SNEAKER EXPERT KING OF TRAINERS RECENTLY TOLD the story of how he took on global brand JD Sports by himself and won.
Not only did he manage to survive their onslaught single-handedly, in a dramatic twist of fate, the Tottenham born entrepreneur, whose real name’s Franklin Boateng also ended up being business partners with the company.
It all started in 2011 when Frank started to use the title ‘King Of Trainers’ on Twitter to blog about footwear.
But things came to a head when JD, who used to use the slogan in the 1990’s and early 00’s, found out Frank was using their old phrase on social media.
At first, the billion-pound company’s attacks were subtle and they only came at him verbally, calling him an imposter and demanding that he stopped using the moniker.
However, when Frank refused to back down, JD then trademarked the title, and presented him with a cease and detist.
To make sure the business mogul knew they meant business, they also threatened to sue him.
But despite their threats, Frank remained un-phased and stood his ground, which he credits to the toughness he got from growing up in the gritty part of North London.
And to prepare for battle, Frank then loaded himself with the necessary trademark law ready to defend himself in court to remain the King Of Trainers, which he felt he was at the time and still does now.
Plus he had a long history with the name so he knew it wasn’t going to be simple for JD to shut him down in the court of law if he stood him ground.
His stance shocked JD, who Frank reckons thought he would fold due to the size and stature of their company.
He explained his theory on the Realer Than Most podcast saying: “I think they thought, ‘ah he’s just some boy from North London he’s gonna give back the names and go away’.”
But he done the complete opposite, the legal back and forth between them ensued for a few more years before JD eventually backed down, giving Frank an unlikely small victory over the mammoth sports company.
However, JD couldn’t resist one final dig and emblazoned a massive sign which read ‘The Undisputed King Of Trainers’ on the side of their store in Frank’s home-town that is still up ’til this day.
Although Frank didn’t care because he still got to use the name, which he then went on to use to build his own platform on social media profiling trainers that has amassed over a 100,000 followers.
His resistance and hard work paid off and a decade later, JD reached out to Frank during the Covid-19 pandemic last year to see if he wanted to work.
Frank gladly obliged and has gone on to do two campaigns with his one-time rivals along with many other sports brands.