BYU changes 2014 slogan after discovering Anheuser-Busch has trademark on it

Nick Bromberg
August 5, 2014
BYU changes 2014 slogan after discovering Anheuser-Busch has trademark on it

BYU was going with "Rise as One" for its 2014 slogan until it discovered that Anheuser-Busch had a trademark on the phrase.

BYU athletic director Duff Tittle told the BYU Daily Universe that the school found out about the trademark "about two to three weeks ago" and the school then made the decision to avoid any conflict. However, it was after merchandise had already been made with the slogan on it. (The school's "official game day shirt" had the slogan on it and it's been pulled from the campus bookstore.)

The "Rise as One" slogan was used by Budweiser as part of its World Cup marketing. Anheuser-Busch applied for a trademark on it last year. Not only could BYU have found itself in a legal battle with continued use of the phrase for marketing purposes, alcohol is banned according to the LDS Church's Word of Wisdom.

The conflict was first noticed in June by a poster on a BYU message board.

Before the phrase was a slogan of Budweiser's, it was one of Nike's in 2012 for the NCAA tournament. While BYU is a Nike school, it was not one of the six teams that were part of the Nike campaign.

An official from Anheuser-Busch told the Daily Universe that to the best of her knowledge, no one from A-B had contacted BYU and told the university to stop using the phrase. But we can't comprehend how the school didn't realize that the new slogan was being used by Budweiser earlier this summer and/or didn't check the Trademark Electronic Search System before merchandise and promotional items with the slogan on it were created.

There are three entries for "Rise As One" in the TESS and all three are related to A-B's application. As part of the trademark, A-B has the rights "for advertising and marketing services, namely, promoting entertainment in the field of sporting events," which is the same area that BYU was using the slogan.

Tittle told the Universe that "Rise Up" would likely become the new slogan, and the school already has a website with the modified phrase touting the football program.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!