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Sod Poodles GM paints a positive picture with possible trademark fight looming large

Amarillo Sod Poodles
Amarillo Sod Poodles President and General Manager Tony Ensor says that everything with the city's new AA minor league baseball team is "going according to schedule."

“The last several months have been amazing. From our reveal that had 700-plus people to the positive reach we have gotten outside of Amarillo. It’s been extremely well received all over the country and people are excited about it. It couldn’t have gone any better. It was very well done and I’m proud of our staff.

“We’re 85 percent toward our season ticket goal. We’ll be out of season tickets before long. At that point we’ll offer half season plans in January and move to smaller plans in February. We’ve tried to structure this where everyone can be involved. And we do have a name the mascot contest that’s coming down the line, with the focus there being the kids. Our mascot is being made by the same company that creates Disney characters. Everything we’re doing is going to the next level. The mascot will be more known than I am. I’ll be second or third fiddle.”

“Everything is going according to schedule. Around the first of the year we also anticipate releasing our full promotional schedule. Everything in the ballpark targets the fan experience. You go down there and look at the bullpens - you’re five feet away from a guy throwing 96 to 100 miles-per-hour. It’s amazing, the site lines and a 35 x 60 scoreboard. It’s a labor of love, we are passionate about it and passionate about the people of Amarillo who have allowed us to come into the community and be a part of it," Ensor told the Amarillo Globe News.

While Ensor is attempting to paint a positive picture about the development of the organization, a possible trademark fight over the team's name is still looming large on the horizon. This could pose a problem for the team since it has already started marketing and selling merchandise using the Amarillo Sod Poodles name.

In an interesting development shortly after the team's name reveal, the Amarillo Sod Poodles found out that the organization may not legally own the name. According to records available online, Stone Ranch Media filed a trademark for "Amarillo Sod Poodles" on June 2 of this year before the team.

"We are aware of this individual and we are following the trademark processes and procedures. We are not at all concerned and will let the process play out. We could not be more excited and confident about our name, this brand, and our logo.

"Sod Poodles is our brand and identity. We created it, and our community brought it to life.

"There is no way we are going to allow an outside individual who has nothing to do with our team try to take advantage of our team and this community," Amarillo Sod Poodles General Manager Tony Ensor said in a statement.

Stone Ranch Media is owned by Dusty and Nikki Green.

"I love baseball. Deeply. It's one of my life's true passions. I especially love minor league baseball. From Pensacola to Charleston to Port St. Lucie to Akron to Round Rock to Corpus to Omaha to Durham to Augusta to Frisco and so many more, wherever we travel Nik and I will go out of our way to take in a minor league game. So we "get" minor league baseball. And we have fervently supported the return of MiLB to Amarillo since way back when it was just one of those crazy ideas nobody thought would ever really happen. So there's that.

"More importantly, I have never once asked for a single dime from Amarillo Professional Baseball. Never. They made me three offers back in September - recognizing that my trademark had priority - and I simply told them I wasn't interested. And I honestly thought that was the end of it. And that was fine. I thought it was settled and done.

"And beyond that, my reasons are my reasons. We are indeed working on our Sod Poodles gear - among other things - and hope to get it out there after the first of the year.

"But - and I mean this - however this whole trademark thing turns out, rest assured we'll be right there watching our hometown team kick some butt in that shiny new downtown ballpark next spring. (If they let me in, that is.) Because regardless of the name of the team taking the field, or the name or logo on their jerseys, I do wholeheartedly believe it will be an amazing thing for downtown Amarillo. And I sincerely hope to see y'all there," Green said.

It's worth noting that Sod Poodles was not actually entered in the team's much publicized name the team contest. Ensor confirmed the winner of the contest submitted Prairie Dogs and the baseball team added a “minor league baseball spin" to the name.

"This has been an amazing journey that we have taken with the community here in Amarillo. Our goal from the beginning was to create an iconic identity that appeals to kids and families and is unlike any other in the country.

“I fell in love with the name. It’s incredible, authentic and very unique. This is authentically Amarillo and we think this is going to be a big hit all over the country and all over the world but most importantly, here in Amarillo and Texas," Ensor said.

The winner of the naming contest has not yet been disclosed.

“We’ve been in communication with the winner of the contest but they weren’t able to come out today,” Ensor said.

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