California Intellectual Property Blog


Jim Nantz phrase “A Tradition Unlike Any Other” Becomes a Trademark

golfOrange County – The golf course at Augusta National in Augusta Georgia is among the most famous in the world. Every year, the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club hosts the Masters Tournament which airs nationally on CBS and ESPN.

Professional golfers such as Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth are among the players competing this year in the tournament, making the Masters one of the most important golfing events of the year.

Within the last few years, the club has become more protective of its intellectual property rights. It has sought to Trademark the names of restaurants and popular hospitality sights around the course. It also owns trademark registrations for THE MASTERS and GREEN JACKET. In addition, Augusta National, Inc. recently filed two trademark applications for “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”, which is a phrase that has become a slogan associated with the Masters Tournament.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office “USPTO” website, the first application was filed in regard to golf tournaments in 2014. A second application was filed in regard to clothing, stating that Augusta’s first use of the phrase was in 1989.

CBS’s Jim Nantz actually coined the phrase in 1986 when he became a broadcaster for the Masters Tournament. Augusta National first used the phrase commercially three years later.

While Nantz was unaware that Augusta had submitted an application for the trademark, his representative Sandy Montag claimed that there was no issue. Montag stated that “Whatever work you do for the network is owned by the network, not you.”

Given that Augusta National is the owner of the Masters Broadcast, it follows that they have rights to the trademark. A spokesperson for the club stated that they will not prevent Nantz from using the phrase so long as it is used in relation to the Masters Tournament. Augusta National has made no comment on what would happen if Nantz chose to use the phrase in other ways that were not associated with the tournament, but it is certain they would not allow such use.

Other broadcasters have aggressively sought to own the phrases that they coin. One example is Michael Buffer, a famous ring announcer for boxing and wrestling. He is most known for chanting “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” which has earned him millions.


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