California Chrome’s Owners File to Trademark Horse’s Name

By Joseph Mandour on June 3, 2014

HorseracingSan Diego – The owners of California Chrome, the horse that could potentially win the first Triple Crown in 36 years, have filed a trademark application for the horse’s name. California Chrome’s owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin along with their wives, who make up the horse’s ownership entity filed the trademark just two days before California Chrome won the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. The owners are hoping to trademark the phrase on athletic apparel including shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, and hats. The filing states that gear with California Chrome’s name was first sold in April 2013.

In addition to filing for the trademark, California Chrome’s owners have also signed their first major sponsorship deal with Skechers, which will be featured on everything from the apparel of the horse’s handlers to the horse’s blanket to the barn leading up to the Belmont Stakes on June 7th. Under the sponsorship agreement, team members will wear Skechers apparel in the winner’s circle should the horse win. The deal also allows Skechers to use California Chrome in marketing materials for a month after the race. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to reports, it is the largest deal in horseracing since UPS paid IAEH Stables to advertise on Triple Crown Hopeful Big Brown in 2008.

On June 7th, California Chrome will take to the track at the Belmont Stakes. The horse will be the 13th to go for the Triple Crown. The last time a racehorse won all three legs was in 1978 when Affirmed accomplished the feat. In 2008, Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but didn’t even finish the race at Belmont. Most recently, another horse, After I’ll Have Another, was pulled the day before the Belmont after winning Kentucky and Preakness.

The owners of those horses had produced merchandise in anticipation of their racehorses winning the Triple Crown. It now remains to be seen if California Chrome will break the jinx and win Belmont. If he doesn’t, merchandise with his name and most likely the California Chrome trademark may not mean a whole lot after June 7th.

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