If you thought Bill Foley was antsy about waiting to receive approval from the NHL to award him his franchise for Las Vegas, you should see him as he wades through the process of trying to select a name and logo for his expansion team.
Foley is finding legal hurdles everywhere he looks as trademarks, copyrights and domain names are standing in his way of securing a name. It is costing him thousands of dollars in potential merchandise sales daily. And he is totally frustrated over it.
“The issue we’re having is there are various trademark issues and trade name issues that are issued,” he said. “And so we’re fighting, we’re working our way through that process.
“But it’s various athletic teams, entities that may have a name that we’re interested in.”
“Black Knights?” Even with the supposed blessing of those at Foley’s alma mater at West Point, that’s probably not happening. Too complicated when you consider the United States government would be involved in giving the final OK. Even the school’s colors of black, gold and gray may not be used in the final product for the hockey team.
The team has spent the past couple of weeks working with adidas, which owns Reebok, the NHL’s official uniform supplier, and league marketing officials, to come up with something that Foley likes. He said he has seen and heard every name imaginable, including the ones the Review-Journal has been running in its informal bracket poll on its website. But he has yet to find the one name that really wows him and is obtainable without paying ransom to someone who has secured the rights.
“We have a lot of names in mind but a lot of the ones I really liked are trademarked, so that’s a little bit of an issue,” Foley said.
Foley sounded almost desperate at Wednesday’s introductory news conference for general manager George McPhee when he said, “I’m happy to take any suggestions anyone has for a name, particularly one that’s not already trademarked. That would be terrific to get these ideas because we’re really having a problem with trademarks and trade names.”
Foley said once there’s a name that he can accept, he’ll let the NHL and adidas folks work on the designs and color schemes. His preference remains black, gold and gray, but Foley admits he may have to be flexible on everything at this point.
“The name should represent Las Vegas, represent the environment,” Foley said. “It should be unique to Las Vegas but it needs to be a name that generates … that when people hear the name and say ‘These guys are tough. These guys are going to win. These guys are dedicated.’
“I need to have that kind of momentum, that kind of philosophy behind the name and that’s why some names just don’t make it for me.”
Foley reiterated his stance against using any kind of name tied to gambling.
“The league has made it very clear that it really should not be associated with gambling and so on,” he said. “It needs to be something a little bit different than that.”
Contact Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow on Twitter: @stevecarprj
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