Jan 10, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Earlier in the week, news leaked out that Major League Soccer had applied to trademark the phrase “Cascadia Cup” in Canada, and boy, oh boy did that set some wonderful people from the Pacific Northwest off.
And rightly so. The Cascadia Cup — the annual trophy given to the winner of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps triumvirate — existed before the three squads moved to MLS. It was, and continues to be, awarded by the rabid supporter groups, not the league or the ownership or anyone else. It’s the fans, and the fans alone.
That said, having a corporate entity (MLS) come along and provide some legal assistance might not be the worst thing in the world. There is — or at least there could be — commercial value in the name “Cascadia Cup.” I absolutely, 100 percent agree with the suporters groups that this is their thing. Still, is trademarking the name the worst thing in the world? No, not really if it’s done in the correct way.
MLS released a statement Thursday morning:
“With the interests of the MLS clubs in the Pacific Northwest and our fans in mind, Major League Soccer, applied for a trademark to the name ‘Cascadia Cup.’
A registered trademark would put Major League Soccer in a position to protect the brand from exploitation by parties unaffiliated with the League and its supporters. However, we understand that some of our fans have concerns about how the trademark will be managed, and we are planning to meet soon with leaders of the three teams’ supporters groups to discuss the topic together.”
As long as the league remembers who came up with the Cup, who built the rivalry, who made it all happen, we should be fine. Each group needs to have a little faith in the other one.
Elsewhere, Alexi Lalas has some smart thoughts on today’s edition of The Shot.
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