There is no way this branding battle will not have an adverse affect on Delaware North's relationship with its existing clients.
A company that insists it owns the right to the name of one of the most popular U.S. National Parks and multiple landmarks within it is coming under fire on Twitter after park officials announced it would be changing names to appease the concessionaire.
Delaware North, which operates lodging and food services at parks, sporting facilities, and airports around the world, claims that it owns the rights to iconic names in the park where it had operated concessions since 1993, and which it must turn over to a rival on March 1 of this year.
As we reported in September 2015 and again today, Delaware North lost its contract to operate in Yosemite National Park to rival Aramark. It is now insisting on $51 million in licensing fees from the Parks system to continue using the name. The names in dispute preceded Delaware North’s assumption of property management in 1993.
The company is also claiming rights to the name “Yosemite National Park.”
Twitter Speaks Out
The last 24 hours have been a bit of a challenge for Delaware North on Twitter. A search through the last 18 hours of Twitter responses to “yosemite trademark” and variations of “delaware north” reveal no support for the company, as well as descriptive terms for the company not suitable for print. Delaware North has not commented on the dispute via Twitter, although it maintains an active presence on the platform.
The complaints fall into a five basic categories, none of which are complimentary to the company.
Delaware North is a “trademark troll”
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) January 15, 2016
.@delawarenorth Don't you also have concession at Sequoia? Will you be trademarking the name of the trees?
— Diana Marcum (@DianaMarcum) January 14, 2016
— Xeni (@xeni) January 15, 2016
Delaware North is greedy
— Sierra Club (@sierraclub) January 15, 2016
Delaware North is evil
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) January 15, 2016
Delaware North is worthy of a boycott
— Fresno Bee (@FresnoBee) January 15, 2016
— Julie Makinen (@JulieMakLAT) January 15, 2016
And perhaps the cruelest: Delaware North is Martin Shkreli
— Richard Wong (@rwongphoto) January 15, 2016
— Jessi Strong (@JessiStronger) January 15, 2016
We’ve reached out to Delaware North for comment.
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Photo credit: Yosemite National Park during the U.S. government shutdown in October 2013. A vendor has claimed the names to the park and multiple landmarks within it. Craig Kohlruss / Fresno Bee/MCT