Who dat stealing my brand

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An interesting thing happens with brands.  The more popular they become, the more lawyers get involved in protecting them.

What if Tom Peters, filed a trademark today on Personal Branding?  From this moment forward anyone trying to use the words without Tom’s permission would be in violation of his trademark.  What if Tom also asked for royalty payments from all the blogs, books and services that use the words personal branding.  Crazy concept?  Peters is clearly credited in 1997 with creating the category/concept and naming it Personal Branding, so why isn’t he entitled?

Well, the NFL has a more ludicrous case then this, yet they are pursuing it with the State of Florida, State of Louisiana & New Orléans.  You’ve got to read this article. I laughed out loud when I read it.

The NFL is trying to say they own “Who Dat” which is a battle cry of New Orleans folks cheering on their sports teams.   The NFL literally sent cease and desist orders to t-shirt shops and merchants in New Orleans saying the NFL owns the rights to “Who Dat”.  The NFL’s claims are ludicrous, appalling and bordering on anti-american. (No offense meant to all our readers that are lawyers.)

If the NFL continues down this path, Major League Baseball is well positioned to claim they own the rights to Na Na Hey Hey Good Bye (The “kiss him” words from the original 1969 song are not used in sports stadiums.)   The major leagues will claim in 1977, the organist at the Chicago White Sox game started playing the song and it caught on as a sing a long and a rival taunt.  Thus it is theirs!

What’s next? The legal wrestling will begin  between Neal Diamond and the Boston Red Sox over Sweet Caroline.

Brands are created and built. Did the NFL create Who Dat? What did the NFL do to build the brand of Who Dat?

I understand Brands that are strong and have been invested in, need protection.  However, they also need to be truly “your brand” to protect.

My advice today is go out and create and build your own personal brand.  Also, send your resume to NFL headquarters.  There may be some jobs opening up.

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