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King of trademarks: NASCAR

Posted by ipelton on: November 24th, 2009

NASCAR crowned its champion for the year this week.  Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on his 4th consecutive championship. NASCAR is the king of trademarks.   The entire sport is fueled by brands, many of them in the auto industry, but many of them from other industries.

A sampling of Jimmie Johnson related trademarks:

  • The championship is the Sprint Cup (formerly the Winston Cup for many years)
  • Every driver is known by his car number. When they switch cars – which are owned by team owners, not individual drivers, it can be a big deal.
  • LOWE’S is his main sponsor
  • Uniforms and cars are emblazoned with many logos for brands
  • This Jimmy Johnson collectible license plate contains no at least a dozen trademarks:

  • JIMMIE JOHNSON name – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78562832
  • JIMMIE JOHNSON signature
  • 48 number – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78155831
  • 48 number logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78975619
  • Chevy logo
  • LOWE’S name -http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78340840
  • LOWE’S logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78319667
  • NASCAR name – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=74331866
  • NASCAR logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=73084071
  • HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75050809
  • 3M logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=73689094
  • EA logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78810014
  • 76 logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=71506905
  • MONTE CARLO
  • TEAM LOWE’S RACING logo – http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=77379265
  • WM logo (Waste Management)

When it comes to logos and trademarks, no one does it better than NASCAR.  They understand that advertisers fund and “fuel” the sport, and they take care of their advertisers and sponsors by promoting them relentlessly.

Lessons: When you are selling a persona or a character, you can protect a lot – name, signature, number, etc.  And when you rely on sponsorship to keep you in business, frequently and properly using their trademarks is a win-win for everyone.

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