University of Arkansas
Somewhere way out in the SEC hinterlands
Fayetteville/Little Rock, Arkansas
Re: Unauthorized Use of the phrase “Never Yield”
To whom it may concern;
We recently became aware that the University of Arkansas football program is utilizing the phrase “Never Yield” as part of its marketing scheme for the upcoming football season. As that phrase is part of the Auburn University fight song and is the legal name of the organization we represent (The Never to Yield Foundation) which was created to promote a positive image and battle negativity directed at Auburn University, we as the directors of the Never to Yield Foundation own exclusive rights to the phrase “Never to Yield” and any derivatives thereof, including “Never Yield.” *
The phrase Never Yield is so substantially and materially similar to the phrase Never to Yield that undeniable brand confusion could exist. As such, the Never to Yield brand would be diminished and suffer potential harm from the association with Arkansas’ use of the slogan Never Yield.
We are writing to direct you immediately to cease and desist from uttering that phrase, using it as a slogan on billboards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, men’s bras, women’s bras, bikinis, mousepads, visors, sweatshirts, sweaters, boxer shorts, overalls, corn cob pipes, chainsaws, recruitment letters or any other item associated with the University of Arkansas.
We must also request that Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema refrain from tattooing it anywhere on his person.
Should his wife elect to have this phrase tattooed on her person, we respectfully request first right of refusal and would demand high quality digital images of the proposed tattoo sketched onto her body with an erasable pen be submitted to Clay Travis and his Outkick the Coverage blog so that the rest of the college football world may inspect it for content and judge its relative merit. On the request of Travis, photos with a wider scope may be included, also in high quality digital format, so the collective readership may consider the entire body of work and how it might be represented.
We are the sole owners of copyright to the phrase “Never to Yield.” * As the sole owners of copyright, we hold the exclusive right to reproduce, modify, post, and distribute this phrase and items bearing it and to grant others permission to exercise one or more of those rights. We have not authorized Coach Bret Bielema or the University of Arkansas to reproduce, modify or distribute this phrase in whole or in part.
Accordingly, Coach Bret Bielema nor the University of Arkansas have no lawful right to copy, distribute, advertise, offer for sale and/or sell any material that copies, in whole or in part, or is based on the term “Never to Yield.” We demand that the Univerisity of Arkansas, Coach Bret Bielema, Arkansas assistant coaches, Arkansas staff and Arkansas fans immediately:
1. Remove all references to this phrase from your vocabulary.
2. Destroy copies of this phrase on any marketing materials that have thus far been printed, with the exception of the aforementioned tattoo.
3. Notify all persons affiliated with the University of Arkansas and its fanbase that they may no longer utter this phrase in connection with any University of Arkansas event.
4. Notify us of how many copies of promotional materials you have sold and the price at which they were sold. And then send us a check for the full amount plus a 10% inconvenience fee.
5. Provide written assurances to me that you have complied with these directives and will not in the future attempt to use the phrase Never Yield in connection with the University of Arkansas and its athletic programs.
Submit this information and your written assurances to us no later than today so we do not have to consider further action.
* Point of fact:
The Never to Yield Foundation doesn’t actually OWN the copyright to the phrase “Never to Yield”, but it’s been ours for several years now. It truly belongs to Auburn (it’s actually trademarked) and to the family of Auburn fans around the world. It is ours and has been since our fight song was penned in 1954.
We know Coach Bielema comes from the Big Ten where fight songs are annoying and sound like badgers or beavers or some other forest creature mating with a foghorn, but in the SEC things like tradition matter to us. Our fight songs are uplifting and inspiring. They reduce grown men to tears of pride almost like the national anthem does. Ever to Conquer, Never to Yield. Those phrases are Auburn’s exclusive territory. They’re in OUR fight song. They belong to us. Why would you try to butt in on that?
We also realize that this phrase may be in the Arkansas fight song, but let’s be honest here. Who knows the words to the Arkansas fight song? We asked ten random people on the streets of Smackover Arkansas to recite the lyrics to the Arkansas fight song and eight bellowed Soo Soo Sueyo or something akin. One threw a rock at us. The other began to tell us a story about his pappy and a moonshiner so we left.
Would you ask the Hog fans to change their battle cry to Geaux Hoggers? Would you change the slogan to “Fight On, Fight On, Fight On Pigs!” Why would you even want to adopt something that’s so closely identified with one of your division rivals as your own?
To put it in terms Coach Bielema might understand it would be like McDonalds starting a new ad campaign built around the phrase “Have It Your Way.” Or Old Milwaukee advertising itself as The King of Beers. Wouldn’t work, would it?
We’re honestly a bit surprised that Arkansas fans would even accept this. But then they’ve always been a bit irrational. They’re so hungry to be on par with the SEC’s big boys that they’d accept almost anything short of chagrined road rash and even that was tolerable to most.
Here’s the other thing. Maybe Coach Bielema hasn’t been around the SEC very long, but even so he can’t be oblivious to history. Arkansas has done a whole lot of yielding over the years.
The two greatest coaches of Arkansas’ SEC era (Bobby Petrino and Houston Nutt) are a combined six games over .500. The much hailed Petrino was just 17-15 in his time there.
Since the inception of the SEC Championship game in 1992, Arkansas is below .500 in the league. The Hogs are 80- 86 in that span.
Arkansas has been to the SEC Championship game three times in twenty-one years. Never won it. Auburn’s been four times and won twice. LSU’s been five, Alabama’s been eight.
The only teams in the West to win an SEC title since 1992 are Auburn, Alabama and LSU. The only teams in the West to win (or be in a position to win) a national title since the 1980s are Auburn, Alabama and LSU.
Confidence is one thing. We’re glad you have it, Coach Bielema. But before you start stealing things that belong to teams that have more historical success and tradition than yours does, perhaps it would be a good idea to actually DO something first. And we mean something other than show off your physique at the beach. We know they don’t have beaches in badger country so you were unaccustomed to that situation, but good grief. That’s what Tommy Bahama makes shirts the size of boat sails for.
Win a few games. Then start with the slogans. Just don’t steal ours or Alabama’s or LSU’s. Steal Mississippi or Mississippi State’s if you want. But it would be better if you came up with your own idea after you’ve done something noteworthy in this league.
We trust you’ll see the error of your ways and come up with another slogan. Immediately.