Mark Cuban, owner of 'City of Champions' trademark, stands to profit on Bay Area championships

ByMarc Stein and Darren Rovell ESPN logo
Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Golden State Warriors andSan Jose Sharkshave an unlikely fan in their twin bid to bring the championship from their respective leagues home to the Bay Area:Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

If both the Warriors and Sharks win championships this month, Cuban stands to profit because he holds the trademark for the "City of Champions" T-shirts that are routinely sold in cities that can claim two or more reigning champions in North America's four major team sports.

'If the Mavs don't win," Cuban told Wednesday, "at least there is always a chance for a win in there somewhere for me."

This is the ninth time the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup finals have both featured a team from the same market; none of those previous nine occasions produced dual champions from the same area.

An online record from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office secured by shows that Cuban is indeed the registered owner of the phrase, with the intent to use it on everything from T-shirts to hats to pajamas.

The trademark was originally registered by an insurance agent in Florida named Charles Scrabis in June 2010. The trademark was later transferred to Cuban, according to the record.

Cuban has previously said he paid nearly $40,000 for the trademark.

It's no surprise that Cuban has interest in the phrase; his native Pittsburgh is the most associated with it.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979. ThePittsburgh Pirateswere Major League Baseball champions concurrently with the Steelers in 1979, while theUniversity of Pittsburghwas the No. 1-ranked team in the country in college football to end the 1976 season.

The "City of Champions" branding rose to prominence in Boston as thePatriots,Red Sox,BruinsandCelticstook home championships in the past 12 years. It also became popular in Pittsburgh again when the Steelers and NHL's Penguins won titles four months apart in 2008.