San Diego – The San Diego Chargers recently applied for the “Los Angeles Chargers” trademark, a sign that the Chargers have a bona fide intent to leave San Diego and move to Los Angeles. The Chargers filed trademark application for both “Los Angeles Chargers” and “LA Chargers” because they are currently in negotiations for a potential move to Los Angeles.
The St. Louis Rams already received approval from the NFL to move to Inglewood (about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles), but the San Diego Chargers were granted one year to reach an agreement with the Rams to share the Inglewood stadium. If they reach an agreement, the Chargers would relocate and become the Los Angeles Chargers.
Two days after the Rams’ relocation was approved, the Chargers filed the trademark applications. If the applications are approved, in addition to entertainment services the Chargers would own the trademarks for a variety of merchandising including video games, jewelry, helmets, and toys. At this time, the rights to website URLs lachargers.com and losangeleschargers.com have already been claimed by another company.
These products, and other forms of merchandising, are a large generator of profit NFL teams. In 2010, the total revenue from the merchandise sales of the 32 teams reached $2.1 billion. Because the NFL utilizes revenue sharing, each team does not simply get the revenue generated from its individual merchandise sales. Instead, the merchandise revenue is totaled (with the exception of the Dallas Cowboys, who are not involved in the revenue sharing agreement) and redistributed equally among the 31 teams.
While the teams agreed to remain tight-lipped about their negotiations and not to disclose details about the discussions publicly, the status of the talks have already begun to leak out. First it was reported that a deal was close and could be finalized in as quickly as one week. However, the most recent report from the negotiations is that the teams may have reached an impasse. It has been speculated that, in the end, the Rams owner has little incentive to reach an agreement to have the Chargers join the Rams in Los Angeles. After all, why would the Rams want to share the Los Angeles market with another team? Indeed, the mayor of Los Angeles recently came out saying that he hopes that the Chargers remain in San Diego.