Athletes and sports teams seeking trademarks is not a new topic to this blog. In the past, we’ve discussed the Seattle Supersonics trademark issues and Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City” and today, since I’m a Seattle sports fan and the Hawks are playing for the NFC Championship this weekend, I figured it would be timely to discuss Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Mode” trademarks.
ESPN Business reporter, Darren Rovell, came out with an article today discussing the financial success of the “Beast Mode” trademark via a number of licensing deals and reported that Marshawn made “in the mid six figures” in 2013. The report goes on to state that for those companies who Lynch chooses to work with — he rejects about five proposals a month — there’s a typical 20 percent sales royalty fee and that Lynch himself has to approve every design.
The University of South Carolina athletic department, supplement company MusclePharm and Deuce Watches all give him a cut of their “Beast Mode” business. So too did Aaron Rodgers‘ brother Luke whose company Pro Merch made 2,500 “Beast Mode” shirts to sell at a Target in Seattle. They sold out in three days, Hendrickson said. This week, Lynch gave Joe Montana‘s wife Jennifer the rights to sell “Beast Mode” necklaces on her website in exchange for a piece of each $124 sale.
Marshaw’s attorney, R. Gwen Peterson, has filed a number of trademarks for “Beast Mode” over the years. Below is a list of each trademark and a link to the USPTO’s website:
Beast Mode: For bracelets, headphones, athletic bags, and clothing filed on Sep 9, 2013.
Beast Mode: For sunglasses and watches registered on Nov 12, 2012.
Beast Mode: For mens and womens clothing registered on Dec 4, 2012.
Beast Mode: For t-shirts registered on July 7, 2009.
As discussed on this blog in the past, a trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. In this case, Marshawn Lynch coined the phrase back in college and has continued to refer to his play on the field as “Beast Mode” throughout his career. Marshawn and his legal team were smart enough to protect the phrase early in his career to squelch others from trying to capitalize on Marshawn’s fame.
The best part of the story, however, is that all of the profits from the “Beast Mode” trademark are donated to Marshawn’s charity,the Fam 1st Family Foundation.
For more information on Seattle Sports Law, contact a Seattle Sports Attorney or Seattle Sports Agent.
If you would like to obtain a state or federal trademark for your business, contact inVigor Law Group.