Playoff battles can lead to Intellectual Property battles, apparently.
In the heat of the playoff series between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal’s Brandon Prust angrily commented, “We don’t really care what that bug-eyed fat walrus has to say,” referring to Ottawa’s coach Paul MacLean. MacLean is known for his mustache (see picture), and Prust’s barb led to an Ottawa fan, Jamie McLennan, making a shirt with the declaration:
Don’t * With The Walrus
At first the shirt (pictured right) was just for fun, as a few friends went to the hockey game, but with a catchy slogan, a sweet design and a fabulous mustache, the shirts were quite popular. McLennan made some more, began selling them, and even partnered up with the Sens Foundation (the team’s charitable organization) to do a little bit of good.
Of course, every good idea will attract beggars and hangers on, and McLennan’s idea was quickly co-opted by imitators. And it wasn’t just his idea, it was his exact design (though I’m not sure why the imitator originally went with black shirts… that’s not the way Sens fans roll). McLennan seemed more disappointed than angry about it. Thankfully, the media had already jumped on the story, so McLennan could easily assert his ownership over the concept.
Though it may only be disappointing when another fan steals your design, it must be quite aggravating when a major corporation, like Sports Experts, does the same. As you can see below, Sports Experts has taken the design, removed any sign of the f-word, and started to sell the shirts.
Hopefully, Sports Experts will soon be shamed for this.
UPDATE: Sports Experts has responded via Facebook:
Hello everyone, we are aware of your comments and concerns regarding the Walrus T-shirt. Details concerning the situation are presently being investigated and we will keep you updated as soon as we know more on what exactly has happened. Thank you very much for your understanding.
Good on them for responding quickly. Let’s hope they get this sorted out properly.