Texas A&M University is the home of the "12th Man," but a sign at the home stadium of a Major League Soccer team makes a similar claim, which could spell another tussle over the trademark.
According to an A&M spokesperson, the university's external trademark counsel is looking into the issue with RFK Stadium, home of DC United. A former university employee recently attended a game there and sent A&M a picture of a sign reading "Home of the 12th Man" that was hanging in the arena.
The university has defended its "12th Man" trademark over the years. The most recent notable example was with the National Football League's Denver Broncos, which drew the ire of A&M as the team made a run to the playoffs with "12th Man" symbols hitting the national airwaves without A&M's permission.
According to the school's spokesperson, the Broncos agreed to discontinue the use of the term. In fact, the only professional or collegiate team with permission to use "12th Man" is the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. That team pays for use of the term and gives credit to A&M when using it.
Originally, the Seahawks used "12th Man" without permission, but in 2006 following a prominent playoff run of their own, the team agreed to a $100,000 initial payment to A&M, plus a $7,500 yearly payment for the trademark's use.
News 3 has reached out to DC United for comment.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.