Formula One (F1) has trademarked the ‘Shoey’ – here’s why
Formula One has trademarked the term ‘shoey’ – the Australian celebration of drinking out of a shoe. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), it has been implemented across 25 countries including the United States of America, Germany, Australia and Malaysia to name a few.
Interestingly, the trademark only applies to one category, but it’s a crucial one as it covers merchandising opportunities for products such as glassware, mugs and figurines.
The ‘shoey’ has been a seemingly long-standing celebration in Australia that recently made it’s way into the mainstream limelight when Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo wins a Grand Prix. The Australian is famous for celebrating a victory by pouring champagne into his race boot and drinking from it – he’s also managed to get celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart and Gerard Butler as well as fellow racing drivers to follow suit.
Formula One won’t be able to stop any athletes from celebrating in this way, but it could stop them from selling any merchandise that falls within the remit of their trademark. So why trademark it? Ever since Liberty Media bought Formula One for £5.8 billion in January 2017, it has worked on rebranding the sport and set about appealing to a wider, younger audience.
From the introduction of ‘Grid Kids’ this season instead of Grid Girls to hiring iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer to introduce the drivers at last-year’s US Grand Prix at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), Liberty Media has worked heavily on the show that is Formula One. The move to trademark the term will no doubt see the introduction of shoe-shaped beer stein’s, surely?!
It’s not just Ricciardo who’s celebrated with a shoey, fellow countryman David Reynolds drank from a shoe after taking a victory in the V8 Supercar series, as did Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller, who drank Champagne out of his boot on the podium at Assen, after taking his first premier class victory at the Dutch TT.
Obtaining the rights to the term has not been plain sailing for Formula One. The ‘Shoey’ was actually a brainchild of surfing and fishing brand, The Mad Hueys , fronted by Dean and Shaun Harrington. Formula One also applied for the trademark to apply in the category for clothing, however this was cancelled due to an earlier registration of an individual related to The Mad Hueys.
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