JACKSON, Wyo. --Thanks to the recent success of the Boston
Red Sox, business has been a hit at a Jackson-based company that
owns the trademark on the phrase "Cowboy Up."
The phrase was used by native Texan and Red Sox first baseman
Kevin Millar to spur on his teammates during a midseason slump. "Cowboy up" caught fire among Boston fans and initiated a frenzy
of requests for licensing agreements with Wyoming West Designs.
"It's gone absolutely ballistic over a very short period of
time, basically over the last few days," said Harry Talermo,
president of Wyoming West Designs.
Wyoming West has owned the trademark since 1993.
The rodeo term describes riders who get thrown, dust themselves
off, and get back on the horse.
Licensing agreements can often take months to draw up, but
Wyoming West has been accelerating the process to capitalize on the
pennant fever sweeping Boston. The phrase has
appeared all over Boston, from electronic billboards on the
Massachusetts Turnpike to a giant banner hanging from the State
Demand for Cowboy Up merchandise gained momentum when Fred
Fillah of the marketing firm SmartArt/Fanatics, a Major League
Baseball licensee, contacted Talermo. Fillah's official "Cowboy
Up" T-shirt, featuring the slogan and Millar's signature, proved
popular among Red Sox fans and led to a flurry of phone calls from
other companies wanting to license the slogan.
Last Friday, Wyoming West clinched a licensing deal with the Red
Sox, allowing every official vendor of Major League Baseball
products to sell Cowboy Up items.
Traditionally, Wyoming West sells belt buckles, hats, outerwear
and jeans with the Cowboy Up logo to Western wear stores around the
country. Having a popular professional baseball franchise adopt the
phrase has been an unexpected boon for the 13-year-old company.
"We've been able to bring up the expression as a component in
the Western wear industry. But when the Red Sox do it, it gives you
a whole different level of attention," Talermo said.
Talermo and his partner, Ray Domecq, attended Saturday's Red Sox
game in Boston at the invitation of Red Sox officials. Though
neither had been to Fenway Park before, Domecq is a former minor
league baseball player who played in the Philadelphia Phillies
Though Talermo admits he's not much of a baseball fan, he and
his partner are aware a Red Sox pennant would be great for
"It could potentially escalate if the Red Sox go all the way to
the World Series," Talermo said. "We're pulling for the Red Sox
and want to help them in their quest for a championship.