A soccer diary from across the pond

Friday, January 11, 2013

On Cascadia Cup and MLS

So there has been a big controversy over the fact, that MLS has tried to trademark the "Cascadia Cup" name. A lot of accusations of stealing has been thrown around, and there hasn't exactly been a public dialogue.

I write the following, obviously without having all information, and should new information come my way I will adapt my stance accordingly.

So, MLS tries to trademark "Cascadia Cup". Whats so wrong with that? If it is indeed true, that they wanted to do it, to protect it from being stolen from someone not related to the soccer environment in Cascadia, thats a fair point. Though the way the went about it was wrong. Everyone knows, that the Cascadians are a proud bunch of people, who make a point out of being there before MLS was around. So rather than discretely filing for the trademark in court, MLS representatives should have contacted the supporters groups and said: "Neither of us is interested in the name being highjacked, how do we best protect it?"

Some have asked why the supporters groups hadn't already trademarked it, and to that I answer: They're soccer fans, not an organized business. They probably never even thought of the necessity, and because MLS didn't take a collaborative approach with the supporters groups, they are perceiving MLS to be exploiting the fact, that they didn't do this.

MLS lives of its fans, and the fans in Cascadia are a source of great PR for the league. MLS should immediately choice a more collaborative approach, and show the sports fans of North America, that MLS is a league that sees the fans as partners, rather than milking cows. For sports leagues and teams, fans are not just consumers, but co-producers. When their actions and communication fail to acknowledge this, they end up looking bad.


  1. Nice I like this blog but supposedly I'm looking for the post of mississauga MLS. Keep writing!

  2. The one missing bit of information is that the MLS has already sold sponsorship to the Rocky Mountain Cup which was also fan created in 2005. The Cascadia Cup does not need corporate sponsorship. We are handling it just fine on our own and have been since 2004 (pre-MLS). Basically we just want the MLS to leave the Cascadia Cup alone.