Nova Scotia

Bid for Halifax CFL team steams ahead with Atlantic Schooners trademark

Documents formalized on Dec. 1 show the group behind the push to bring a team to Halifax would have the sole right to use the team name on a long list of souvenirs and others items.

Group behind franchise push registers name

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, centre, meets with Maritime fans during the Atlantic Schooners Down East Kitchen Party last month in Ottawa. (Devin Heroux/CBC Sports)

A proposed CFL franchise for Halifax continues to gain momentum, with the group behind it trademarking the name Atlantic Schooners.

The trademark was formalized on Dec. 1 and gives the proponents the sole right to use of the team name on a long list of souvenirs and others items, ranging from licence-plate holders to golf umbrellas and even Christmas ornaments.

Included on the list, according to online records, is "wholesale and retail sales of sporting goods, athletic and casual clothing, and novelty items; online retail sale of sporting goods, athletic and casual clothing and novelty items."


Anthony Leblanc, who is part of the group trying to bring a team to Halifax, told TSN the trademark was registered "just for safety, just in case we want that name," but there's still a long way to go before a name is selected.

"We're going through the process now of testing certain names in the market by doing some polling," he told TSN. "What I'd like to do is a name-the-team contest where everyone can be engaged. But based on the feedback I'm hearing today it's going to be tough to go with anything but Schooners because that seems to be about 5-to-1 [in favour]."

LeBlanc, a New Brunswick native who is former president and CEO of the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, is listed as president and CEO of newly registered Maritime Football Ltd., the company that applied for the trademark. 

Gary Drummond, the Coyotes's former president of hockey operations, is listed as the vice-president and a director of the proposed franchise. LeBlanc and Drummond left the Coyotes when the team went through a front-office makeover in June.

Bruce Bowser, president of AMJ Campbell Van Lines, is listed as director and secretary.

Fans display an Atlantic Schooners banner at the Toronto-Edmonton CFL game in Moncton, N.B., on Sept. 26, 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The trademark documents also deal with copyright protection relating to "broadcasting and re-broadcasting of football games through television, streaming services, satellite, radio and the internet."

The Canadian Football League currently has nine teams, five in the West division and four in the East division. It was revealed just prior to the Grey Cup game in Ottawa that the investor group had met with Halifax council to discuss a franchise coming to the city.

Halifax currently has no stadium for a pro football team to play in.

Canadian beer giant Labatt, which makes Schooner beer, has not been involved with Maritime Football Ltd.'s trademark process, but said it could become a partner down the road if the franchise takes flight.

"If a team came, and they had a stadium to play in, our likely approach would be to try and secure pouring rights in the building," said Wade Keller, the Atlantic Canada director of corporate affairs for Labatt Breweries of Canada.

"We could sponsor certain events at games, or even an entire game, but we leave team ownership to others."