Chris “Birdman” Andersen of the NBA’s Miami Heat is seeking to trademark his nickname so that others cannot profit by using his name or likeness.
Andersen is well-known for the spark he has provided to the Heat in this season’s playoffs, his mohawk and colorful tattoos, as well as for his charitable work. As Andersen’s attorney and agent Mark Bryant has noted, “everything [Andersen] makes goes to charity. Plans are even in the works for the launch of the Freebird Foundation for the benefit of underprivileged children.
Trademarking “Birdman” would give Andersen the legal right to stop others from producing unauthorized merchandise with his likeness or name — the proceeds of which would most likely never see Andersen’s charity.
With his trademark application, Andersen joins an ever-growing group of athletes who have moved to trademark nicknames or phrases associated with them. Over the past several months, we’ve seen applications for “Linsanity” by the NBA’s Jeremy Lin, “Johnny Football” by Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” by the NBA’s Anthony Davis, and “Kaepernicking” by San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
What do you think of this trend of athletes’ trademarking words or phrases linked with them?