The Chicago Cubs are the hottest team in baseball.
Thursday, Cubs merchandise was lining the front of a local megastore here in Indianapolis, IN. Mostly shirts announcing the Cubs as 2016 division winners. All of which was licensed apparel through Major League Baseball.
As I’m looking at the rows of shirts, I’m thinking ‘wow, I didn’t realize Indianapolis was so in tune with the Cubs and the pennant race.’ And I can’t remember a time when local stores kept up to the date as the season progresses. Especially merchandise for a baseball team. (We don’t have a pro team in Indianapolis) .
None the less, all sorts of creative baseball memorabilia which usually bypasses the tightly licensed agreements MLB has with its vendors has popped up for years. The Cubs players themselves donned David Ross a “Grandpa Rossy” t-shirts which appear to be only distributed amongst the team, but variations have appeared online, unlicensed from all appearances.
The Cubs meanwhile are cracking down on vendors around Wrigleyville, a section of Chicago around Wrigley field in which an entire micro-conomy exists because of the boys in white and blue.
Now, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, the Cubs are suing vendors around Wrigley Field for trademark infringement. Selling Merchandise that represents the Cubs without a license.
According to the report, “In a 32-page complaint (read it below), the league and team allege that dozens of individuals are violating trademarks with counterfeit merchandise, “deliberately free riding on the success of the Cubs” without a license or permission.
The Cubs seek to ban by court order the sale of unlicensed Cubs goods around Wrigley field.
The tradition of selling Cubs “stuff” without a license has been going on and around the streets of Clark and Addison for years, but perhaps for the first time in the franchise’s history, people actually care.