NCAA BK

Report: Battle brewing for Dunk City

Image: FGCU Dunk City sign (©Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)
This term united the FGCU community. Could it now tear it apart?
NESN By Anna Fogel
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Jeremy Lin trademarked "Linsanity," Robert Griffin III trademarked "Unbelievably Believable" and Colin Kaepernick trademarked “Kaepernicking,” so it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to get their hands on one of the most popular phrases of the NCAA tournament — "Dunk City."

Charlie Pennachio, a music producer from Fort Myers, Fla., whose son attends Florida Gulf Coast University, says he filed for a trademark of the term on March 25, only a day after FGCU upset San Diego State in the third round, 81-71.

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"It’s a real phenomenon what’s going on in Fort Myers," Pennachio said in an interview with ESPN.com. "We want to start a company, and doing something associated with basketball seemed like a perfect opportunity. We know the university is using it now, but we want to take it to a different kind of level."

While the university has not yet made an attempt to claim the phrase, it could make a move soon. According to the report, "Dunk City" has appeared on merchandise that has been sold by local retailers, on 1,600 IDs for students and as a splash page on the school’s website. After raking in only $20,000 in merchandise sales last year, the university has sold more than $200,000 worth this year, with items being shipped to over 40 states, the report stated.

"Our position is that 'Dunk City' is inextricably linked with FGCU," Michael Van Wieren, general counsel of Licensing Resource Group, the firm that controls the FGCU’s licensing program, told ESPN. "Had it not been for FGCU, ‘Dunk City’ would not have achieved its fame or notoriety."

The first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 received the nickname after throwing down massive alley-oops throughout the tournament, but their Cinderella run ended Friday night with a 62-50 loss to Florida.

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