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[ADMIN - please sticky this post]

My apologies for the length of this post, but I feel the background of what has happened and the reasons for my recommendation require a detailed discussion.

As many of you have heard, an attorney for the North American Society for Sports Management (NASSM) recently sent a cease and desist letter based upon trademark infringement to the webmaster for the 2015 Kappa NASSM. The sports management society was founded in 1986 and registered “NASSM” as a trademark in 2010. Although there is not likely to be any confusion between a group of sports management professionals and a loosely organized group of car enthusiasts, the facts remain that the society has trademarked the term “NASSM” and our ad hoc organization does not have the legal or financial ability to fight over this issue.

However, our 2015 NASSM organizers have worked out a deal with the sports management society to be able to continue to use “NASSM” for next year’s meet, provided: (1) there is a disclaimer on all Kappa NASSM websites, promotional materials, and other event materials that the event is not affiliated with the sports management society and (2) our group does not use “NASSM” for future events beginning with the 2016 event. In an effort to help our 2015 meet organizers be able to continue to use the term “NASSM,” the 2016 event organizers also agreed to these terms. Both the 2015 and 2016 organizers have taken prompt actions to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

On Friday morning, I had a very pleasant conversation with Brad, the attorney for the sports management society, in an effort to find out exactly what the society’s trademark concerns were and the extent of its perception of potential infringement. Brad informed me that his client’s only concern is the use of the exact acronym “NASSM.” We are more than welcome to continue to use the entire “North American Solstice & Sky Meet” moniker. Brad also informed me that the addition of a single letter to the acronym would satisfy his client.

Of course, there are a variety of reasons why we have referred to our annual event as “NASSM” including: (1) it gives us a quick way to refer to our meet rather than having to say the entire event name; (2) we have used “NASSM” for a decade; and (3) it kind of rolls off the tongue. In other words, because everyone knows what you mean when you say NASSM in the Kappa community, we have our own interest in the acronym.

In addition to communicating with the attorney for the sports management society, our 2015 meet organizers, my 2016 co-organizers, a number of our past “NASSM” organizers, and many other Kappa owners, I have also been diligently reading the posts in the various Facebook groups, on SkyRoadster, and on SolsticeForum. There have been a tremendous number of ideas thrown out for resolving the issue, including adding one or more letters to the acronym (such as NASSAM for North American Solstice & Sky Annual Meet); NASSC (North American Solstice & Sky Convention) NASSN (North American Solstice & Sky Nationals); changing the reference from “North America” to “International” or eliminating it entirely; changing the reference to “Solstice & Sky” to “Kappa”; and many others.

I would like make a few observations before making my recommendation:
(1) We have a tremendous amount of familiarity with the term “NASSM” given its use over the years and the fact that it is so easy to say;
(2) The term “Nationals” would impliedly exclude our significant and active Canadian contingent;
(3) The term “International” might be overly broad, as I am not sure we have had any attendees from outside of North America (although we are expecting a couple for 2016), plus we would not want to minimize the importance of any potential similar European event;
(4) While any owner or interested person will recognize “Solstice & Sky,” they may not recognize the “Kappa” platform name and one of the things we should do is make it as easy as possible for new folks to find us, particularly as cars change hands;
(5) A completely new acronym sacrifices our connection to our prior annual events and gives up a lot of the built-up name recognition and goodwill, even if it is clever or easy to say; and
(6) Whatever acronym we settle on, it ought to be something we can continue to use in the future so that we maintain continuity between the events.

Bearing all of this in mind, I would suggest that we use the acronym “NAASSM” (ostensibly meaning “North American Annual Solstice & Sky Meet” although you certainly would not have to use all of the words, in fact, the 2016 event will probably stick with “North American Solstice & Sky Meet”) for the following reasons:
(1) It is extremely close to the “NASSM” we have been using and we can continue to benefit from the identity and goodwill that have been built-up using “NASSM” over the years;
(2) We can pronounce it the same as we would “NASSM”;
(3) NAASSM is not trademarked and I did not find any references to it being associated with any other organization, business, or product and, therefore, it is not likely to be trademarked [“NASSAM” is also not currently trademarked, however, (1) it is currently being used as the name of a piece of software and by a group affiliated with the ministry and (2) it would be a bit problematic for us to trademark any acronym for our meet due to the “use in commerce” requirement]; and
(4) It can be used in a website address (avoids special characters such as “&”) which is obviously important to the execution of our event.

I do not want to make this decision on my own (except that I reserve the right to protect my own self-interests as one of the 2016 organizers). Rather, I think it should be made by a consensus of the Kappa community. Accordingly, I am open to any other considerations, alternative suggestions, concerns, comments, or other feedback that anyone wishes to provide and, although we need to move quickly in order to keep preparations for the 2016 event moving forward, a final decision will not be made until the Kappa community reaches that consensus. [Note that I said a consensus because we all know that there will never be situation where everyone agrees with the decision]. I look forward to hearing from you all.

[Disclaimers - Although I am an attorney, I have handled these issues as one of the 2016 meet organizers. Accordingly, I am approaching this issue on a strictly personal and practical level. I am not providing legal advice to anyone. Finally, neither this author, nor the 2015 and 2016 Solstice & Sky events referenced above, are in any way affiliated with the North American Society for Sports Management].
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As a follow-up, I am going to give folks the week to provide feedback and then I will put a survey up at Survey Monkey or somewhere similar :)
 

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NAASSM seems like a reasonable solution!
 

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I guess my recommendation of NAKID or NOOKIE didn't make the cut?
:jester:


NAASSM is an excellent choice. My first thought is it was too close to NASSM. But you took care of that by closing with the other party. Excellent work!
 

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So 2015 will be the last NASSM ever? Is this a ploy to increase attendance? ;)

Edit to CMA: Disclaimer neither this author, nor the 2015 and 2016 Solstice & Sky events referenced above, are in any way affiliated with the North American Society for Sports Management

-GT
 

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So 2015 will be the last NASSM ever? Is this a ploy to increase attendance? ;)
Seeing as how Roofer and I have already signed the hotel and catering contracts for 2016 in the Ozarks, I sure as heck hope 2015 is not the last North American Solstice & Sky Meet!
 

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This thread is behind by one day..
AND
Why are their two threads on this alphabet topic!!! :banghead:
Because Rich had the responsibility to get the word out asap, and I had the responsibility as co-chair for 2016 of coming up with proposals on how to move forward.
 

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Irrelevant at this point, only this thread remains...:thumbs:
 

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Because Rich had the responsibility to get the word out asap, and I had the responsibility as co-chair for 2016 of coming up with proposals on how to move forward.
Rich should of looked and notice that you had already posted about this situation, the thread was almost at the top of the list...
Most of these guys anyway come on here to post their events and not even read or care what the membership has to say about other topics... :cheers:
 
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