The Milwaukee Bucks Are Upset About Third-Party Playoffs Merch Pop-Ups (But Not Enough to Really Do Anything About It)
The Milwaukee Bucks have been trending upward since the 2016-17 season, with this recent campaign resulting in their snaring the NBA’s top record at 60-22. As they prepare to host Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals tomorrow, the Wisconsin franchise, already well known to Promo Marketing readers for their promotional feats and the modesty of star Giannis Antetokounmpo, are receiving a merchandise boost from the organization’s brass, who are striving to thwart third-party sales transactions.
Since only four teams remain in the playoff hunt, merch mania will obviously increase, and while fans of Western Conference action will likely find themselves inundated with items related to the Curry Brothers, Eastern Conference aficionados will be busy touting the merits of Bucks and Toronto Raptors garb. With respect to the top-seeded club, management is going after several pop-up shops situated in Milwaukee, deeming their wares illegal and reiterating that the Bucks Pro Shop, the team’s website and authorized retailers are the legitimate sellers of Bucks goods.
However, according to a local news station, the organization is not exactly pulling off a stern interpretation of the team’s “Fear the Deer” slogan in going after the pop-ups’ overseers. The station connected with an intellectual property attorney, with the piece noting that although the Bucks are “probably right in this dispute,” they, along with other franchises, “often don’t have time to go after every single vendor selling merchandise.”
We have looked at music artists and other sports entities who have gone after said sellers, and it seems they have had good fortune. In the case of the Bucks, perhaps the issue could be that the vendors are not directly using logos, sayings, etc. that put them in obvious violation of trademarks. The aforementioned news station found one such individual who believes that his products should escape persecution and prosecution because they do not bare, according to him, anything that makes official mention of the Bucks.
New Bucks gear released for Eastern Conference Finalshttps://t.co/OgkFekFHhY
— CBS 58 News (@CBS58) May 10, 2019
Since pop-up tents are all over the city, one would think that the Bucks will snare a few people who are peddling merchandise that features illegal use of their promotional identifiers, but what could come of the people, like the businessperson mentioned in the news account, who are not as daring with their designs? Barring a sweep by either team in the series, the Bucks will host at least two games, with four to be the total if the series goes the full seven contests. That latter possibility would certainly give the organization’s heads time to buck whatever trend there is of allowing certain sellers to make a few dollars, but it could also see them needing to accept that if a good lacks a blatant tie to the team, it might be better to let the vendors execute their exchanges. One wonders what could happen if the Bucks were to advance to the NBA Finals, but first things first, bring on the Raptors.