Anthony Davis’ unibrow—the center of much debate among his teammates and the media—could earn him big bucks in the NBA. CNBC reported that number one NBA draft pick Davis trademarked the catchphrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” earlier this month. “I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it,” Davis told CNBC. “Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.”
But Davis may have a trademark battle on his hands. Reid Coffman, owner of the University of Kentucky apparel store Blue Zone, claims that he created the slogan and already owns the rights to the “Fear the Brow” trademark. Coffman told TMZ that he would be willing to sell … for a high price. “If someone like Nike took this slogan over it could be worth millions,” he said.
NCAA rules prevented Davis from capitalizing on “The Brow” during his freshman year at Kentucky, where he won a National Championship: Any player who profits from his image while playing in the NCAA risks losing his eligibility. But the school’s athletic department did attempt to control the distribution of Davis-themed merchandise. “We sent have a dozen cease-and-desist letters,” Jason Schlafer, the athletic department’s marketing director, told CNBC. “But towards the end of the season people were getting really creative.” Davis filed for the trademark rights shortly before being drafted by the New Orleans Hornets and most likely will either have to pay Coffman for the catchphrase or enter a legal battle with him.
Perhaps Davis could ask for trademarking advice from the phenom Jeremy Lin: The Knicks’ point guard undertook the process of trademarking “Linsanity” five games into New York’s seven-game winning streak, but had to outlast other contenders for the rights before becoming the only remaining applicant at the end of May. The wait will have been worth it: Jeremy Lin’s jersey was the second top-selling jersey in the league after that of Bulls’ 2011 MVP Derrick Rose, according to the NBA. And “Linsanity” gear flew off the shelves last season.
Davis hopes that he too will be able to reap profits from his newfound stardom. An integral part of that financial success will, of course, be the brow, which he will continue to sport in the NBA. When asked if a razor company could pay him to shave his unibrow in two, Davis said, “I might have a commercial where I’m acting like I’m shaving it and then I’ll throw the razor down.”