Fri, Aug 04, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Chinese man registers trademark for Zidane head-butt


A Chinese man has registered an image of French captain Zinedine Zidane's infamous head-butt in last month's World Cup final as his trademark, the Beijing Daily reported yesterday.

Zhao Xiaokai (趙曉凱), a general manager of a public relations firm specializing in sports, is now considering selling the rights to the black-and-white silhouette, which depicts the soccer star ramming his head into the chest of Italy defender Marco Materazzi during the July 9 final, the paper said.

Zhao paid 2,000 yuan (US$250) to register the trademark for clothing, shoes, hats and beer products, and has invited bids of 1 million yuan for the rights, the report said.

Zhao said that he was considering developing his own line of head-butt branded products and that two beer companies had contacted him to discuss buying the rights.

"The recognition level of this trademark is very high. Using a silhouette to render this image avoids violating the soccer star's image rights," he said.

Zhao is not the first to commercialize the moment marking Zidane's inglorious exit from international soccer.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the catchy song Coup de Boule -- French for "head-butt" -- had hit No. 1 on France's singles chart.

The foul -- which drew Zidane a red card in overtime and later a fine and a three-game ban, although he is retired -- has also become the subject of Internet jokes, online games and parody videos.

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