General Jan 13, 2014 | 1:45 PMby Colin McGourty

Carlsen to trademark his name

Norwegian news site VG reports that World Champion Magnus Carlsen is planning to trademark his name in Norway, with his manager Espen Agdestein describing it as a formality to “protect the brand Magnus Carlsen”.

Carlsen-branded drinks during the World Championship match in Chennai, India in 2013 | photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

The Norwegian article on “Carlsen’s chess empire” (featuring the world no. 1 dressed as a king) is behind a paywall, but some details were tweeted by Carlsen’s friend Tarjei J. Svensen:

In his short career Carlsen has already had sponsorship from Microsoft and Norwegian companies such as Artic Securities and Nordic Semiconductor, while he starred in a fashion campaign for the clothing brand G-Star Raw, making him one of the best known figures in Norway.

GM Sergey Shipov was recently asked if he thought Carlsen would be able to attract major international companies to sponsor chess in the way Garry Kasparov brought in sponsors such as IBM and Intel back in the 1990s:

That depends exclusively on Carlsen’s own attitude. Will he be socially active and consciously act as the leader of our “trade union”? Or will he work only for himself?

To be honest, I’m inclined to go for the second option. But that isn’t, actually, so bad. After all, Carlsen – a young hero who already has media traction – can’t play chess against himself. One way or another it will be better for the whole elite if more and more money is allocated to tournaments and matches “for Carlsen”. It was like that in the times of Fischer (remember how Spassky called him “the leader of our trade union”?) and the same can happen again now.

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