Sport Slogans and Trademark Law: Are the Dallas Cowboys Really ‘America’s Team’?, p. 53-55

John McMillen
Rebecca McMillen

Love or hate them, the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team.” For more than 30 years, the prominent National Football League team has referred to itself as “America’s Team,” a reference to their national appeal and popularity, but also a term that infuriates opposing teams and fans. However, according to a Texas federal district court, the Dallas Cowboys indeed are America’s team for trademark purposes (Dallas Cowboys Football Clubs, Ltd. v. Am.’s Team Props., 2009). This article analyzes the Dallas Cowboys and National Football League’s 2009 lawsuit against America’s Team Properties and then presents implications for sport marketers. This case illustrates the importance of sport marketers completing proper trademark registration and also verifying whether a mark is already in use.