Protecting the walrus t-shirt
Published Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:35PM EDT
The problem with a great idea, everyone else wishes they thought of it. Some might even pretend they did.
That’s what happened with Jamie McLennan’s “walrus” t-shirt. A play on comments made by Montreal Canadians player Brandon Prust who called Senators Coach Paul MacLean “a bug-eyed fat walrus.”
“We made the shirts to have fun… we realized we were onto something and decided we should make shirts for everybody now,” says McLennan.
The shirts took off, selling for $15 with a dollar donation going to the Ottawa Senators Foundation. Soon after, the knock-offs started to surface.
“Somebody had been selling versions of our t-shirt only in black,” says McLennan.
The local designer and his partner, Eric Shamois, were able to get the man to stop. A week later, similar shirts were being sold at a local Sports Experts.
“To then find out that a large corporation has taken an artwork without our authorization…That was completely devastating and disappointing,” McLennan says of the violation.
McLennan says the Sports Experts bought the shirts from the same distributor that made the original knock-offs.
“The local supplier basically sent me the mock ups of the graphics of the tee…(We) realized obviously we probably shouldn't be selling the t-shirts and we pulled it right away,” says Mike Swartzack, franchise owner of the Sports Experts.
When contacted by CTV the Ottawa printing company Daquin refused to comment. The company later posted on Facebook that it acted in good faith.
Sports Experts has pulled the shirts and will donate all sales proceeds to the Ottawa Senators Foundation.
With a report from CTV’s John Hua