An Athens printing shop that sold “Muck Fiami” shirts is now using a new phrase after having been served a cease-and-desist by its own licensor.
Uptown Dog T-Shirts, the printing arm of 10 West Clothing Co., stopped selling shirts with the “Muck Fiami” design last year after receiving a cease and desist letter from the company that licenses both Ohio University and Miami University merchandise, Learfield IMG College.
Now, it is printing shirts with a new design: “Uck Iami. Who needs the MF?”
Learfield asked Uptown Dog to stop production of the shirts because of a phrase that was eventually added to the back of the shirt, Mary Cheadle, owner of Uptown Dog, said.
“For whatever reason, we ended up adding the catchphrase, ‘Friends don’t let friends go to Miami,’ which, in and of itself, was funny,” Cheadle said. “Having used the word ‘Miami,’ I was in violation of my own licensing company, who also licenses Miami … I can understand where they felt it was, for lack of a better word, not cool to do. It was pretty in-your-face.”
Uptown Dog immediately pulled the rest of the shirts off the shelves. But over the past year, Cheadle has seen other stores selling the original design, which makes her feel singled out, she said.
As a licensee, Uptown Dog must pay a portion of profits to Learfield and follow its guidelines for printing. But unlicensed printers do not have to follow the same rules, Cheadle said.
“If you don't get a license, you can do whatever, and that's where it started to maybe bother me a little,” she said. “I felt like because I'm the one paying licensing to do Ohio University merchandise, I want everyone to have to play by the same rules.”
Uptown Dog could be in the clear to continue printing the “Muck Fiami” design if it removed the phrase on the back of the shirts. However, Cheadle decided to stop printing them altogether because she had offended her licensor, she said.
Cheadle chose to take the shirts in a new direction. She asked OU alumni on Facebook to submit ideas for a new design and ultimately settled on a phrase she chose: “Uck Iami. Who Needs the MF?”
“I knew that I wanted to find a funnier way to say it, because that was the intention all along. It was just a funny way to poke at our rivals,” Cheadle said. “I have chosen as a business person and (out of) wanting to keep my Ohio University license. I decided to maybe follow some unspoken rules. But I’m still the edgy t-shirt place.”
Uptown Dog wasn’t able to start selling shirts with the new design until the day of the football game against Miami this year, but Cheadle is planning on selling many leading up to the basketball game versus Miami.
Still, she has had a lot of people come into her shop asking about the “Muck Fiami” shirts.
“It’s funny because everyone can go on Amazon and buy them but I don’t (see that),” Cheadle said. “I'm sure some people are, but they're still asking us for them. So that intrigues me that they still do want to try to support the local guy. And there is something a little more special about buying it near the campus of OU versus on Amazon.”
Shirts with the new design can be bought on Uptown Dog’s website for about $11, or in-store at 10 W. Union St.