This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com. **use this link https://www.loumag.com/subscribe.aspx
Elden May, sports information director for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, has the scoop. He says the KHSAA had the foresight to trademark the phrase Sweet Sixteen for its state basketball tournament in the early 1980s. Sure enough, a decade later, the NCAA came begging for permission to use the slogan. By then, sportswriters and fans had tagged the final 16 teams in the NCAA tournament field the Sweet Sixteen. So every year, for one week in March, the KHSAA licenses use of the phrase to the NCAA, and it makes a decent chunk of change for doing so. May estimates a license fee of up to $50,000. Not bad for a week’s (non-)work.