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Indy 500 Tells F1 There's Legally Only One 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing'

Indy 500 Tells F1 There's Legally Only One 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' photo
Indy 500 Tells F1 There's Legally Only One 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' photo

This may bother some of you, but the greatest spectacle in racing isn't the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, NASCAR's Daytona 500, or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I've attended all of them, and the Indy 500 has them beat in terms of atmosphere and pure significance. (Le Mans is the only one that comes close.) But it doesn't matter how I feel about it, because the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" slogan is trademarked by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and has been since 1986.

Despite this, F1, NASCAR, ESPN, and even LL Cool J (yes, really) have all been dropping those same words during recent live TV coverage, marketing material, and in the case of the famous rapper, the opening of the Miami F1 GP—which, by the way, is far from being the greatest spectacle in racing. Indianapolis Motor Speedway management isn't happy about this, of course, and has had to remind them about their protected trademark.

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"We will once again address it with the appropriate people and are prepared to take every measure possible to protect our brand's intellectual property," IMS president Doug Boles told Motorsport.com. "It continues to be disappointing that others can't create their own brand identity without infringing upon ours."

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According to the report, the first instance of F1 infringing on the Indy 500 slogan dates back to when Liberty Media began promoting the Vegas race as "the greatest racing spectacle on the planet." At the time, Boles told the Indy Star that he had been in touch with F1 management and they "couldn't have been more gracious" and that "they've got it."

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