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Texas A & M

Texas A&M And Seattle Seahawks Have Reached 12th Man Trademark Settlement

May 09, 2006
Contact Information:
Rachel Dohmann
Texas A&M Foundation

To: Texas A&M Students, Faculty and Staff

Subject: 12th Man Trademark Settlement

I'm pleased to inform you that, after months of negotiations, the university has reached an amicable agreement with the Seattle Seahawks resolving the controversy regarding the use of Texas A&M's 12th Man trademark. Under the agreement, the university has granted the NFL team a license to use the 12th Man trademark in a seven-state area in the northwest that encompasses the current primary broadcast area of the Seahawks. As is the case of all licensees, the Seattle Seahawks will pay the university a licensing fee and will state publicly that Texas A&M owns the 12th Man trademark each time it is used.

It is hard for non-Aggies-and the media-to understand the depth of what the 12th Man reference and depiction-and the underlying tradition - means to Texas A&M and as a result, the university was criticized for vigorously opposing use of the trademark by the Seahawks. As you know, the 12th Man is more than a trademark, greater than football and certainly more than changing the course of a football game. The 12th Man is a call to action for Aggies. It symbolizes loyalty and our unique Aggie Spirit. It creates friendships where none existed before, heals wounds that seemed to be beyond repair and creates a common language that Aggies speak all over the world.

We had no choice but to challenge the Seattle Seahawks, just as we must protect and defend in every way possible all of our trademarks - and none is more crucial than that of the 12th Man because of all it means to Aggies. We have not only protected the 12 Man trademark, but have strengthened it for the future to ensure that others cannot successfully challenge us.

Now, we are in a position to license our trademark as a means of broadening our coverage and unquestioned ownership of the mark in both professional and collegiate sports.

In the fall, you will see an unprecedented focus on our 12th Man trademark here at Texas A&M. Our goal is to maximize the recognition and connection to our school.

Gig Em'

Steven B. Moore

Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President for Communications
Texas A&M Foundation

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