Deadspin, being Deadspin, wondered if anyone from the Cleveland Indians had done a simple Google search for "Cleveland Guardians."
Conduct Detrimental, a website that says it's "THE Intersection of Sports & Law," has a sports attorney who has been hammering the baseball club on Twitter. (The website hasn't been all that kind, either.)
Contrary to what the internet might tell you, though, the Indians were well aware that there was a Cleveland Guardians roller derby team. Yes, the baseball team also knew about the amateur club's website.
As we noted in a recent Crain's print story that detailed the complex process behind the selection of Guardians, multiple Indians sources have said the club was "very confident" that there wouldn't be any serious roadblocks in moving ahead with the team name. Once the club's legal team signed off on the name, the Indians wanted to announce it on their "own terms," which they did on July 23.
Three of the key people leading the process for the Indians—president of business operations Brian Barren, senior vice president of marketing and strategy Alex King, and director of brand management Jason Wiedemann—spent more than 50 years working in consumer goods before joining the Tribe. Trademarks, Barren said, are "very complex" and "are a really big deal" in the consumer goods industry.
The group leading the name change process, plus the Tribe's legal team, wouldn't have gone forward with the announcement if they weren't certain that they had done everything necessary, sources told Crain's.
So is the baseball team in the clear?
Let's look at some of the details ...