FC Tampa Bay Files Trademark For Rowdies Name

By Joseph Mandour on December 15, 2011

soccer-ball-thumb-200x203-32033 San Diego – FC Tampa Bay, a professional men’s soccer club, will be unveiling a new trademark and logo today.

Just finishing its season this fall, the team will announce its plans to use the Rowdies name and a new logo that will change from the existing shield to a retro style that will include the Rowdies name. The announcement comes after a three-year legal battle with Classic Ink, a Dallas-based retro sports apparel company, which owned the rights to the name of the former Tampa Bay NASL team.

Originally, the team was called the “FC Tampa Bay Rowdies” in honor of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the Old North American Soccer League, Tampa’s first professional sports franchise that started playing in 1975, one year before the city got its first NFL team. Due to legal issues over the Rowdies nickname, the team dropped it and officially changed its name to “FC Tampa Bay,” even though fans still referred to them as the Rowdies.

Now that the soccer franchise has reached a deal with Classic Ink, it will officially be awarded exclusive rights to the Rowdies trademark and will rename itself the “Tampa Bay Rowdies” for its upcoming 2012 season. In addition to the name and logo change, the team will also be rebranding its website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. The Rowdies will also begin selling new merchandise bearing the Rowdies trademark to its fans.

Upon entering the league in 2008, the team and its parent company Citrus Ventures, was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit by Classic Ink in a U.S. district court in Texas. To avoid further legal trouble, the team had removed all Rowdies references to its identity by October 2010, until reaching the recent agreement with the Texas-based apparel company.

Back in 2010 when the team had ceased using the Rowdies name, FC Tampa Bay owner and president Andrew Nestor said, in regards to his plans to re-obtain the Rowdies name, “It’s something that takes awhile. We’re still working toward a resolution, and its not completely up to us. Those things aren’t completely 100 percent in our control, so you do what you can over time.”

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