Separated at Birth: Brantville Lead Racers

Don't mess with Leadville.


Oh jeez. This one took balls.

Maybe Brantford is far enough away from Leadville that the Brant Death Racers Running Club founders thought nobody would notice if they adopted the stylized mountain ridge logo used by the Leadville Race Series since the storied ultra race series was bought by Lifetime Fitness in 2010.

Or maybe they didn’t know the history of Leadville, the Colorado town that went from hard rock to hard luck when the mine shut down in the 1980s. As runners, surely they knew about how the Leadville 100-mile Endurance Run was founded by these same out-of-work miners who saw an opportunity to out-do those damned California hippies and their little 100-miler on the Western States trail by hosting one of their own through the Colorado high country.

Or maybe they thought they were immune to copyright laws because they raise money for their local United Way. Lord knows they wouldn’t be the first club of running do-gooders in Ontario to borrow someone else’s logo. Whatever the reason, I know I wouldn’t want to risk messing with Leadville. They were badasses before, but now they’re badasses backed by a large corporate legal department.

On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, the mountain graphic in the Leadville logo was royalty-free clip art that the Lifetime Fitness folks never bothered to trademark and the Brant Death Racers are just as free to use it as anyone. No, that doesn’t seem likely.

Well, at least the Brant Death Racers don’t sell merchandise. Oh wait. Uh-oh…


  1. I got sent this post from my brother that heard about it through the grapevine and Uhh, I think you may be siding with the wrong team on this one mate.

    I mean from what I can tell the Canadians are a group of like 5 guys who are running for charity.
    Not a running organization with dozens of corporate sponsors.

    And I really doubt that these chaps are stealing runners from the Leadville series runs.
    I mean who the hell is gonna say “Screw running through beautiful Colorado! Lets go to Brantford Canada”

    I’ve checked their site and all proceeds from the merch they sell goes to pay for a yearly flight out to Alberta for “the canadian deathrace” and what’s left goes to local charities.

    I mean, its not like they’re using the Coke symbol to another soda and calling it Cola Cokea and making a fortune off it.

    Should they have used the Leadville mountain symbol? No
    Is it hurting anyone? No
    Will they probly change it now? Maybe
    Are you goin round the twist over a dumb matter? yup.

    But I’m sure that a big scary keyboard commando like yourself just wanted to flex his finger muscles just to scare some little running club from the north.

    Well good on ya. I’m sure you have them running for the hills (pun intended)

    Go for a run n clear your head mate.

    Someone who is sick of people jumping all over the little guy.

  2. Thanks for contributing to the debate Corvo.

    I was well aware that the Brant guys give proceeds to their local United Way and said so. I know their hearts are in the right place but that doesn’t give them a pass to use someone else’s logo as their own.

    Contrary to your assumption, I am not The Man’s keyboard commando looking to crush the little guy. In fact, you would find the opposite is true if you read my previous comments about the similarity between The North Face’s Mountain Athletics logo and the logo for Portland’s Animal Athletics. In that case, the logos were merely similar and it is entirely possible the designers of the Mountain Athletics logo came up with the design independently in spite of the fact that Animal Athletics had already been in the public realm for a couple of years.

    You seem to suggest that I pick sides based on nationality (I am also Canadian) or who has the most corporate sponsors. I am a graphic designer and my beef is with people who think it’s okay to steal an image off the internet and then use it as their own identity, no matter how moral their cause. (I do believe there are cases to be made for novelty or spoof logos which pay homage to other established brands, but since you believe copyright infringement is a “dumb matter” I won’t bother you with the trivialities of that distinction here. Regardless, that is not what this was.)

    FYI, Brantford is actually quite a bit further south of Vancouver, where I am, and that “little running club from the north”, while in Canada, is probably not as far north of Colorado as you seem to think.

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