Jeremy Lin trademarked “Linsanity,” Robert Griffin III trademarked “Unbelievably Believable” and Colin Kaepernick trademarked “Kaepernicking,” so it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to get their hands on one of the most popular phrases of the NCAA tournament — “Dunk City.”
Charlie Pennachio, a music producer from Fort Myers whose son attends Florida Gulf Coast University, filed for a trademark of the term only a day after FGCU upset San Diego State 81-71.
“It’s a real phenomenon what’s going on in Fort Myers,” Pennachio told ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “We want to start a company, and doing something associated with basketball seemed like a perfect opportunity. We know the university is using it now, but we want to take it to a different kind of level.”
While the university has not yet made an attempt to claim the phrase, they could make a move soon. “Dunk City” has appeared on merchandise that has been sold by local retailers, on 1,600 IDs for students and as a splash page on the school’s website. After raking in only $20,000 in merchandise sales last year, the university has sold more than $200,000 worth this year, with items being shipped to over 40 states.
“Our position is that ‘Dunk City’ is inextricably linked with FGCU,” said Michael Van Wieren, general counsel of Licensing Resource Group, the firm that controls the FGCU’s licensing program. “Had it not been for FGCU, ‘Dunk City’ would not have achieved its fame or notoriety.”
The first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 received the nickname after throwing down massive alley-oops throughout the tournament, but their Cinderella run ended Friday night with a 62-50 loss to Florida.