When I’m not writing baseball listicles for all to enjoy, my day job is public relations. So, when I have an opportunity to write about both of my passions, I jump on it like Albert Pujols on a hanging curve ball.
So, in the land of public perception, we have Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Los Angeles Dodgers showing America that they hate … animal groups? Wait, what? Why would professional baseball create an affront against anything of advocacy? Trademark protection (and because they can).
Meet Arm the Animals (ATA), an animal group whose mission is stated to create killer T-Shirts that make a statement, raise awareness and generate funds for small, struggling animal rescues. Over the past two years, ATA has been able to donate thousands of dollars to shelters and other animal welfare organizations; much of it has gone directly to its shelter partners.
Nice cause, right? So, one of its “killer T-shirts” included the logo pictured above. Sure, it’s a complete hack on the Dodgers logo and they easily did that without asking for permission, but without hesitation, the MLBP legal team said, “Down with this animal group, up with Chavez Ravine.” And then they sent this (courtesy of Deadspin)…
That’s right — a cease-and-desist letter for a small animal group whose goal was to raise $375 for 20 no-kill shelters in the greater Los Angeles area. ATA does what it can with a little creativity to save Fido. For example, if you go to the website, you can buy a “Pup Fiction” shirt with dog-faced Jules and Vincent brandishing guns or a “Cat-At” shirt based on the walking snow tanks from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Now, Tarantino or Lucas hasn’t hollered down at this animal group, but screw with MLBP and the L.A. Dodgers, and feel the wrath. No phone call to this three-person company volunteering its hours to save the pooches. No personal visit from the top legal beagle about the fallacies of trademark infringement. And no check for $375 measly dollars to accompany said hate mail.
Good for baseball. Bad for PR. Hey, we hear Michael Vick may be interested in center field. At least he gets to work on time, Mr. Puig. Stay classy, L.A. We love it!