In Boston, Donna Goodison reports Gronk Nation, owned by Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, Browns TE Dan Gronkowski and Chargers FB Chris Gronkowski, has "filed a trademark infringement lawsuit" against Mass.-based Sully’s Tees for "allegedly selling unauthorized 'Gronk' T-shirts." Gronk Nation "received federal trademark designations" in December for “Gronk Nation,” “Gronk” and “Get Gronk’d.” The Gronkowski's attorney Timothy Perry said that while an application to trademark “Gronk” for hats, shirts and wristbands is pending, the brothers "still have protection under Massachusetts law." Perry said that the three brothers sell their own “Gronk” T-shirts through the Gronk Nation website and "donate a 'substantial' portion of the proceeds to their nonprofit Gronk Nation Youth Foundation" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/30).
SOUTH SIDE SUDS: Former MLBer Frank Thomas said of his Big Hurt Beer brand, which launched in '11, "It takes five years to really start a (new beer brand), and we expect in five years to make it a household name. We're serious about this brand." In Chicago, Danny Ecker reported Thomas "does not aspire to become a brewmaster himself, but he's pushing more chips into marketing his beer business with the new Big Hurt Brew House restaurant and microbrewery in Berwyn." Big Hurt Beer last year "sold just more than 10,000 cases across six states." Chicago-based beverage industry consulting firm Technomic VP David Henkes said, "The fact that they're in six states -- that's pretty good for an extremely small brand" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 4/29).
KICKOFF TIME: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reported BT will "kick-start a marketing campaign showcasing its new football channel in mid-May," featuring EPL club Manchester United F Robin van Persie and Tottenham MF Gareth Bale. Van Persie will "star in TV ads and feature on billboards and other marketing." BT's campaign will "go up against Sky, which has held the sports-pay crown for two decades and is likely to go toe-to-toe against its new rival in terms of marketing" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 4/29).