Riley could earn $150,000 if Lakers three-peat
Justin Rice of the Palm Beach Post reports: Miami Heat coach Pat Riley may not coach the Lakers anymore, but he'll have reason to celebrate if they win their third consecutive NBA title.
Riley, whose licensing group Riles & Co. registered "three-peat" as a trademark in 1989, could make up to $150,000 if the Lakers win.
The Lakers have a 3-0 lead against New Jersey heading into Game 4 at 9 tonight.
Riley's investment paid off during the 1990s when the Chicago Bulls three-peated twice.
The former Lakers coach makes 5 percent of all net proceeds from the trademark. Riley has said all proceeds have and will be donated to charity, but he never has named charities or disclosed the amounts of past donations. A Heat spokesman said Riley wasn't commenting.
If the Lakers win, Industry sources estimate that $3 million in "three-peat" merchandise will be manufactured, including hats, pennants, backboards, towels and posters.
During the week to 10-day period after the Bulls' third championship in 1993, 15 companies were licensed to print "three-peat" on merchandise.
Riley may not benefit from sports teams that "three-peat" in the future. Once a patented term becomes part of the public domain of sports clich?s, patent holders stop earning money from its use.
Sports terms that were patented and no longer earn money include hat trick, shutout and triple-double. But Riley planned ahead by putting a trademark on "four-ward." "In case we won four in a row, we also had the next year covered too," he said at the time.