Tue, Apr 23, 2013 | by Emily SchettlerShare
Des Moines’ RAGBRAI T-shirts were set to go on sale this week, but those planning RAGBRAI’s overnight stay in the capital city had to go back to the drawing board after learning they could not use the term RAGBRAI on commercial items such as T-shirts.
The Des Moines Register reported on the chosen theme and logo last week. However, Chris Diebel, operations chairman for the planning committee, said his group learned over the weekend they would have to re-think their theme, “RAGBRAI Des Moines: Greatest bike ride in the world. Greatest city in the world.”
That’s because the word RAGBRAI and a handful of other marks and names are trademarked and can only be used by “official RAGBRAI bicycle shops and select Friends of RAGBRAI” with advance permission from the Des Moines Register, according to the RAGBRAI XLI – Overnight Town Handbook that is given to organizers in each town at the beginning of the planning process.
Cyclists will stay in Des Moines on July 23. RAGBRAI draws 10,000 riders annually for the annual weeklong ride at the end of July.
Overnight towns are allowed to use the word promotionally but not commercially, RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz said. “Just like you can’t use the TigerHawk logo of the University of Iowa or Cy from Iowa State, the same applies to the word and logo of RAGBRAI.”
The same rule applies for RAGBRAI XLI, RIDE RIGHT, and the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, according to the handbook.
The RAYGUN T-shirt store, which designed the logo, channeled the popular movie Fight Club to poke fun at the oversight on its Facebook page. “The first rule about bike rides across Iowa is that you don’t mention bike rides across Iowa by name,” they wrote.
Diebel said it was an innocent mistake. Diebel and RAYGUN owner Mike Draper said they’re working to modify the logo now.
“The skyline with the bike spokes is nice,” Draper said. “I think people will buy that, but we have to reconfigure the tagline.”