A church in Northern Illinois claims Adidas is on a vicious campaign to torpedo the organization, and Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is caught in the middle.
The Christian Faith Fellowship Church in Zion, Ill., trademarked the name Add A Zero as a campaign to sell clothing and other items to raise money for a new building, a local food pantry and a day care program. Worthwhile endeavors, all.
But in 2009, years after the Church got its trademark, Adidas tried to register the name ADIZERO, for a sub-brand of its athletic clothing. Adidas is marking the line, using Bulls point guard and Chicago native Derrick Rose as its spokesperson.
The U.S. Trademark Office negged Adidas because the church registered it first.
Adidas offered the Church $5,000 to give up the name, and was turned down.
Then, in November 2010, Adidas petitioned the U.S. Trademark Office to cancel the Church's trademark, on ground the Church hadn't used it enough.
The petition is pending, but three weeks ago, Pastor E. James Logan from the Church sent letters to Adidas, begging them to back down. He wrote:"I have long been an admirer of Adidas and would not expect a company of your stature to try to use wealth and power to bully a working class church."
The Pastor also wrote Rose, pleading for him to knock some sense into Adidas.
Rose rose from one of the Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods to star for a franchise that has been searching for Michael Jordan's replacement since 1998.
He just signed a five year, $94.8 million contract with the Bulls, and has said he would like to use some of his newfound riches to improve his old neighborhood.
He says he'd like to bring indoor basketball courts and after-school programs to Englewood. Maybe he can start by helping this church keep its trademark.