A while ago it came out that the Jets’ Bart Scott trademarked “Can’t wait!” after concluding his viral sensation playoff rant with that phrase. Scott also revealed, though, that he hasn’t made any money off the trademark.
However, today news came out of a different phrase trademarked by a different sports figure…and we have a hunch this one might be more successful. That’s because Gus Johnson, the most enthusiastic – and perhaps most enthusiastically adored – announcer in college basketball, trademarked one of his signature calls, “Rise and Fire” – and he’s all set to launch a clothing line bearing the slogan.
Under normal circumstances, it might sound ridiculous for an announcer to start his or her own clothing line – particularly one based on the announcer’s on-air persona. Johnson, though, is not normal. As CNBC’s Darren Rovell noted in his report on the trademark/soon-to-launch apparel line, Johnson is “the only announcer that fans actually tune in for, even if they have no rooting interest.” If you are reading this, you probably know why that is, but just in case…
Yes, Gus has a unique passion about him, and he’s betting people will buy up his products with similar zeal. We only have a couple concerns: 1) that the apparel itself isn’t identifiable enough as being associated with Gus Johnson that it will intrigue his fans enough to actually buy it; and 2) the general concern about announcers becoming bigger than the game.
But we can’t fault Gus for trying to capitalize on his immense popularity, and truthfully, if there’s any announcer we don’t mind potentially becoming bigger than the games themselves, it’s him. His style makes him especially notable, but it’s in a wildly enjoyable way that greatly enhances the viewing experience. While we can’t say we have any interest in the apparel, anything that could potentially build Johnson’s profile up to the point where he might, say, get assigned to the Final Four is fine by us.