As you may or may not know, Pat Riley actually trademarked the term “Three-Peat” (or 3-Peat, etc). he owns four variations of the trademark and has so since the 1980s.
Well, last week attorneys for Riley representing his company Riles & Co., filed a trademark to use the phrase “3-Peat” on “jewelry, namely rings and sports memorabilia.”
So that will pretty much ensure that Riley will lock in the rights to use the phrase on rings and such if the Heat win the championship this year.
Riley himself has never gotten to use the phrase for any of his teams he coached (ie. Lakers), but he cashed in when the Bulls three-peated twice in the 90’s.
There’s also a little bit of controversy though because of the origin of the phrase…
Legend has it that it was Lakers guard Byron Scott who said the word “Twee-Peat,” and Riley just modified it. But, as chronicled in the book “Showtime,” it was another Lakers guard — Wes Matthews — who claims he came up with “Three-Peat.”
“I just thought of it as a catchy slogan,” Matthews told ESPN.com. “I give Pat a ton of credit for having the vision to do what he did. I bet he made out real well when the Bulls did it and can imagine, if they use it if the Heat win, he’ll be making money hand over fist.”
Riley told ESPN.com in 2005 that he donates much of what he has made from the trademark to charity. While he says he doesn’t pursue business, his lawyers are aggressive to maintain the trademark’s integrity, including fighting off entrepreneurs that made “Three-Pete” shirts as former USC football coach Pete Carroll was going for this third straight title.
Matthews said he marvels at the potential that the “Three-Peat” trademark could have if the Heat win it all.