North Texas complained that ESPN’s ad was copyright infringement and ESPN acquiesced.
ESPN copped to making an unfortunate error in an ad for Saturday’s Michigan-Michigan State game after receiving a complaint from North Texas.
ABC will air the Wolverines-Spartans game on Saturday night and the network is promoting the matchup with an ad that identifies MSU as “Mean Green.” The ad ran during Tuesday night’s Yankees-Twins Wild Card Game and immediately left viewers scratching their heads, given that Mean Green is already the nickname for another college football team: North Texas.
UNT athletic director Wren Baker spotted the appropriation and helpfully reminded the network that it was a clear case of copyright infringement.
Hey @espn & @MSU_Athletics , without a doubt @MeanGreenSports is the hottest athletic dept in the country. BUT you can’t just try to steal #MeanGreen. It’s trademarked and has been for a very, very long time. Cease and desist letter on the way. https://t.co/7g69KeEm0T— Wren Baker (@wrenbaker) October 4, 2017
It didn’t take long for ESPN to respond. Baker said Wednesday morning that he had spoken with the network and the commercial had already been amended.
Baker also pointed out to USA Today that Michigan State has previously referred to itself as Mean Green, though in a basketball context. Baker said he’s spoken with MSU AD Mark Hollis about the issue as well.