By: Mario GOLuza
Last October Kirk Cousin’s screamed out “You Like That!” during a game against the Buccaneers, but he was never expecting what was to follow. Cousins’ saying blew up all over social media via Vine (currently has over 31,000,000 hits) and now he and his brother, like many other athletes, are trying to register a trademark for this coined term.
Cousins is evolving into a “smart” businessman by taking advantage of his saying and has generated over $41,000 which he donated to the International Justice Mission. Pending approval of his mark, Cousins plans to add bumper stickers, posters, clothing, home décor, and electronic billboard advertising to his progressing empire.
Are registering trademarks for an athlete’s saying or act a smart idea?
Looking at past precedent the answer is most definitely yes. Many athletes have cashed in on their trademarked sayings and or poses. Cousin’s teammate RGIII currently holds five trademarks generating millions, Jeremy Lin’s “Linsanity” is reportedly worth an estimated $14 million and Tim Tebow’s “Tebowing” over $10 million, to name a few. So the question remains: How do athletes establish a “saying or pose” to “cash in.”
This is hard to achieve because although the athlete (in most cases) creates the mark, they have no control in establishing it. With the ever-growing trend of social media, fans govern which marks make it and which don’t. Simply put, if the fans are not buying the mark, the mark is worthless. Therefore, for athletes to “cash in” on a mark they must be respected by fans while contemporaneously blurting or acting something out that coincides with this current day social media trend.
What will the next trend be?