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July 16, 2019

Philly bar behind St. Louis Blues' 'Play Gloria' craze seeks payment for use of trademark

The Jacks NYB denies it's currently suing St. Louis businesses, but said it would like a "small piece of the pie"

Trademarks Clothing
Play gloria blues shirt The Jacks NYB/Facebook

The Jacks NYB, a private bar in South Philadelphia, gave birth to the St. Louis Blues' adoption of Laura Branigan's "Gloria" as their team song. The bar now wants to be compensated for use of its trademark on the phrase "Play Gloria".

The Jacks NYB, a mummers clubhouse with a members-only bar in South Philly, inspired the St. Louis Blues to use Laura Branigan's 1982 disco hit "Gloria" during the team's improbable Stanley Cup run.

Now, the bar is looking for compensation from third party vendors who used the phrase "Play Gloria" on merchandise sold outside the Blues' arena without The Jacks NYB's approval.

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The bar issued a statement over the weekend about the situation, denying a St. Louis radio report that the bar was suing St. Louis companies over the use of the phrase: 

"When we found out that other companies were using our the PLAY GLORIA trademark to make money off of it," the bar explained in the statement, "we reached out to them to try to make a deal with them. If they are going to profit from it, why shouldn’t we get a small piece of the pie. Wouldn’t you?"

The craze began when members of the Blues spent an evening at The Jacks NYB, watching the Eagles' Jan. 6 divisional round playoff game against the Bears. During commercial breaks, a DJ at the bar repeatedly played "Gloria", and the scene left an impression on the players.

The Jacks NYB claims it filed a trademark application May 8 for "Play Gloria", which covered use of the phrase on T-shirts, and it filed a second trademark application June 1 for "Play Gloria!", covering hats, shirts, blankets, and more merchandise.

The Jacks NYB's main issue seems to be with St. Louis-themed streetwear company Arch Apparel, which currently sells a shirt with the phrase "Play Gloria." in block yellow letters, as well as a color-changing "Play Gloria." plastic cup, for sale on its website.

"Why should they keep all of the profits?" the statement continued. "In the case of Arch Apparel, rather than talk to us, they completely ignored us, then went on to make hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars off of our #PlayGloria Trademark when fully knowing we owned the rights since our first letter in May. The Blues, NHL, AB, (and) dozens of others stopped using #PlayGloria once we trademarked, but Arch Apparel didn’t and continued to thrive."

Rob McKinley, an attorney representing The Jacks NYB, told USA Today that the bar is in talks with Arch Apparel, along with a number of other companies, about using the trademark.

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