LANE ONE: LA28 introduces 11 more logos and merchandise store; Judge orders USA Gymnastics settlement conference

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Tuesday’s colorful launch of the LA28 emblem series featuring 26 different designs by athletes, activists and Angelenos was promised as only the start. No kidding.

On Wednesday, a full line-up of 39 LA28 merchandise items was displayed – using 11 new emblems – in the new LA28 online store, using the Fanatics sales engine and featuring Nike-branded apparel. You can buy:

T-shirts in black or white: 16 styles for men, women and youth, in short and long sleeve;

Hooded sweatshirts: 5 styles;

Sweatpants: 1 style;

Jacket: 1 style;

Baseball-style caps: 8 styles;

Pins: 6 styles;

● Sticker set of the new logos, and a mug

Almost all of the items are in black or white and not much else.

Of the 26 emblems that debuted on Tuesday, only one was used on the first set of merchandise: the hands-in-hands design by streetwear star Bobby Hundreds (Bobby Kim). Most of the items featured new “A” logos not shown at the launch, but covering the familiar ground expected, as shown in the first pin set of the 2028 Games, shown on Twitter by Olympic Broadcast Service chief executive Yiannis Exarchos (GRE):

The merchandise showcases seven of the new logos on at least one item:

● “Retro Stripe“: a blue-white-red homage to the 1984 Star-in-Motion logo;

● “Script“: an Old English-style “A” with a mix of colors;

● “Graffiti“: a splashy magenta style;

● “Space Travel“: showing a take-off!

● “Skateboarding“: with a skull & lightning theme;

● “Camo“: with a military camouflage pattern;

● “Prism“: with vertical and angled lines.

The other logos include designs with three stacked basketballs, an A in a block-serif style, a red-and-magenta painted style, and a hot background with a blue “equals” sign for the crossbar.

All the bases have been covered, including a U.S. colors emblem and what is surely the first authorized appearance of a skull & bones logo in conjunction with the Olympic rings!

Whether you like these items or not, or the added emblem treatments, is irrelevant. Los Angeles 2028 chair Casey Wasserman said after the Games was awarded that the event would be successful “if we don’t make any big mistakes.” This roll-out of the individualized “As” followed by the merchandized “As” shows that both sides of the street – creative and commercial – are being covered. With a budget of $6.884 billion to cover, that’s a necessary balance that will have to be respected for an event which is expected to pay for itself … and have money left over to find youth sports for generations.

We’re only in the first inning, but so far, well played.

Meanwhile, back at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the showdown over a forced settlement conference in the USA Gymnastics case was resolved in favor of such an event, but with special arrangements.

Judge Robin L. Moberly clearly wants a settlement to end the 517 abuse cases filed as part of the USA Gymnastics bankruptcy proceeding, but there were significant concerns that a court-led settlement conference might prejudice coverage disputes already made by the insurance companies participating in the case. So:

“[T]he undersigned judge will not preside over the settlement conference. The Survivors’ Committee, USAG, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (”USOPC”) and their respective insurers are ordered to participate in a telephonic settlement conference/mediation to be conducted by the Honorable James M. Carr, Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Indiana. Not only is Judge Carr a well-known litigator and judge, he has successfully mediated cases for other judges since he ha assumed the bench. Judge Carr is willing to act in a mediator role provided the June 19 Order and rules of mediation under which the parties have heretofore mediated fully apply, including but not limited to confidentiality.”

Moberly’s order indicated that Carr would discuss the prior, failed mediation sessions with Judge Gregg Zive, who had been mediating the dispute up to this time.

The parties now have 14 days to object to Carr, if they choose, and assuming he is agreed to, a date will then be set for yet another round of mediation talks.

One of the filings by the insurers in replying to the request for a court-led settlement conference filed by USA Gymnastics and the Survivors’ Committee indicated “it is clear that the parties continue to have a fundamental disagreement regarding the appropriate range for resolution of these claims.” So Carr will have his hands full trying to bring everyone together.

Moberly’s order dismissed the requests to have the chief executives of the participating insurers present for which a conference, agreeing with the insurers that this was a waste of time.

Time is an issue here. If the claims are not settled, then a massive race to the courthouse on behalf of all 517 claimants and at least two more trying to get into the action would ensue, leading to individual trials that will take many years to resolve.

There is $217.125 million on the table right now, based on the USA Gymnastics plan of re-organization already offered earlier this year. Apparently, that’s not close to enough and it will be up to Carr – if approved by all sides – to try and close the gap. Maybe before 2028?

Rich Perelman

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