Center Chris "Birdman" Andersen has only bolstered the Miami Heat's status as presumptive NBA favorites since joining the club in late January. The heavily tattooed, mohawked big man has added an extra dimension to the defending champs, providing a high-level rim-protector who also has the mobility and athleticism to function well in the Heat's high-tempo, position-switching lineup. He's been an excellent fit, and in their current series against the Milwaukee Bucks, he's sparked several big runs that have put games out of reach.
Andersen has received attention throughout his career for his colorful personality and body art, but he stands to reach a new audience due to his role with the Heat. He's planning accordingly, too, and intends to trademark his name and image to ward off those who would profit off his likeness. From Chris Tomasson for FoxSportsFlorida.com:
With Birdman mania surrounding the Miami Heat center, Chris Andersen's camp is attempting to register his nickname in some form with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
"I need to trademark it," said Andersen, who has ignited the Heat with his energy off the bench and fired up fans since he was signed last January as a free agent. "It’s what I need to do. … We’re trying to."
But before anybody thinks Andersen is trying to profit from his fame, think again. Mark Bryant, Andersen’s attorney and agent, said that hardly is the case.
"Everything he makes goes to charity," Bryant said from his Denver office about money made off marketing Andersen. "He’s heavily involved with children. We’re going to launch the Freebird Foundation to help underprivileged children. … Anybody who is selling an illegal Birdman T-shirt on the Internet is stealing from charity."
Andersen said several businesses already have been stopped in attempting to sell such T-shirts without his permission. [...]
"What we are trying to do is come up with some sort of insignia to trademark," said Bryant, noting how Michael Jordan, for instance, has the Jumpman logo.
No matter what ends up happening here, I think we can all agree that creating Birdman version of the Jumpman logo is a very great thing. It could have wings, and a mohawk, and maybe even be all the colors of the rainbow. Dull silhouettes are a thing of the past. Let this logo fly!
It appears as if Andersen and Bryant are running into trouble with their copyright claim, because the "Birdman" name has been used in public in many incarnations, from the nickname of skateboarder Tony Hawk to the 1962 Burt Lancaster film "Birdman of Alcatraz" to the Big Tymers rapper Birdman. Nevertheless, we wish him well in his efforts, especially if it means more money for kids in need.
In the meantime, we encourage any aspiring artists to start working on the Birdman logo. A limitless imagination is a plus.