Major League Baseball is at it again. Apparently the $3.3 BILLION a year in revenue from selling licensed merchandise isn’t enough. Now they’re going after little league teams that use MLB team names. Not logos. Names:
Local youth baseball teams — and thousands of others across the country — can’t use those nicknames on their uniforms unless the jerseys are officially licensed.
For years, local leagues have understood they can’t use MLB logos on their uniforms without buying a licensed product or getting permission, but the use of team names hasn’t been as much of an issue.
But around Memorial Day, MLB stopped a dealer who had been sewing names like Cubs and White Sox on the jerseys of a Chicago youth league.
This is greed pure and simply. MLB absolutely has the power to create an arrangement where this isn’t an issue with their vendor. Besides – I can’t imagine the reaction of a judge when MLB tried to say a little league team couldn’t screen TIGERS in block letters on a little league uniform:
In Greensboro, Pella Stokes, an attorney, sponsors five youth teams of varying ages called the Tops Tigers. None use licensed jerseys.
“It had nothing to do with any … Major League team,” Stokes said of the name selection. “It just matched Tops.”
Stokes doesn’t believe MLB can trademark a name like Tigers.
“To argue that you could protect an animal name, I think they would have a difficult time,” said Stokes, who is in general practice. “It’s a fact of nature.”
The scary part is that 40% of little league teams already pay the extra money to buy licensed uniforms. Wow.
I wonder what the position of MLS would be. Again – you can’t use the logos. But the names? We absolutely have teams named the Galaxy, Dynamo, Revolution, etc. I would hope MLS would take a more sensible position. I may just email them to find out.