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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Cleveland Guardians’ name change hits potential roller derby snag

The newly renamed Cleveland Guardians aren’t the only Guardians in town.

When the Cleveland Indians announced their name change last week, the move was met with a mixed reaction among baseball fans. It also raised a red flag with a local roller derby team named the… Cleveland Guardians.

That could spell trouble for the baseball club, as their neighbors on skates are the owners of the clevelandguardians.com domain, as well as social media monikers it might be interested in — @ClevelandGuardians on Instagram and Facebook.

Using @Guardians is not an option either, as the handle is owned by Disney and its “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.

While the roller derby team appears to have abandoned its trademark, the Bryant Street Sports LLC of New York filed for trademarks protections for “Cleveland Guardians” in 2020. The Indians objected to the application this month, and the filing was withdrawn on July 21 — which may signify the sides worked something out, or that the baseball team filed its own application.

That would just leave the URL — with an unknown ownership calendar with the roller derby team having first right of renewal — and social media handles to be worked out.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:06 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: guardians

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6030890)
Get out the Big Book of Animals.
   2. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 28, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6030907)
How much would it take to buy a domain from a roller derby team? $500?

   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 28, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6030920)
Can we get an opinion from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP?
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 28, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6030921)
Surely the franchise knew about this already, right? I can't believe no one in the front office ever tried to lick on ClevelandGuardians.com just to see what was there.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 28, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6030940)
Doesn't appear that they did their due diligence.

   6. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: July 28, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6030956)
They supposedly had 1000+ names under consideration. I just can't believe that "Guardians" was the best. Anyway, I hope the roller derby team hires a good lawyer. That domain is worth well into the six figures (at least) in this situation.
   7. villageidiom Posted: July 28, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6030959)
The domain thing is a trifle. It doesn't matter whether they bought it up before announcing the name change, or after. It will cost them basically nothing either way, and the time lost between the name change and the domain acquisition will mean nothing in the long run. (See #3 above.)
   8. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 28, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6030988)
Probably? But it doesn't matter. These are details that should've been taken care of before the rollout of the new name, logo, wordmark, etc. I was on the marketing team at my old company, and it took us two years to set up for a new look, and that was without changing the name of the company. I'm flabbergasted that this stuff wasn't already done and in their back pocket before the announcement.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6031006)
This is a good excuse to post one of my favorite baseball articles:

The Website MLB Couldn't Buy.
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 28, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6031014)
IANAL but my guess is MLB's attorneys decided they were better off not saying anything about the website to the roller derby team and are going to argue (correctly it seems) that it's just an abandoned domain. Ultimately it won't matter, they will throw a few bucks at both parties and move on.

I have a bit of sympathy for the roller derby people, they have a reasonable claim on it at least. The NY company seems to have already been dealt with they are just dotted "I"s and crossing "T"s.
   11. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: July 28, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6031038)
Can we get an opinion from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP?

So... I don't suppose anointing one of the partners at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius the next commissioner was part of the deal. Because coincidentally or not, that is what happened.
   12. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 28, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6031053)
Can we get an opinion from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP?


Maybe from Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger and McCormick. (Or Dewey, Cheatem and Howe!)

I can't believe no one in the front office ever tried to lick on ClevelandGuardians.com just to see what was there.


I'm not here to judge.
   13. Greg Pope Posted: July 28, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6031060)
These are details that should've been taken care of before the rollout of the new name, logo, wordmark, etc. I was on the marketing team at my old company, and it took us two years to set up for a new look, and that was without changing the name of the company. I'm flabbergasted that this stuff wasn't already done and in their back pocket before the announcement.

How do you know that they didn't take care of it already? This article is pure speculation. No comments from the team, nothing. This is someone noticing that the domain is owned and then deciding that it could be an issue. The default assumption would be that the team has already bought the name, or that they don't want it. Nothing in this article gives any information that it isn't the case.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6031072)
If the team already owned the domain, the website would already be set up for the new Cleveland Guardians ... or at least the page would say "future home of ..." Or if they own it and it still shows the old content, that's the same level of evidence of rank incompetence.

By the way, going to the website just now, I see somebody posted content just last week recruiting for the 2022 season (I'd imagine covid forced men's roller derby to shut down). So somebody at the derby Guardians is awake and clearly the Cleveland baseball franchise did not own the site on July 24.

The more likely scenario I think is that they have tried to line up their ducks but not everybody is playing along ... and they decided that it was still more important/valuable to get the name change out there now than to wait until all the ducks are ready.
   15. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 28, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6031073)
How do you know that they didn't take care of it already?
I don't, but the reason the roller derby team had been dormant was because of covid, not because the roller derby team had folded up and gone away. They were still a thing. They still ARE a thing. If the Cleveland baseball team had taken care of all this first, the roller derby team would be called something else today, rather than putting out calls for tryouts under the same name and logo.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 28, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6031092)
The roller derby team & MLB team need to just trade names, presumably with a bit of cash thrown in. The baseball team gets the name they want, free & clear, and the roller derby folks get some cash and a historic, widely-known brand that no longer suits the MLB team. Win-Win.
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 28, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6031099)
How do you know that they didn't take care of it already?

* gestures broadly at the multiple Cleveland Guardians internet properties they don't control *
   18. KronicFatigue Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:46 PM (#6031136)
I experienced the Netflix/Qwikster debacle in real time and it was glorious

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 29, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#6031155)
While I think that #2 has the right answer, it's not like this hasn't come up before. Check out giants.com and sfgiants.com there are ways around this.
   20. sanny manguillen Posted: July 29, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6031160)
The Pittsburgh Pipers of the ABA did this 50 years ago. Held a contest, renamed the team "Pioneers", only to discover that Point Park College, which was half a mile away and had a good small college program, was already using that name. The big fly in the ointment was that the contest winner got $5000, and there was no way they were going to put out another $5000. So they had to pick a name while specifically excluding everything that anyone with a pencil and a stamp thought might be a good one. Hence, Condors.
   21. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6031167)
Check out giants.com and sfgiants.com there are ways around this.

DING we have a winner, IMO.

(Also, by random chance and life circumstance I know the MLB trademark lawyer, and when I asked they officially clammed up completely on this, so I'd imagine there are various legal things going on as well.)
   22. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 29, 2021 at 03:34 PM (#6031267)
Of course, there already is a professional baseball team named the Guardians, and they don't seem to have any trouble with a web site.

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