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Boise State denies high school a blue football field

1014 sp bsudo AP

Boise State is known for their trademark blue surface, and the school intends to keep it that way. That is why when Brevard High School in North Carolina learned permission was not granted by Boise State to install a blue football field, but this was not quite a situation in which a big time college football program was cracking down on a high school. It turns out another college team also plays on the same field, and that is why Boise State will not allow for a blue field to be installed. It is all about protecting the brand.

The Idaho Statesman details the power Boise State has over any playing surface that is not the traditional green. Boise State owns a trademark on any non-green playing field in the country, which means any school or organization wishing to install a non-traditional playing field color must get approval from Boise State before doing so. The school has allowed others to install football fields in different colors, but only one other college or university has a blue playing field. That belongs to New Haven because built their field before Boise State gained the trademark for their blue field. In many cases Boise State has been accommodating, but the blue football field is their thing and it will remain that way as long as the school has the power.

“In general, when it’s another color, we do approve it,” Rachael Bickerton, the director of trademark licensing and enforcement at Boise State, told Idaho Statesman. “If a big school wants to put an orange field in, because it’s one of our colors, I can’t necessarily say we’d say yes.”

The news may have come with disappointment for Brevard High School, which had raised $19,000 to install a blue field, but head coach Jason Lippard is understanding of the reasoning behind decision.

“We had such big momentum for this project, and it was fairly easy to raise the funds,” Lippard said to Citizen Times. “But I understand where (Boise State) is coming from. We still think this is going to be one of the nicest fields in Western North Carolina, and our kids are excited about that.”

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27 Responses to “Boise State denies high school a blue football field”
  1. julian1030 says: Mar 28, 2014 2:02 PM

    How can you trademark a color?

    I see a Supreme Court case coming up

  2. cubano76 says: Mar 28, 2014 2:11 PM

    Bad form Boise State! Keep big timing people, and you’ll be back to being known as “that team” that plays on the blue field in no time. Karma + Bad JuJu = Payback

  3. phuzzball says: Mar 28, 2014 2:23 PM

    The blue field is ridiculous anyway

  4. Kevin McGuire says: Mar 28, 2014 2:33 PM

    They do not have a trademark on the color, just the colored field concept.

  5. auburntigers34 says: Mar 28, 2014 3:10 PM

    thanks BSU. one hideous blue field is more than enough.

  6. ancientcougar says: Mar 28, 2014 3:25 PM

    To deny a High School is ridiculous and very bad PR. What if a great player got used to the blue field and wanted to go to Boise State because of it? They just missed out on some free advertising and they don’t even know it. I don’t know what a business degree is worth there?

  7. wabbitslayer says: Mar 28, 2014 3:54 PM

    This is great news for anyone that would have to watch any games whatsoever on such an eyesore.

  8. chunkala says: Mar 28, 2014 4:24 PM

    1) Blue field is so stupid to begin with
    2) Boise State needs the blue field as a slight edge in order to succeed.
    3) Hoping Boise State goes back to the days when no one cared about them
    4) Almost forgot, terrible academics, probably much worse than many Eastern High Schools.

  9. ratsfoiledagain says: Mar 28, 2014 4:48 PM

    Kevin McGuire says:

    Mar 28, 2014 2:33 PM
    They do not have a trademark on the color, just the colored field concept.
    “Boise State owns a trademark on any non-green playing field in the country, which means any school or organization wishing to install a non-traditional playing field color must get approval from Boise State before doing so. ”

    Soldier Field is perpetually brown. Why isn’t BSU suing?

    Trade marks like this are ridiculous.

  10. suprdok says: Mar 28, 2014 5:42 PM

    Tennessee has had a checkerboard endzone for years now other teams have ” stolen” it but no fight there! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Who would want an ugly-ass blue football field anyway!! Could never stand looking at it!

  11. normtide says: Mar 28, 2014 6:27 PM

    Let them keep their gimmick. Soon we will have all forgotten about Boise anyway.

  12. roseann894 says: Mar 28, 2014 6:37 PM

    …and into the trash goes my (no doubt trademarked) Boise State Tshirt.

  13. simoneauchristopher5 says: Mar 28, 2014 7:43 PM

    That is such bull**it. This sets a dangerous precedent too. Time for someone to challenge these guys and get this sham of a trademark taken off the books. I just lost all respect for Boise St.

  14. titansbro says: Mar 28, 2014 7:51 PM

    Unbelievable that they can trademark a blue, or any other color, field. What if my grass dies & turns yellow? Do I needs to request permission for my grass to die? What about teams who paint their endzones? Violation? Unbelievably stupid.

  15. mudhead123 says: Mar 28, 2014 9:49 PM

    How does an irrelevant team trademark anything?

  16. charger383 says: Mar 28, 2014 9:56 PM

    Blue does not belong only to Boise State

  17. sportsguy3434 says: Mar 28, 2014 10:19 PM

    I think they should have to ask permission from every other school or organization in the country if they want to change back to GREEN.

  18. txnative65 says: Mar 29, 2014 2:40 AM

    Watching games played on that blue field is disconcerting, especially if the Broncos wear their blue uniforms. Difficult to see their players on TV, which I assume was the point of making it blue. Eastern Washington in Cheney Wa. plays on a red field—even more disconcerting. Suppose Boise gave them permission.

  19. sirgregmac says: Mar 29, 2014 4:22 AM

    Tweeted CFT on twitter about an error in this article regarding the trademark being “non-blue” which doesn’t make sense since that means they would control all green grass fields too, but then I noticed this: “That belongs to New Haven because built their field”, guessing CFT left out “they”.

  20. mnlaw2012 says: Mar 29, 2014 11:13 AM

    I think a lot of you are upset at the wrong thing. This is no doubt the worst article ever written. How this person got a job writing – I’ll never know.

  21. rolltide510 says: Mar 29, 2014 1:13 PM

    “3) Hoping Boise State goes back to the days when no one cared about them”

    ^ You mean this hasn’t already happened? I briefly cared just enough about them to laugh at their “people’s national champion” antics, but that flash in the pan is over.

  22. dhardy8207 says: Mar 29, 2014 1:46 PM

    I can kind of get why they trademarked the “blue field”, but should that be for all hues of blue. I mean blue comes in alot of different shades.

  23. musketmaniac says: Mar 29, 2014 4:12 PM

    Do you know what I hate worse than that blue grass. Red felt, pool tables should be green also.

  24. daleblazer says: Mar 29, 2014 7:19 PM

    Boise state has issued seventeen licenses for Blue or Navy Blue fields. They also issued license for Massachusetts, Lowell and Yale, Eastern Washington, and yes, even for New England’s blue hockey field, and Hosei University in Japan got their blue turn on after BSU issued them a license. It is their trademark, they control it, I don’t see the problem here.

  25. daleblazer says: Mar 29, 2014 7:22 PM

    Correction, they have issued closer to 30 licenses. 17 for Blue fields, the others for other colors.

  26. ajkmaryland says: Apr 2, 2014 10:04 AM

    NO school or program would have been remotely interested in that color, until Boise decided to sear our retinas with it. They took something unique, made it unique, and they want to keep it unique. I don’t have a big problem with that.

    If I’m Boise’s AD, I continue to build and enhance the brand (yes, that’s what it’s really about), by allowing the use of the color, in a very public way, for a modest licensing fee. Win-Win.

  27. spankmarley says: Apr 3, 2014 4:05 PM

    Reading this article has me feeling blue!

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