This is pretty damned cheeky, don’t you think?
Texas coach Charlie Strong has turned the phrase #Letsride into his social media clarion call. When the Longhorns land a new recruit, Strong tweets out the catchy phrase as something of a de facto press release.
Texas officials were surprised Monday after learning that a reporter who covers Longhorns recruiting had trademarked Strong’s phrase in March 2015 and recently started selling #Letsride T-shirts.
Jason Higdon, the lead recruiting analyst for Horns Digest, filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year to use the phrase on various sports apparel and wristbands.
Higdon, who actively talks to UT recruits and reports on whether they are leaning toward the Horns, recently began promoting a website selling Lets Ride Sports merchandise.
In a message board thread initiated Monday on Horns Digest, Higdon wrote, “I understand everyone has an opinion. I want to promote commitment back in team sports.
“Regardless the team, I am in talks with high school football programs in the southeast, little league baseball teams etc,” Higdon continued. “Doesn’t matter if its 13 year olds, 18 year olds or 25 year olds, and regardless of the team they all must have a certain level of commitment. The ‘LetsRide Initiative,’ which means commitment to yourself, to your teammates and your coaching staff is something I came up with. It just kind of evolved into what it is today.”
… Before Strong arrived in Austin prior to the 2014 season, #Letsride was not a part of the UT lexicon. According to the coach’s Twitter timeline, Strong first used the phrase on Feb. 22, 2014, after getting a commitment from Huntsville offensive lineman Buck Major.
That’s one heck of a coincidence. I guess this was, too.
On Monday morning, the site offered “Texas Orange” shirts featuring white and black lettering with the phrase #Letsride. After the Statesman began making inquiries, the website changed its language during the afternoon and was selling “Dark Orange” shirts.
I assume the school, which hasn’t commented, is either pissed off or kicking itself for not having thought of it first. Bet that won’t happen again.