Forbes recently released its list of the top earning athletes of 2013. They are spread across a wide range of sports, some individual sports like tennis and golf, and others from team sports like football and basketball. See Forbes: The World’s Highest Paid Athletes.
The group as a whole makes a lot of money from promotions, advertising and endorsements. The athletes are very well known – and profitable – brands. And the brands are generally protected by trademark filings. In fact, every single one of the top eight earners (note that numbers 9 and 10 do not play in the United States) has – or has had – at least one US trademark registration. The top 8 and some of their trademarks:
- TIGER WOODS
- Reg. No. 2306354 – TIGER WOODS
- Reg. No. 3695456
- ROGER FEDERER
- Reg. No. 2917255 – ROGER FEDERER
- KOBE BRYANT
- has in the past owned several old registrations and applications, but none currently
- LEBRON JAMES
- Reg. No. 3412757 – LEBRON
- Application No. 85495371 – TEAM LEBRON
- DREW BREES
- AARON RODGERS
- Reg. No. 4352923 – AARON RODGERS
- PHIL MICKELSON
- Reg. No. 3279608 – PHIL MICKELSON
- DAVID BECKHAM
- Beckham owns several registrations and applications.
- Reg. No. 3342223 – BECKHAM
These athletes understand the value of branding – and the role trademark registration plays in protecting and enhancing the value of their brand.
Celebrities are trademarks too: Nine of the Top 10 in Forbes Celebrity 100 List have registered trademarks