Kansas City’s new North American Premier Basketball League team has yet to play its first game, but it already has a new name.
Originally named the KC Buzz, the team has been rebranded as the Kansas City Tornados after an attorney representing Georgia Tech sent a letter to the team and the NAPBL saying it was using the school’s trademarks in an unauthorized manner.
Georgia Tech’s nickname is the Yellow Jackets and its logo was too similar to a bee used in the Buzz’s logo in the school’s opinion.
Here is what the Buzz logo looked like:
This is Georgia Tech’s:
“As we hope you will understand, Georgia Tech’s trademarks, including its Buzz marks, are vital symbols of the extensive goodwill and reputation that Georgia Tech has built in connection with its well-known educational, athletic, and entertainment services,” R. Charles Henn Jr. wrote in a letter, which was obtained by the Kansas City Business Journal. “Consequently, to protect such reputation and goodwill, Georgia Tech must take great care to monitor third-party use of its marks and to address any unauthorized uses of marks and images that could result in consumer confusion or otherwise damage Georgia Tech’s rights in its trademarks.”
Former KU players Sherron Collins and Kevin Young are on the roster of the Tornados, whose new logo has some small changes from the old one. The Kansas City skyline remains, along with a basketball. But the Tornados name has replaced the Buzz and the bee is gone.
The NAPBL season starts Dec. 31, and the Tornados will play a 32-game regular-season schedule with home games at Municipal Auditorium. The other teams in the league are in Vancouver; Yakima, Wash.; Mesquite, Nev.; Owensboro, Ky.; Akron, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; and Albany, N.Y.