Sports is a business. BIG business and no one knows it better than Miami Heat owner Pat Riley. Riley currently owns four trademarks with various phrases using the words “three-peat” – referring to the Miami Heat and their possible third straight NBA championship title. Now, it seems he’s gone a step further filing another trademark to use the phrase on apparel and other items. According to espn.com:
Records with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reveal that, last Thursday, an attorney representing Riley’s company, Riles & Co., filed a trademark to use the phrase “3-Peat” on “jewelry, namely rings and sports memorabilia.”
Riley wouldn’t have to file for a trademark if he had planned on putting “3-Peat” on the Heat’s championship rings, should they win the title, but would want to protect his investment if there were discussions about selling rings at retail.
Riley has owned the trademark for over 25-years, but given the popularity of the Miami Heat, he can now really profit off the phrase again:
Riley first filed for “Three-Peat” at the start of the 1988-89 season, months after the Los Angeles Lakers won their second title. The Lakers fell to the Detroit Pistons the following year, but Riley cashed in in 1993, when the Bulls three-peated and did it again in 1998. The trademark was also used when the New York Yankees did it from 1998 to 2000, and the Lakers won three in a row from 2000 to ’02.
Riley has continued to add to his “Three-Peat” empire over the years by registering the phrase in various versions, including “3Peat” and “ThreePeat.” Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has protected the phrase by making initial rulings against filings by other individuals that refer to three-peat and the Heat such as “Heat3Peat” and “Big3Peat.”
Truth is L.A. Lakers guard Wes Matthews came up with the phrase, but Riley took the step to protect it.
“I just thought of it as a catchy slogan,” Matthews told ESPN.com. “I give Pat a ton of credit for having the vision to do what he did. I bet he made out real well when the Bulls did it and can imagine, if they use it if the Heat win, he’ll be making money hand over fist.”
“Once it happens, I hope he’ll send a check to me,” he said.
Riley is considering licensing the use of the phrase and says that he gives most of the profit to charity.
Now THIS is smart business.
What do you think?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,