Dabo Swinney, Unlike His Own Players, Gets to Trademark and Profit off His Name

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterNovember 7, 2013

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 28: Dabo Swinney Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers reacts after Jordan Leggett (not pictured) scored a touchdown during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Memorial Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Smith/Getty Images

So apparently college football coaches are trademarking their names now. 

You can bet this will sit well with those clinging to the frustration that comes with knowing amateur athletes still can't make a dime off their names. Ah, but that is a debate for another time, or perhaps later in this article. 

Yahoo! Sports' Sam Cooper spotted some intriguing ways head coaches are making sure to make the most of their respective stints at the helm of popular programs. 

USA Today's Steve Berkowitz reports a number of coaches, including Clemson's Dabo Swinney, are trademarking their names. 

According to the report, Swinney enjoys a side deal with the program's licensing program that gives him the ability to sell items with his name on them. 

In a similar manner, Ohio State is reportedly moving closer to trademarking the name Urban Meyer as well as the phrase "Urban Meyer Knows."

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 28:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team warm up before a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Clemson's athletic director, Dan Radakovich, stated, "I don't know if I could trademark the name Dan," referring to his own name. "But people like Urban and Dabo — those are unique — and everybody has to take advantage of what opportunities are placed in front of them."

There is no argument that, as has been the case for decades, coaches are still the most recognizable people at a particular program. Urban, Dabo, Saban and the like yield an instant connection with their respective programs. 

However, that is less the case as we continue to embrace social media and online profiles of increasingly accessible amateur athletes. There is no arguing that the Johnny Manziels and Jameis Winstons of the world draw fans to buy tickets and watch games on TV. 

However, they can't benefit from that fact—yet. 

Tim Tebow made sure to trademark Tebow and all things Tebowing. Even Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper jumped at the chance to trademark "That's a clown question, bro" before someone else did. 

For the moment, programs and their coaches can milk as much cash as they can out of their own names and nobody bats an eye. 

Not that they should, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with coaches or any paid professional ensuring the rights of their own namesake, because it would be rather unfortunate for some other person or entity to profit on that name. 

They put in the tireless work and the seemingly countless hours to hone their craft and perfect their brand to a point that anyone would actually care to buy something with their name emblazoned across the front. 

Imagine how awful it would be for someone to use your name to make a buck, all the while you were helpless to do the same. 

Boy, that sure would suck. 


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