By Josh Clark
DENTON (105.3 The Fan) – UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said in a tweet Wednesday that he had spoken to both ESPN and Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis after the network used the school’s “Mean Green” nickname to promote the Spartans’ game against the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines.
“Thx to ESPN for reaching out quickly and correcting Mean Green usage. I appreciate MSU AD Mark Hollis for reaching out as well. Love the national respect for our brand,” Baker said.
Baker said in his statement that ESPN apologized for “inadvertently” using the words “Mean Green” in association with Michigan State and corrected the commercial once becoming aware of the issue.
Baker also praised Hollis who “fully understands the importance of the Mean Green brand to UNT.”
Earlier Wednesday, Baker said on Twitter that he was planning to send a cease and desist letter to ESPN and MSU over the incident.
“Hey @espn & @MSU_Athletics, without a doubt @MeanGreenSports is the hottest athletic dept in the country. BUT you can’t just try to steal #MeanGreen. It’s trademarked and has been for a very, very long time. Cease and desist letter on the way.”
When contacted by USA Today’s Dan Wolken, Baker confirmed that North Texas’ licensing attorneys would send a cease and desist letter to both ESPN and Michigan State.
Baker also pointed out to Wolken that this isn’t the first time Michigan State has borrowed “Mean Green” for a promotion.
It’s unknown if the two athletic directors spoke about this particular social media post sent out by the MSU basketball program.