Founded in 1966, the Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team. Often referred to as the “Bulls”, they play as part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. Based in Chicago, they are unique in that they have not moved cities, changed names or mascots, or even changed their logo dramatically.
The Bulls are renowned for their 1990s dynasty where they saw their greatest success. Led by basketball Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson, they won six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. They are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships while never losing an NBA Finals in their history. The Bulls’ success played a major role in popularizing the NBA worldwide.
The Chicago Bulls set an NBA record, winning 72 games in the 1995-96 season, which was held until 2015/16 when the Golden State Warriors won 73 games. Jordan and Derrick Rose have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards. The Bulls have struggled to regain their former success since 1998 but showed promise during the early 2010s.
The Bulls have rivalries with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks.
Famous Chicago Bulls trademarks
With such a famous brand synonymous with basketball, it’s no wonder that the Chicago Bulls have trademarked many of their assets. Though they haven’t changed their logo much over the years, they have plenty of team slogans and other assets that are well worth protecting. Let’s take a look at some of their most popular trademarks, registered with Chicago Professional Sports Limited Partnership.
The team name, the “Chicago Bulls” was their first registered trademark, filed in 1966 which was registered for “entertainment services namely, professional basketball games”. It’s since been updated several times since then with the most recent addition being in 2020. Now the trademark covers:
- Jewelry, costume jewelry, cuff links, pendants, ornamental lapel pins, watches, jewelry boxes, tie clips, medallions, non-monetary coins of precious metal, precious metals, key chains, key rings, figures and figurines of precious metal, trophies of precious metals
- Entertainment services in the nature of rendering live basketball games and basketball exhibitions
- Hosiery, footwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, tank tops, jerseys, shorts, pajamas, sports shirts, sweaters, hats, and jackets
Chicago Bulls logo
The Chicago Bulls logo hasn’t changed much since it was trademarked in 1968. It consists of a fierce red bull’s head looking front on. In-between the bull’s horns it reads “Chicago Bulls”. It was first registered for use in “entertainment services – namely professional basketball games”, but has since been updated to include:
- Jewelry, costume jewelry, cuff links, pendants, ornamental lapel pins, watches, jewelry boxes, tie clips, medallions, non-monetary coins of precious metal, precious metals, key chains, figures and figurines of precious metal, trophies of precious metals
- Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, basketball sneakers, T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jerseys, nightwear, hats, jackets, headbands, gloves, mittens, scarves, dresses, cheerleading dresses and uniforms, swimwear, and novelty headwear with attached wigs
- Cybercasting services in the nature of providing online chat rooms with guests for the transmission of messages among computer users concerning the field of basketball
- Computerized online store, computer games; computer software, video games, binoculars, eyewear, collectible and novelty items, sports memorabilia, stationery, giftware, pennants, travel accessories, sporting goods, Christmas ornaments, kitchenware, and homeware
- Audio, video, computer, and laser discs, all related to basketball, computer accessories, computer programs featuring information, statistics, and/or trivia about basketball, and video game software
- Bags, umbrellas, backpacks, luggage, luggage tags, wallets, briefcases, fanny packs, waist packs, and suitcases
- Toys and sporting goods, computerized basketball table game machines, basketball tabletop games, basketball board games, dolls, stuffed toys, toy trucks, jigsaw puzzles, and cardboard trading disk games
- Printed publications on the subject of basketball, namely basketball trading cards, stickers, decals, commemorative basketball stamps, stationary, photographs, posters, calendars, and magazines in the field of basketball
Benny the Bull
Benny the Bull is the Chicago Bulls’ main mascot. First appearing in 1969, he is one of the oldest and best-known mascots across all professional sports. Benny is a family-friendly-looking red bull who wears the number 1 jersey. Benny the Bull was trademarked in 2012 and applies to:
- Entertainment services in the nature of performances and live appearances by a costumed mascot character at basketball games and exhibitions, clinics, promotions, schools, special events, parties, and social, cultural, charitable, and educational events
More: Trademarking a mascot
The “Incredibulls” is the Chicago Bulls’ entertainment team who welcomes and engages Bulls fans of all ages. They perform elite cheer stunt routines during timeouts and halftimes, with the purpose being crowd engagement. They also help execute promotions, contests, and T-shirt tosses. The “Incredibulls” was actually originally trademarked in 1995 (though was spelled “Incredi bulls” as two separate words) but was then updated in 2016 to be one word and includes:
- Entertainment and educational services in the nature of ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball and rendering live basketball games; conducting and arranging basketball clinics and camps, dance team clinics, camps, and basketball games, entertainment services in the nature of personal appearances by a costumed mascot or dance team at basketball games and exhibitions, and other basketball-related events
- Entertainment services, namely, providing a website featuring multimedia material in the nature of pre-recorded television highlights, and radio programs, providing news and information in the nature of statistics and trivia in the field of basketball; providing online non-downloadable game software, namely, computer games, video games, adults and children’s party games, and trivia games
- Electronic publishing services, namely, publication of magazines, newsletters, coloring books, and game schedules online through the Internet, live performances by clown-like characters and magicians at professional basketball games, promotional events, and exhibitions
“See Red” is a recent Chicago Bulls slogan based on their official 2013 playoffs campaign. Their aim was for fans to participate by wearing red at home playoff game days to help show their support. This campaign then returned for the 2022 NBA playoffs. The application for this trademark was made in April 2022 and is still pending. If approved, it will apply to:
- Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jerseys, nightwear, hats, warm-up clothing, jackets, coats, baby bibs not of paper, undergarments, gloves, mittens, scarves, dresses, cheerleading dresses and uniforms, swimwear, novelty headwear with attached wigs, and knit face masks being headwear
- Entertainment and educational services in the nature of ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball and rendering live basketball games and basketball exhibitions
- Conducting and arranging basketball clinics and camps, coaches clinics and camps, dance team clinics and camps, and basketball games; entertainment services in the nature of personal appearances by a costumed mascot or dance team at basketball games and other basketball-related events
- Entertainment services, namely, providing a website featuring non-downloadable multimedia material in the nature of television highlights, interactive television highlights, video recordings, and radio programs, providing news and information in the nature of statistics and trivia in the field of basketball; online non-downloadable games, namely, computer games, video games, entertainment services in the nature of fantasy basketball leagues, and providing an online computer database in the field of basketball
The Chicago Bulls are one of the biggest names in sports history, not just in the field of basketball. Their 1990s dynasty and the reputation of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s success led to the NBA’s becoming popularized across the world.
Though they haven’t changed the team name, location, mascot, or logo much since being set up in 1966, they’ve still registered over 30 trademarks, including their team name, popular slogans, campaign names, entertainment team, and team mascots. As a team that’s valued at $4.1 billion, it’s no wonder they’re protecting their assets!