F1 angers many Australians as it trademarks the “Shoey”

Well, well, well. Here we go again. As you probably know by now, I’m not really a fan of commercialization of sports. Because of this and because I have quite a few friends in Australia I felt really annoyed when I heard the news coming from the Formula One last week.

F1 decided that they felt the need to trademark the Shoey – the podium celebration of Australian F1-driver Daniel Ricciardo. Whenever he wins a race (which, now luckily) is not every other weekend, the man from Perth, Western Australia, enjoys a sip of champagne. From his boot.

Youtube.com/Jacques Erasmus

How could you possibly want to trademark something like that in a sport that decided only a few weeks ago to ban the grid girls, because the F1 wanted to improve their image and their family friendliness. Now, on the other hand, they start trademarking a word that represents drinking alcohol out of a shoe. In my opinion that is somehow hypocritical.

But it’s not only about that. Not at all. The reason why F1 decided to trademark the Shoey is not that they want to encourage people to start drinking from their shoes. It’s, obviously, money. They didn’t trademark the entire word, they also can’t ban anyone from doing a Shoey (good news for any Australian). What they’re eligible of doing now is to be the only one who can sell mugs, flaks, glasses, bottles, sculptures and figurines with the word “Shoey” on it.

As you can see, some people on Twitter really aren’t happy with that:

The Shoey has, since about 15 years, somehow been part of Australian (drinking) culture. When I explored the country as a backpacker a few years ago it was already a thing to do it among the locals and it was great fun. The term has mainly been branded by the Australian surfing and fishing brand “The Mad Hueys”. It’s also them who kept the term trademarked in the clothing category – so there probably won’t be any F1-Shoey-shirts for sale anytime soon. Who really invented the Shoey in the end remains kind of unclear, though.

Obviously, what the F1 did is perfectly fine from a legal perspective, I want to make this clear here. Yet, I also believe it’s questionable if they really had to take this term – that obviously means a lot to some Australians – and trademark it as theirs, just because Daniel Ricciardo celebrates like that and they feel like generating some extra bucks from selling a few Shoey mugs would really make that much of a difference.

To prove, how pissed of some Australians are about this: watch the hilarious (and obviously slightly overexaggerated) video of Australian comedian Frenchy reacting to the news:



What‘ s your opinion on the F1 trademarking the Shoey? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Featured image source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_from_shoes

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Watch: Unibet hilariously pranks Darts-Superstars to take a stand against commercialization in sports

Sports is, due to its immense popularity, an easy victim for commercialization. Starting with advertising on athlete’s shirts or by providing material like skis or darts that enjoy constant media-attetion, commercialization has never since come to a halt anywhere.

Today, we have to accept events and teams being renamed after donators and companies and traditional English football cups being drawn in Beijing at 04:15 A.M. just for one thing: cash. Of course, only thanks to this money a professional, globally spread sports industry with players or athletes thrilling masses and performing at a level as high as never before, has become possible.

Without sponsoring and commercialization, sports would never be on its current level. However, more and more fans and sports-enthusiasts start to ask themselves the same question: would that really be so terrible, after all?

Especially in smaller sports that still have a close connection to their roots from back when it was just a hobby for everyone participating, people fear about the identity of their beloved sport. As soon as money gets involved, they feel that things change rapidly. Along with new sponsors come new demands, new marketing strategies, new people. Faster, higher, further.

One of the most affected sports, when it comes to commercialization, is darts. Twenty years ago, before the PDC was founded, there were hardly any professional darts players around, that could make a living from their passion. The sport might not have been as much of an event as today, its image might have been a shady one with everyone imagining 40-year-old guys with beer bellies throwing darts through a dusty basement room, filled up with clouds of cigarette smoke. However, the sport still was one thing: Genuine. Honest. Real.

Nowadays, darts players have become famous superstarts, role models if you want. And they make solid cash from their sport as well, if they’re among the best of the world. At a major tournament they can easily win a couple of ten thousands of Dollars. These torunaments, however, are often called „William Hill World Darts Championship“ or „Unibet Darts Premier League“ – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

How far commercialziation could come, gets hillariously demonstrated in this video, made by Unibet, the sponsor of the Darts Premier League. In the video, two top darts players, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen get pranked. In a conference room, an actor who presents himself as an official from the bookie proposes several marketing strategies to the athletes. From putting an ad on van Gerwens bald head to making them enter the stage on a horse, one idea is weirder than the other.

Watch the prank video here:

Even if it’s only a PR-strategy, the video has a message: commercialization needs to come to a halt somewhere. We, the sports fans and journalists, the athletes, the oraganizations and also the sponsors need to stay vigilant. Because we don’t want commercialization to ruin our beloved world of sports.

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