A Philadelphia bar that helped inspire the Blues' song choice of "Gloria" wants a cut of the profits made from the team's merchandise involving the song.
The Blues captured fans' hearts with their Stanley Cup victory run and "Play Gloria!" fever this spring. Now, the Philadelphia bar that helped inspire the team's song choice wants a cut of the profits made from merchandise featuring the rally cry, according to ESPN.
The Jacks NYB in South Philadelphia filed a trademark application on May 8 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for "Play Gloria!" that included the phrase being used on T-shirts. The bar filed a second application on June 1 for the phrase's usage on various items including blankets, hats, shirts and beverage cans, reports ESPN.
The bar's legal team contacted St. Louis companies, including the Blues, about sharing profits from "Play Gloria!" merchandise sales. ESPN reports some companies received cease-and-desist letters but the Blues have not.
"There are companies out there making enormous profits, potentially, off of a brand that The Jacks undoubtedly created, fostered and supported," said Rob McKinley, an attorney representing the bar. "Our conversations with the Blues have been friendly and open."
The Blues sold "Play Gloria!" shirts at Enterprise Center during the playoffs, but do not currently sell any online.
The Blues' vice president of media and brand communications told ESPN that the bar's action "has nothing to do with us, so no comment from us. But we heard that it's dead. The folks from the bar never followed up."
The Blues began playing Laura Branigan's 1982 hit song "Gloria" this season after winning games. The new tradition started after several players gathered at the Philadelphia bar to watch the Eagles-Bears NFC Wild Card Game last winter and heard the DJ playing the jam during commercial breaks. The group of players, which included Joel Edmundson and Alexander Steen, realized how much fun everyone was having listening to the song and decided to play it after the Blues' next win. The song's popularity quickly took off with the team and fans.
After reports surfaced that The Jacks threatend to sue the Blues, the bar released a statement on its Facebook page to deny the allegations.
"We are NOT suing any St. Louis companies and have NOT sued anyone. WE HAVE NEVER THREATENED TO SUE THE ST. LOUIS BLUES EVER!!!" The Jacks said, while addressing its trademark dispute with Arch Apparel.
"When we found out that other companies were using our the PLAY GLORIA trademark to make money off of it, we reached out to them to try to make a deal with them. If they are going to profit from it, why shouldn’t we get a small piece of the pie...In the case of Arch Apparel, rather than talk to us, they completely ignored us, then went on to make hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars off of our #PlayGloria Trademark when fully knowing we owned the rights since our first letter in May. The Blues, NHL, AB, [and] dozens of others stopped using #PlayGloria once we trademarked, but Arch Apparel didn’t and continued to thrive."