More and more these days it seems that athletes are looking to capitalize on their image just as much as they capitalize on their sporting skills. Recently the world has heard about rap star and business mogul Jay-Z securing a roster of athletes from all different sports to help them cash in on their so-called “brand”. International footballer Gareth Bale is another example of how this trend is just as prevalent outside the United States. Bale, a 23-year old native of Wales, and star forward for the Tottenham Hotspurs, has filed an application to the Intellectual Property Office for a trademark for his signature goal celebration. The goal celebration is a sign he makes with his hands of a heart, with the number 11 (his jersey number) inside the heart.
Soon an independent tribunal will be deciding if Bale can trademark his “Eleven of Hearts” logo. Sources say that the trademark is likely to be found as valid. On his application, Bale seeks to use the trademark on “clothing, footwear, and headgear”, as well as more obscure goods such as “animal skins, hides, sticks, whips, harness and saddlery.” Apparently Bale has an interesting fan or two. Creating brand opportunities for athletes has huge financial incentives. Nigel Currie, the director of sports marketing agency brandRapport says that the logo could end up making Bale up to 3 million pounds a year. This is in addition to the reported 85 million pounds he could be making if he is moved to Real Madrid club, which would put him in the elite company of some of the highest paid international athletes. Are these types of trademarks ridiculous? Do you think that the international tribunal will rule in Bale’s favor? Apparently the goal celebration is a tribute to Bale’s childhood sweetheart, who he recently had a daughter with. It seems that the sky really is the limit for sports stars and their opportunities to capitalize on their fame.