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.
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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