The latest news in the world of customer experience and customer loyalty.
NCAA Wins Lawsuit Over “March Madness” and “Final Four” Trademarks
The National Collegiate Athletic Association may not have much control over what goes on with the recruiting/payment of student-athletes, but don’t you dare mess with the brand’s trademarks. As its men’s basketball tournament—commonly known as March Madness—has whittled its way down from a 68-team field to just 16 remaining teams (a.k.a. the Sweet 16), the NCAA is feeling pretty secure in the naming rights to its money-making machine. According to an article in, a federal court in January ruled in favor of the NCAA in its lawsuit against mobile and online game developer Kizzang Inc., which created games titled “Final Three” and “April Madness” and filed for trademarks on the names. The federal court said it was too close to “Final Four” and “March Madness,” which are the property of the NCAA, along with “March Madness,” “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight.” The article also noted that 85 percent of the NCAA’s annual budget comes from the tournament. Now that’s madness.
Will 2018 Be the Year of Retail Bankruptcies?
Will 2018 be an ignominious year for retail bankruptcies? According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” Retail bankruptcies and defaults hit a peak last year, the article says, soaring past records set during the recession, and the future looks ominous. According to the credit-ratings agency S&P Global Ratings, there are several retailers that might follow suit after Toys R Us and those include: Bon-Ton Stores filed in February; Bi-Lo, which owns grocery store chains Winn-Dixie and Tops Friendly Markets; and girls’ jewelry and accessories chain Claire’s. S&P Global Markets listed 19 retailers at risk of defaulting and that includes: Bluestem Brands Inc.; J. Crew Group Inc.; PetSmart Inc.; David’s Bridal Inc; Neiman Marcus Group; Payless; Guitar Center; and Sears Holdings.
New CEO for J. Jill
J. Jill will have a new President and CEO as of April 16, 2018. According to an article in Business Wire, Paula Bennett will retire as President and CEO and Director of J. Jill Inc. in April 16, and be succeeded by Linda Heasley, who currently serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Heasley has served on the Board of J. Jill since March 2017 and most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of The Honey Baked Ham Company since February 2017. Prior to joining HoneyBaked Ham, she served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Lane Bryant Inc., a leading specialty size apparel brand, from 2013-2017, and is widely credited with revitalizing the brand.

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