The Seattle Seahawks might need to start thinking of a new name for their fanbase, just in case.
The team, which calls its fans “the 12th man” or simply “the 12s,” actually pays Texas A&M to use the nickname, as the school trademarked it in 1990. The Seahawks and the university first made an agreement in 2006 and renewed it in 2011, but it runs out in 2016.
Texas A&M told KREM-TV that negotiations already have begun to renew the agreement, but it might end up costing the Seahawks more than the $5,000 a year they’re paying now. Seattle has profited greatly from the name — the “12” jersey is in the top 15 of NFL jersey sales, for example — and Texas A&M doesn’t want the phrase to lose its original meaning.
“I haven’t met an Aggie who is fully comfortable with the Seahawks’ use of the term to be honest,” Texas A&M assistant vice-president Shane Hinckley told KREM-TV. “We are not as focused on financial as we are the overall protection of the brand.”
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images