Successful Athletes Are Ripe for Trademark Approval

In January, professional wrestler Rhonda Rousey filed a trademark for the “Rowdy” term. In March, the University of Maryland Baltimore County filed several trademarks after its historic win in college basketball when the No. 16 seed defeated the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In April, Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden filed a trademark for “Keep Showing Up” to use on athletic gear. By filing for trademarks, these athletes and/or associations can capitalize on the accomplishments they have made.

People remember winners. Winning takes an abundance of skill and sometimes luck. When a remarkable win occurs, fans revere the athletes and their hard work. Therefore, it makes sense for athletes to capitalize on their wins by trademarking terms that the public associates with them. Obtaining a trademark is one way athletes can take control over who uses their likeness (or personal brand). It also gives them a way to continue earning money based on their skills, accomplishments, and dedication.

If athletes do not file for trademarks that people associate with their likeness, then other people and companies may try to make money on the hard work accomplished by these athletes. Furthermore, others may misrepresent or even abuse the likeness of a person, which could damage their reputation and downplay their capabilities. By filing for trademarks, these athletes are better armed to protect their image.

Not only are winners often an elite group of people, they are unique. For instance, there is only one Rhonda Rousey and one Desiree Linden. While other athletes exist in the same sport, their stories, skills, and accomplishments are always different. There is never the same story in any given win. Therefore, the logos, phrases, names, and terms for which these athletes apply are unique to those athletes. Furthermore, the more these athletes win or the more remarkable a win is, the more likely a trademark is warranted.

As athletes continue to achieve remarkable feats and set new records, the distinctive trademarks associated with them will continue to prove valuable to them.

Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer and His Worth

One of the most well-known college football coaches recently found himself in a contentious situation. On August 1, 2018, Ohio State placed Urban Meyer on administrative leave while a two-week investigation took place regarding his knowledge of a domestic violence situation involving his former assistant coach, Zach Smith. According to sources, Meyer knew about domestic violence charges against Smith, yet allowed the assistant coach to remain on the job. Meyer contends that he followed proper reporting protocol.

As with any news story, sources often take different sides. Some sources claim not enough evidence exists to fire Meyer and argue that he did the proper thing, while others believe Meyer should have fired his assistant earlier or taken stronger action. During the investigation, many stories continued to arise, often making it a he said/she said situation in the public eye. This publicity creates ground for arguments and adds to the chaos of a controversial situation. Ultimately, the final decision resulted in a three-game suspension over Meyer’s handling of domestic abuse allegations.

While the investigation ensued and Ohio State fans held their breath in anticipation of the outcome, the integrity of the university was at stake (and may still be). Negative publicity on such an important figure tied to the college reflects on the university as a whole.

Currently, Meyer’s net worth is reportedly $20 million. If the university had decided to fire Urban Meyer, there is potential risk that his value would decline. He could have lost nearly $40 million on his contract with the university. Furthermore, it could be difficult for him to find another position in the same capacity at another university or even in the professional football realm. He would likely lose endorsements. In fact, during the investigation, Bob Evans put its partnership with Meyer on hold. It is not clear whether the franchise will reinstate it now that the verdict is in.

Meyer is not the first coach to face such a circumstance. In 2011, Penn State fired its iconic coach Joe Paterno. Such circumstances do not only affect the coach, but also the university, students, staff, and fans. Therefore, much more is often at stake than just the career of the coach. The actual perception of the university is paramount.