If you were hoping to cash in on your not-popular-until-recently unibrow, you will no longer be able to do it by using the phrases “Fear the Brow” or “Raise the Brow”. Unless of course, you license them from Anthony Davis, the projected number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft. In an astute business move, Davis hired a trademark attorney and filed trademark registration applications for the aforementioned phrases in anticipation that his attached brows will become all the rage when he hits the NBA. CNBC had a pretty interesting read (http://www.cnbc.com/id/47951613) about the rise of unibrow-mania while Davis was playing college ball at Kentucky and opportunistic vendors trying to make a quick buck off his unique look. According to the CNBC article:
“During Davis’ freshman year at Kentucky, where he led the Wildcats to a National Championship, Davis didn’t capitalize on all the “Brow” merchandise that was being sold due to NCAA rules which would compromise his eligibility. The school kept a close eye on merchants that sold any “Brow” merchandise.”
The University of Kentucky stayed busy sending out cease-and-desist letters and trying to stem the creative use of unibrows by merchants. As an amateur college basketball player, Davis wasn’t able to exploit the marketability of his look, but now that Davis is going pro and no longer beholden to NCAA rules, he will be in control of the “Brow”.
As reported by CNBC, Davis said “I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it. . . . Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.”
Anyone daring enough to intentionally grow a unibrow should be rewarded for their bravery, but don’t try to profit from the “Fear the Brow” or “Raise the Brow” catchphrases. Those are all Davis’s. And the decision to trademark the slogans might just pay off. Catchy phrases can be marketing gold. Just look at Nike’s catchphrase “Just do it.”
Maintaining the exclusivity of the phrase has undoubtedly created millions of dollars for Nike, selling t-shirts and apparel portraying the tag line. Davis hopes to do the same by parlaying his distinct brows with success on the court to create a golden marketing opportunity.
Davis has refused to shave his unibrow despite frequent, unsolicited advice from others to do so. Smart man Anthony. Not too many of us can rock a unibrow with pride, but Davis is cementing his pride with a US trademark registration.