Although the final agreement has yet to be ratified, the Cascadia Cup Council, negotiating on behalf of the Timbers Army, the Emerald City Supporters, and the Vancouver Southsiders, has agreed to a "general framework" for the management of the Cascadia Cup trademark.
First and foremost, according to the release, the Cascadia Cup Council will own the name, logo, and likeness of the trophy. This part in particular is a major win for the Cascadia supporters. It legally establishes, for the first time, the ownership of the Cup and nullifies MLS' attempt this past offseason to claim the Cup's trademark rights in Canada.
Furthermore, "no party may sell, trade, or barter any sponsorship of the Cup," except with the unanimous approval of all three clubs, the Cascadia Cup Council, and Major League Soccer.
If the agreement stands, it would be difficult to see this as anything other than a victory for the Cascadia supporters groups. The Cascadia Cup Council gave up just one aspect of its now undeniable ownership of the trophy, competition, and culture inherent in the Cup, that being its sole right and privilege to sell a sponsorship, which it had no intention of doing anyway.
At the same time, MLS can claim that it successfully prevented the sale of the Cup to, as Don Garber put it in January, "those that might not have the right to be associated with Major League Soccer."
That's worthy of a nice, slow clap, I suppose.
Jeremy Wright, the Timbers Army's representative on the Cascadia Cup Council, had the following to say via twitter:
Re: Cascadia Cup agreement. Please give major props to our legal eagles: Josh Barrett and Mike Heilbronner. Impossible without them #RCTDI— Finn (@Finn_aka_Jeremy) July 5, 2013
The full press release can be found at www.timbersarmy.org.
What do you think of the agreement the Cascadia Cup Council and MLS have come to?