (ever) in the world …”
“Yall might end up sued for this btw…the bts logo is trademarked and their company dont [sic] hesitate to enforce it,” another chimed in. “Also, it is pretty shady to use this symbol as a symbol for korea[sic], if thats [sic]what this post is doing.”
“Congratulations on signing Paik Seung-ho, but not really a fan of using Bangtan’s IPs for engagement and clout,” wrote another. “If it wasn’t intentional, then please know that it is one of the most highly protected trademarks so you may want to reconsider and review your posts.”
Earlier this month, Hybe issued a warning against the illicit use of the group’s name, logo and images, noting that such use “could negatively influence the image of our artists when damaged or badly managed.”
Intentions remain unknown: The unexpected controversy, which has raised questions about the football club’s intentions regarding the use of the image, somehow overshadowed the excitement surrounding Seung-Ho’s arrival to the team.
Birmingham City FC has yet to issue an official response to the controversy.
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