Arnold Palmer, the man who won the Masters four times (1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964), one of the faces of the sport, passed away on Sunday. He was 87. Regrettably, I was not alive to see Palmer battle with the greats of his era nor was I alive to witness Palmer dominate Ryder Cup play. However, I have seen and will continue to see Palmer’s intellectual property and brand as a whole displayed throughout the entire marketing industry, which will remain one of Palmer’s greatest victories.

Perhaps, at least according to the numbers, his off-the-course production surpasses the on-the-course production when considering Palmer’s historic legacy. In support of this, Palmer earned roughly $865 million from personal appearances and endorsements, licensing agreements, and golf course designs throughout his career, according to Forbes. In sum, the Pennsylvania native earned a total of $875 million. This figure ranks third among professional athletes, trailing only the all-time great Michael Jordan (NBA) and once-legendary-but-now-declining golfer Tiger Woods.

Trademarks

Palmer, as any other successful businessman might do, protected each of his brands, whether that related to his golf game or, most notably, his iced tea and lemonade drink. From a legal perspective, the most apparent brand that Palmer protected over the years was the mark itself. In other words, Arnold Palmer Enterprises owns several trademarks (24 total) that are federally registered and also spread across various goods and services.

For instance, one mark is associated with automobile services; another mark, his famous umbrella, which was originally registered in 1991, is associated with tea and flavored tea (International Class (IC) 030). To that end, another one of Palmer’s marks is associated with IC 030 but referenced as freezer bars. Other marks are associated with the following: Clothing (IC 025), Advertising and Business services (IC 035), Transportation services (IC 039), Hotels and Restaurant services (IC 43), and Personal and Social services (IC 45).

Most of the applications that Palmer filed were based on Use in Commerce, meaning that he had already began using the soon-to-be-registered mark for business purposes. This contrasts with the filing basis of Intent to Use, which equates to a mark that has yet to be used for business purposes. Altogether, an applicant must identify the first date that the mark was used for business purposes. For Palmer’s collection of marks, the second-oldest First Use in Commerce was 1963; the oldest was 1960. Finally, because most of the marks entailed Palmer’s name, he needed to give his consent for the marks to be used for business purposes, which was of course recorded on every requisite application.

arnie
Registration Date: June 2015

 

 

palmer advantage.png
Registration Date: April 2013

 

 

arnold-palmer
Registration Date: Aug. 2011

 

ap
Registration Date: July 2006

 

ap swing 2.png
Registration Date: June 1999

 

ap-umb
Registration Date: Sept. 1996

 

 

umbrella
Registration Date: Mar. 1991

 

 

ap umb oldest.png
Registration Date: May 1968


Sponsorships

United Airlines

Cadillac

Hertz

Pennzoil

Xarelto

The Golf Channel, Co-Founder

Arnold Palmer Golf Co., Founder

Sold drink naming rights to AriZona Beverage Company in early 2000s, but “by then iced-tea-and-lemonade was the least of Palmer’s income streams,” according to Yahoo! Finance.


Sources

  1. Kurt Badenhausen, How Arnold Palmer Earned $875 Million During Legendary Career in Golf, Forbes.com (Sept. 26, 2016), available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/09/26/arnold-palmer-earned-875-million-during-legendary-career-in-golf/#667f7143338d
  2.  Golf Legend ArnoldPalmer.com, available at http://www.arnoldpalmer.com/golf
  3. Daniel Roberts, Golf king Arnold Palmer was also king of self-branding, Yahoo! Finance (Sept. 26, 2016), available at  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/golf-king-arnold-palmer-was-also-king-of-self-branding-163255733.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma&utm_content=buffer9c9c0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  4. ARNOLD PALMER, Registration No. 2,146,086
  5. Registration No. 2,147,775
  6. ARNOLD PALMER, Registration No. 1,998,579
  7. ARNOLD PALMER, Registration No. 2,146,086
  8. ARNOLD PALMER, Registration No. 849,445
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