Bob McDonnell's "March Madness" Removed - Tucker Martin's Air Ball?
Leave it to the Bristol Herald Courier! It seems the basketball pick um game was in violation of trademark rules.
By Bristol Herald Courier Editorial Board
Published: March 13, 2009
It was a fun idea and nifty example of alliteration, a political slam dunk, but campaign organizers for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell dropped the ball on a contest idea that infringed on a trademarked name.
McDonnell, a Republican, this week on his Web site unveiled a contest called “McDonnell March Madness” patterned after the NCAA basketball tournament.
Problem is that the words “March Madness” are under trademark protection by the NCAA. On Wednesday, Gail Dent, NCAA associate director of public and media relations, said in response to a Bristol Herald Courier inquiry that the organization can allow other groups to use the term through a licensing agreement – i.e. in exchange for big bucks. McDonnell’s campaign, however, did not ask.
Furthermore, because the NCAA is a nonprofit organization for tax purposes, it could not grant permission to a politician to use the words in a political campaign.
On Thursday, McDonnell’s director of communications, Tucker Martin, took the heat for the misnamed promotion. He said he’d been so focused on making sure the campaign wasn’t violating any other rules or laws – that it really isn’t gambling, that no money is changing hands, that people understand it’s just for fun – that the name thing got past him.
The contest has been renamed to McDonnell’s Bracket Madness. March Mayhem would have been my choice... But anyway, this is just another example of J. Todd Foster's hard hitting reporting. I gotta go. there is a March Madness sale on at the kitchen supply store. I'm gonna pick up a couple Super Bowls and a Stanley Cup.