As the old saying goes: for every pioneering duo of larrikins from the Gold Coast, there’s a multi-billion dollar international racing conglomerate willing to profit from their innovation.
Or something like that.
In a bold money-grabbing move, the Formula One licencing company, which is based in The Netherlands and operated by the US-based holding company Liberty Media Corporation, has trademarked the humble shoey.
If you’re not familiar with the delicate art of the shoey, you can read our compilation of the greatest shoeys of all time here.
The term itself is still trademarked for use on clothing by Australian Korinne Harrington, a relative of The Mad Hueys (who first coined the phrase some fifteen years ago), so it won’t be popping up on any F1 branded tees or jackets. The new Formula One trademark, which exists in 25 countries, is specifically for a broad category of merchandising which covers flasks, glasses, bottles, mugs, sculptures and figurines (who knows, maybe we’ll see a series of Daniel Ricciardo hummels on the shelves).
We can almost certainly expect some shoe-shaped glassware.
The original shoey, seen above, was the brainchild of surfing and fishing enthusiasts The Mad Hueys, who’ve been known to imbibe in the odd footwear-housed refreshment. Gold Coast natives Shaun and Dean Harrington started The Mad Hueys over a decade ago, on the back of their love for fishing and surfing, and their brand quickly became an international success thanks to huge social media exposure (they currently have 343k dedicated followers on Instagram alone).
Their party-boy antics quickly endeared Sean and Dean to the unofficial larrikin revivalist movement seen in Millennials and Gen-Xers Australia-wide. The shoey soon caught on as the official celebration of choice for Aussie blokes, on home turf and abroad, and has since been enjoyed on podiums the world over by the likes of Daniel Ricciardo (who can probably be credited with taking the practice mainstream), Valentino Rossi, Mark Webber, Gerard Butler and even Sir Patrick Stewart.
While it’s not clear just yet how much this will restrict the spread of this growing craze, you can rest assured one thing: no trademark, copyright claim or dare-we-say potential lawsuit will stop this writer from drinking out of whatever’s on his feet after his sixth Bundy.