The Power of a Name as a Registered Trademark in Sports
Did you know that you can register your name as a trademark in sports? Many athletes know this and they obtain many benefit from this. Radamel Falcao, know as the ¨Tiger¨ or ¨Tigre¨ from Colombia’s soccer team, has a company named, Business Tiger S.A.S., his company manages all the sponsoring contracts and profits that the trademark FALCAO earns. Radamel Falcao had many trademark lawsuits with people that tried to use and register his name without permission.
The superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia was in favor of the soccer player and kept on protecting his name as his trademark.
In Latin America there are legal mechanisms that allows you to register your name, a dance or that special something that identifies you from others nationally or even internationally. Leonel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Mariana Pajon, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa are people that are aware of the importance of their names, so they registered their names as a trademark.
Intellectual Property protects legally everything on the world’s market; it protects creams, suitcases, shoes, scientific ideas, and much more elements and objects. There is a legal document named The Nice Classification (NCL), that is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of marks, it discriminates 45 different classes.
It is really important for sports celebrities that practice football, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, basketball and other sports, to protect their image and name so that they can have benefits in the sport and marketing field using its name as a trademark. Some examples are the soccer players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Beckham and James Rodriguez, these players uses their image to promote lotions, clothes, sport items and even underwear, things that are not always related to soccer but that for being a recognize person they can sell much more than what they get paid to play soccer.
Soccer teams also have benefits, for example for the Colombian soccer team, when ADIDAS, one of the biggest well known companies started sponsoring them, their image gained more fans and people were able to recognize it widely.
People that are involved in the entertainment and sport industry have much more opportunities now a days to protect their names and image to obtain sponsoring and benefits from well known companies. They have to become unique or do something that represents them so they could register and protect it by the legal terms of The Intellectual Property Industry.
Sports tournaments such as the one in development in Latin America, ¨La Copa America¨ of soccer, is another scenario where players and soccer teams can promote their trademarks, names, and image to get more sponsoring from other companies willing to pay millions to appear in the tournament advertisings or pay a special player to promote their product or services.
In La Copa America 2015, the most important companies sponsoring the event and the players are; Coca-Cola, DHL, Kellogg’s, Tigo, Master Card, Kia Motors, Nike, Adidas and Puma. By having these companies on the tournament and sponsoring the profits of the soccer teams and even the personal gains of the players will grow. According to an article from a digital paper, ¨Gestión¨ from Peru in four years the soccer teams from ¨La Copa America¨ will gain in profits $1, 302 US millions. Furthermore, the players who have registered their name as a trademark will benefit from this good economic times.
This kind of situations can happen to you, if you have a great idea, an innovative dance, a great science project, a creative and recognizable name, a great product or service you can register and protect it. If these sports celebrities have done it and know the importance of their name and image, why don’t you follow their actions and protect yours?
AUTHOR: Linda Gómez Millan
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.