There's like 20 pro teams in the world named the Tigers. OMG, 19 of them have to change their names! [/sarcasm]
Women's football and women's pro football have been around for a long time. Much like semi-pro football these ladies are out there for the love of the game. Back when American Gladiators was on the first time they had a couple women's pro football players on the show. Basically playing for gas money.
Just a few days ago we were having a light-hearted discussion about the Binghamton Tiger-Cats just for fun.
And most of us had never heard of this town I imagine or maybe had just heard of the place in passing.
Now, after events today, the whole world knows about Binghamton, but for tragic reasons.
It's very sad what happened there today.
It's mildly amusing to read any legal musings about the sanctity of team mascot name ownership on a forum for a CFL team whose league had Rough Riders and Roughriders running parallel for decades! But I digress...
I'm going to give you a layman's take on the law as I perceive it. If I am wrong on any point, I would appreciate a legal beagle's rebuttal to what I state.
First, the use of mascot names are only an issue within a given league first and a given sport second. The CFL only controls the Ottawa Renegades name as far as I know since the franchise was poofed into existence via expansion -- the individual club ownerships control their respective team names. Another CFL team could not call itself "Tiger-Cats" without permission of the Hamilton club as it controls the trade rights associated with that brand. The Ticats would surely not allow any club from poaching on its name in that direct way.
Following that logic, if Ottawa were to get another CFL team underway, the name "Rough Riders" would have to be secured from Horn Chen to be used by the current ownership group. The Saskatchewan club might have some room to dispute any reactivation of the "Ottawa Rough Riders" monicker, but there is a historical use precedent within Canadian football that would likely override any legal objections.
As long as the logos and colours of the two teams are distinct, the Rough Riders II would be able to come back. With the Renegades expansion precedent, the CFL would likely want to control the franchise marks. I suspect the league's preference would be for a distinctive name for a new Ottawa club, but it would be sensitive to a groundswell of public support for a new Rough Rider launch if the choice of the fans would be for that.
Team mascots (i.e. the names) cannot be locked up by any one club in any one sport to the exclusion of other sports. -- it is a league issue. In the US, you can have the New York football Giants and the New York baseball Giants. You can't poach the logo of a team, but the names themselves are not controllable to that extent. Where there can be action is if a professional football team, for an example, in the same country is marketing itself to the direct detriment of the owner of that team name. There cannot be two "Hamilton Tiger-Cats" in Canadian professional football in other words.
The example of a US women's semi-pro team using the name "Tiger Cats" no-hyphen isn't actionable unless the women's pro league has expanded into Canada, for starters. Unless the logo has been swiped, the operating of that team does not directly cut into the domain of the Hamilton franchise, period. If anything, it can be argued that it raises the profile of the Tiger-Cat brand in the U.S. In fact, the Tiger-Cats would probably welcome this, especially if the team involved made reference to the CFL team on its website re the history behind the mascot name chosen.
Here in Quebec, there is a pee-wee football team called the Verdun Ticats (http://www.verdunticats.com). Now can we expect Bob and company to come down to Montreal Island and crack some heads over this? The idea is laughable. Again, the kids aren't plundering the coffers of the Hamilton team -- they are raising the profile of the Ticat nickname in Quebec football, which is arguably the hotbed for football in Canada.
Now the use of the "Tiger face" logo on a tiger leaping in another direction by the Verdun team is another thing. It is somewhat like the Princeton logo caper where the Jake Gaudaur-inspired leaping tiger logo changed its colours and direction once they landed magically on the Tigers' helmets in the Ivy League in the mid-sixties. I am not sure what understanding if any is in place re use of the logo in that respect.
I do know there has been a Verdun Ticats team in a Montreal pee-wee league for many years -- my dentist in Verdun is a big Hamilton fan all the way back to Hal Patterson -- and the sky hasn't fallen with this scenario in play.
That's my take on the subject. I would like more feedback on this if I've butchered any legal reasoning here.
Oski Wee Wee,
No hyphen kind of like our RoughRiders and Rough Riders...no issue.
A brand new Womens Professional Football team has started in Binghamton, New York. (in the Syracuse-Rochester area)
Here's a newscast of their training camp.[url=http://www.wbng.com/news/local/37388884.html?video=YHI&t=a]http://www.wbng.com/news/local/37388884 ... eo=YHI&t=a[/url]
The Binghamton Tiger Cats are a team of the Women's Football Alliance scheduled to begin play for its inaugural 2009 season. Based in Binghamton, New York, the Tiger Cats are set to begin WFA play in 2010.
Home games will be played at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex, making the Tiger Cats the first women's football team
ever to have an indoor venue.
I wonder if there is any evidence that some of these Binghamton Tiger Cats have been playing in Hamilton the last few years.
Right on! Now you guys have a farm team!
Just thought I'd update this as I found a IWFL women's game on the satellite tonight. Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore and the Pitt team is really putting the boots to Baltimore. Honestly a pretty entertaining game.