Florida school team swipes Chrysler’s “Rams” logo

by Walter Olson on February 10, 2010

And lawyering ensues [Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel]

P.S. Commenter VMS: “Sometimes corporations need to use their marketing brains rather than their legal muscle…. If Walter Chrysler were still around, he would have instructed his lawyers to license the mark to the team at minimal cost.”

Update: High school yields and a Chrysler lawyer explains the company’s rationale for not doing a license.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Chrysler vs. Lake Mary High « The Legal Satyricon
02.10.10 at 9:51 am
High school agrees to halt Chrysler Rams logo
02.11.10 at 7:38 am

{ 10 comments }

1 Paul 02.10.10 at 1:32 am

Wow, talk about exact copy. I usually side against “trademark bullies” but in this case I side with Chrysler.

2 VMS 02.10.10 at 7:07 am

Sometimes corporations need to use their marketing brains rather than their legal muscle. These kids will soon be driving and buying cars! If Walter Chrysler were still around, he would have instructed his lawyers to license the mark to the team at minimal cost. That way Chrysler still retains control of the mark, while at the same time, through advertising and sponsorship, promoting Chrysler in the minds of the kids and their parents. It’s called good will and smart marketing.

Of course. Chrysler has the absolute legal authority to shut them down. After all, the school’s logo is a pure rip-off. But why piss off your future customers? I thought Chrysler was in the business of selling cars.

3 PeterK 02.10.10 at 9:56 am

in all likelihood Walter Chrysler would have licensed it for nothing. Same thing with the model companies Revell, Monogram. Car companies in the past didn’t do licensing with those companies they eagerly shared the details with the companies, but about 20 years ago the legal eagles started shoving licensing agreements at them

4 nevins 02.10.10 at 12:50 pm

“But why piss off your future customers? I thought Chrysler was in the business of selling cars.”
http://blogs.motortrend.com/6425400/car-news/the-biggest-loser-chrysler-sales-fall-53-percent-for-month-30-percent-for-year/index.html
Not so much as of late.

5 Todd Rogers 02.10.10 at 3:02 pm

“I thought Chrysler was in the business of selling cars.”
Call me snarky. Chrysler is a union life-support system business – a mere host. That’s off-topic I suppose. Another MFR (perhaps Toyota) should pounce on this once-in-a-lifetime PR opportunity. After all, it’s for the kids.

6 gitarcarver 02.10.10 at 6:51 pm

This reminds me of MLB several years ago demanding a licensing fee for the use of team names for Little League teams.

Instead of paying a fee to MLB, the leagues just changed the names of the teams. Teams were no longer the “Tigers,” but the “Dragons” or something like that.

MLB didn’t get any more money for their players from licensing the name to the youth leagues. The other effect was that kids stopped following their “team” at the MLB level. MLB killed a lot of interest and following by demanding more money for something that helped their product.

It was a stupid move.

7 Frank 02.11.10 at 10:08 am

Could you cite to some source on this story gitarcarver? I just don’t recall it at all.

AFAIK, MLB is more popular with youth today than it has been in 30 years.

8 Frank 02.11.10 at 10:13 am

My opinion on the logo issue is why would the school want to be associated with a corporate identity? I certainly do not want my school tax dollars going to
pay some corporation so my kids can walk around advertising their product.

Nor would I consider accepting money so that children could proudly where their MLK/VISA High School team jackets.

9 gitarcarver 02.11.10 at 6:58 pm

Could you cite to some source on this story gitarcarver? I just don’t recall it at all.

Sure.


MLB Tells Little League Not To Use Team Names

The MLBPA originally supported the position as each player in the league made $80,000 from licensing fees. (More popular players made more of course because of their names being attached to jerseys.)

Note: I had more sources, but the site here (understandbly) doesn’t like a whole lot of urls.

AFAIK, MLB is more popular with youth today than it has been in 30 years.

I can only tell you what I know and see in my area. I don’t know of a single youth baseball / softball league that has not downsized. As an example, when I moved to my present home 15 years ago, the 10 – 12 age group had 6 teams and 12 “supporting” or “minors” teams. The town next to mine had 8 teams in the age group but no “minors” program.

Two years ago the two leagues combined and now field a total of 6 teams in that age group.

The leagues that I used to officiate and still help out once in awhile are all down.

The reasons seem to be many. First seems to be that baseball is one of the harder sports. Arguably it is the most difficult to play. To practice, you need a team or for the most part, one or two other players. Sports like soccer, lacrosse, basketball, etc that don’t require as much skill to play at a basic level are more appealing to today’s “my little baby is a superstar” mentality. I also believe that video games have hurt team sports as well. Growing up, I could ride my bike to the park and see lots of pick up games going on. Now, I never see any.

I know that MLB is worried about the sport in the inner cities, and have their “RBI” program (Restoring Baseball in the Inner city) going as much as they can.

I see a decline but that doesn’t mean that there is a decline. It is only what I see, and other officials that I have talked to across the country see the same thing.

Now if you want definite proof that the “hands are not part of the bat,” I can give you that. ;)

10 Robert 02.13.10 at 12:12 pm

It’s outrageous that this school thinks it’s OK to steal. And they’re teaching their students that it’s OK to steal.

What made them think it would be proper to take someone’s obvious trademark? They’re lucky Chrysler didn’t ask for damages.

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