Title:
Award Trophy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An award trophy is provided that can be presented to an individual for participation in a selected event. The trophy generally includes a base adapted to rest on a support surface, an ornament supported by the base in the form of a fanciful character, such as a bear, engaged in an activity corresponding to the selected event, and a riser interposed as an item associated with the selected event. The trophy may further be provided with an identification member secured to the base having a top edge and a bottom edge spaced therefrom, and including a photograph of the individual. A method of customizing an award trophy is also provided, including the steps of obtaining a selected photograph that includes an image of the individual, cropping the photo image to a selected width and height, transferring the photo image to a substrate, and securing the substrate to the trophy base.



Inventors:
Kennedy, Leo E. (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/908018
Publication Date:
12/22/2005
Filing Date:
04/25/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G33/00; A47G35/00; B44C1/16; (IPC1-7): A47G35/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BALDWIN, GORDON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Timothy, Martin J. PC. (9250 W 5TH AVENUE, SUITE 200, LAKEWOOD, CO, 80226, US)
Claims:
1. An award trophy to be presented to an individual for participation in a selected event, comprising: (A) a base adapted to rest on a support surface; (B) an ornament supported by said base in the form of a fanciful character engaged in an activity corresponding to the selected event; and (C) a riser interposed between said base and said ornament and configured as an item associated with the selected event.

2. An award trophy according to claim 1 wherein said riser and said ornament are formed as an integral, one-piece molding.

3. An award trophy according to claim 1 wherein said ornament is in the form of a bear.

4. An award trophy according to claim 1 including an identification member secured to said base and containing information correlating to the selected event.

5. An award trophy according to claim 4 wherein said identification member is sized and adapted to receive information corresponding to a plurality of information fields selected from the group consisting of a photo image field, a logo field, a club field, an address field, a name field, a team field, a league field, a league field, and a year field.

6. An award trophy according to claim 5 wherein said photo image field is sized and adapted to receive an image of the individual.

7. An award trophy according to claim 4 wherein said identification member is a label or plate.

8. An award trophy according to claim 7 wherein said identification member is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of metal, plastic, vinyl, and paper.

9. An award trophy according to claim 1 wherein said base includes (A) a lower surface adapted to confront said support surface; (B) an upper surface opposite said lower surface, said riser being disposed thereon; (C) a back surface extending between said lower and said upper surface; and (D) a front surface in spaced relation to said back surface and extending between said lower and said upper surface.

10. An award trophy according to claim 9 wherein said front surface is at an acute angle relative to said lower surface.

11. An award trophy to be presented to an individual for participation in a selected event, comprising: (A) a base adapted to be supported by a support surface; (B) a fanciful character engaged in an activity that correlates to the selected event; and (C) an identification member secured to said base and including a photograph of the individual, said identification member including a top edge and a bottom edge spaced apart therefrom.

12. An award trophy according to claim 11 including a riser interposed between said fanciful character and said base, said riser configured in the form of an item that corresponds to the activity of said fanciful character.

13. An award trophy according to claim 11 wherein said base includes (A) a lower surface adapted to confront said support surface; (B) an upper surface opposite said lower surface; (C) a back surface extending between said lower and said upper surface; and (D) a front surface in spaced relation to said back surface and extending between said lower and said upper surface.

14. An award trophy according to claim 13 wherein said identification member is substantially geometrically similar to said front surface.

15. An award trophy according to claim 13 wherein said front surface is at an acute angle relative to said lower surface.

16. An award trophy according to claim 111 wherein said photograph is centrally located on said identification member so as to partition said identification member into a first sector and a second sector.

17. An award trophy according to claim 16 wherein said first sector and said second sector are sized and adapted to receive information corresponding to a plurality of information fields selected from the group consisting of a logo field, a club field, an address field, a name field, a team field, a league field, a league field, and a year field.

18. An award trophy according to claim 11 wherein said identification member is an aluminum label adapted to adhere to said base.

19. An award trophy according to claim 111 wherein said identification member is a plate adapted to be secured to said base.

20. A method of customizing an award trophy which has a base to be received by an individual for participation in a selected event, comprising the steps of: (A) obtaining a selected photo that includes an image of the individual; (B) cropping said photo image to have a selected width and a selected height; (C) transferring said photo image to a substrate; and (D) securing said substrate to the trophy base.

21. A method according to claim 20 wherein said photo image is a photograph of the individual.

22. A method according to claim 20 including the step selecting information corresponding to a plurality of information fields selected from the group consisting of a logo field, a club field, an address field, a name field, a team field, a league field, a league field, and a year field and transferring said selected information to said substrate.

23. A method according to claim 20 wherein said photo image is transferred to said substrate by means of printing.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention broadly relates to awards that may be presented to individuals for participation of performance in events. More particularly, the present invention concerns award trophies for sporting events, especially for younger individuals. The invention particularly concerns an award trophy and a method for providing a personalized trophy for an individual.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Since at least the early days of the Greek Olympics, awards of a various nature have been presented for the participation and/or performance in an event. Examples of such awards have been metals, trophies, items of clothing, patches, and the like, and have even included cash awards in certain instances.

Most award trophies that are used today have a relatively standard construction. Typically, a base is provided to which an identification plate may be attached. A riser is then supported relative to the base by means of a base attachment, and an ornament pedestal is located on top of the riser. An ornament, typically in the form of a human figure engaged in a sport, is then supported on the ornament pedestal. Typically, the base, riser and ornament pedestal are constructed of stone, wood, or metal pieces that are bolted together through the riser. The plate is then engraved with the recipient's name, identification of a tournament, or some such other information. The intended such construction, of course, is to provide an elegant display piece for the recipient.

Such existing trophies, however, have drawbacks. On one hand, such trophies are relatively expensive and require the assembly of the varied pieces. On the other hand, the standard structure is commonplace such that the trophies are less prone to excite the imagination or attract attention. Where the recipient is an adult, such trophies are certainly well received. However, for younger recipients, the standard trophy is somewhat sterile and cold. Also, the information normally engraved on the plate is rather simple and not overly personalized.

Accordingly, there is a need for a new style of trophy that may be used as an award, especially for younger persons. There is a need for such trophies which are more aesthetically appealing to younger individuals. There is a further need for trophies that are simplified in construction and less expensive to produce. There is a further need for trophies which can exhibit a higher degree of personalization for the individual intended as the recipient of such trophy. The present invention is directed to meeting such needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful trophy and method of personalizing or customizing such trophies.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a trophy that is more aesthetically appealing to younger persons.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a trophy of simplified and less expensive construction.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a trophy that can be easily customized with personalized information.

According to the present invention, then, an award trophy to be presented to an for participation in a selected event is provided. The award trophy generally includes a base adapted to rest on a support surface having an ornament that may be in the form of a fanciful character engaged in an activity that corresponds to the selected event for which the trophy is being presented. The fanciful character may specifically be a bear. The base may include a lower surface adapted to confront the support surface, an upper surface opposite the lower surface, a back surface extending between the lower and upper surface, and a front surface in spaced relation to the back surface and extending between the lower and upper surface. Further, the front surface may be at an acute angle relative to the lower surface.

The award trophy may further be provided with a riser supported by the base and an identification member secured thereto. The riser may specifically be interposed between the base and the fanciful character and configured as an item that is associated with the selected event. If desired, the riser and the fanciful character may be formed as an integral, one-piece molding.

The identification member secured or otherwise supported by the base and may specifically be adhered or otherwise secured to the front surface thereof, in which case, the identification member may be substantially geometrically similar to the front surface. The identification member includes a top edge and a bottom edge spaced apart therefrom and is sized and adapted to display information relating to the activity for which the award is being presented. The identification member may preferably include a photograph of the individual that is actually receiving the award. The identification member may be in the form of a label or plate that is adhered or otherwise secured to the base and particularly to the front surface of the base.

In addition to the photo image, the identification member may be sized and adapted to receive other information correlating to the activity in which the fanciful character is engage. Such information may correspond to a plurality of information fields selected from the group consisting of a photo image field, a logo field, a club field, an address field, a name field, a team field, a league field, a league field, and a year field. Indeed, the photo image may be centrally located on the identification member so as to partition it into a first sector and a second sector whereby information from the above-identified information fields may be selectively presented. The identification member may be formed of a suitable material selected from the group consisting of metal, plastic, vinyl, and paper.

The present invention also provides a method of customizing an award trophy which has a base and that is to be received by an individual for participation in a selected event. The steps of the method comprise obtaining a photo that includes an image of the individual and then cropping the photo image to have a selected width and a selected height. Thereafter, the cropped photo image is transferred to a substrate that is then secured to the base of the trophy. This transfer may be accomplished by means of printing. The selected photo image may be a photograph of the individual that is the intended recipient of the trophy. The steps of the method may further include the step of selecting information that corresponding to a plurality of information fields that correlate either to the recipient of the award or to the event in which the recipient participated. Such information may be selected from the group consisting of a logo field, a club field, an address field, a name field, a team field, a league field, a league field, and a year field and transferring said selected information to said substrate.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention when taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an award trophy according to a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view in elevation showing the base, plate and a portion of the riser of the award trophy of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the plate according to the present invention used with the award trophy of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second exemplary embodiment of an award trophy according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a third exemplary embodiment of an award trophy according to the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a fourth exemplary embodiment of an award trophy according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The present invention broadly concerns presentation-type awards that may be given to an individual for participation and/or performance in a designated event. More particularly, the present invention is directed to an award trophy, as well as a method for customizing the award trophy, that is particularly suitable for use with younger persons. The award trophy of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention indicate some of the variety that may be obtained using the principals of the present invention, and it should be understood that these exemplary embodiments are to provide such illustrations, only, and are not intended to limit in any way the scope of the invention.

In its broad form, the award trophy of the present invention, includes an ornament in the form of a fanciful character, such as an animal or cartoon character, participating in a selected event, such as a sporting event. This ornament is supported relative to a base by means of a riser, with the riser configured as an item that is associated with the event for which the award is being presented. A highly customized plate, as described more thoroughly below, is affixed to the base. The base, riser and ornament are preferably formed by an integral molding of a selected material so that no assembly is required except for the attachment of the customized plate to the base.

With reference first to FIGS. 1 and 2, it may be seen that a first exemplary embodiment of an award trophy 10 includes a base 12 that has a lower surface 14 adapted to rest on a support surface 16. Base 12 has a back surface 18 that is generally perpendicular to surface 14 and an upper surface 20 that is generally parallel to lower surface 14. A front surface 22 extends between lower surface 14 and upper surface 20 at a large acute angle “a” to lower surface 14 so that base 12 has a trapezoidal cross-section when viewed from the side. Base 12 has a rectangular cross-section when viewed from the front.

In any event, a riser 30 is supported on base 12, and an ornament 40 is supported by riser 30 oppositely of base 12. As is shown in FIG. 1, ornament 40 is in the form of a fanciful character engaged in an activity correlated to the event for which the award is intended. In this embodiment, the fanciful character is in the form of a comical bear 42 having a first leg 44 supportively connected to riser 30 and with a second leg 46 shown kicking a representative soccer ball 48 thus simulating the activity of playing soccer. As illustrated in FIG. 1, riser 30 is also constructed as a representative soccer ball so that the riser, itself, is correlated to the participatory activity of ornament 40. Riser 30 also has an impression 32 formed therein that is correlated to the character used for ornament 40. Accordingly, as is illustrated in FIG. 1, impression 32 is in the form of a paw print of a bear since ornament 40 is in the form of a bear 42.

In the exemplary embodiment, base 12, riser 30 and ornament 40 are formed of integral, one piece molding. While a variety of materials may be employed for such molding, in the exemplary embodiments of the present invention, award trophy 10 is molded from a material such as a polyresin. It should be understood, however, that other materials, such as acrylics, moldable plastics, composites and the like, may be used to create the award trophy. Further, riser 30 and ornament 40 may be suitably painted or otherwise decorated to enhance the visual appeal of the same. Likewise, base 12 may be suitably painted or decorated

Regardless of the construction of base 12, riser 30 and ornament 40, it is desirable that an identification member, such as an identification label or identification plate 50 be employed to customize award trophy 10 for the individual who is intended to be the recipient and include information correlating to the event for which the trophy is being awarded. Identification plate 50 is sized to be substantially geometrically similar to front surface 22 and is affixed thereto in any convenient manner, such as by an adhesive or otherwise, as is shown in FIG. 2. Identification labels or plates 50 may be constructed of any suitable material, such as metal, plastic, vinyl, paper, etc. Additionally, if desired, identification labels may include an adhesive layer that is protected by a peel back strip that may be removed to permit the label to be adhered to the trophy.

One aspect of the present invention is the high degree of customization of identification plate 50 to the individual intended to receive the award trophy 10. This is useful, especially where the recipient is intended to be a younger person. Thus, as is illustrated in FIG. 1, and as diagrammed in FIG. 3, identification plate 50 includes a centrally located, transversely extending photo image field 52 sized and adapted to receive an image that includes the intended recipient, as illustrated by photo 54 in FIG. 1. The photo image may be of the entire individual or simply the individual's face. Also, if desired, the photo image may be a photograph of the team, which includes the individual recipient. Photo image field 52 extends between lower edge 56 and upper edge 58 of identification plate 50 to separate the surface of identification plate 50 into a first sector 60 and a second sector 62.

Each of the sectors, in turn, provide a plurality of fields for the further correlation of information that functionally relates to the activity of riser 30 and ornament 40. By way of example, and as is illustrated in FIG. 3, first sector 62 includes a logo field 64, a club field 66, and an address field 68 which extend longitudinally of first sector 60 and, thus transversely to photo image field 52. Logo field 64 may, for example, receive a team logo, such as logo 70 for the team, if any, to which the individual participant is a member. Club field 66 then includes an identifier, for example, of the club to which the team might belong. Address field 68 may include identifiers indicating, for example, the city and state of the club. Thus, as is shown in FIG. 1, logo 70 is provided in logo field 64, a club name 72 is provided in club field 66 and an address 74 is provided in address field 68.

Similarly, second sector 62 is divided into a plurality of longitudinal extending fields. As is illustrated in FIG. 3, second sector 62 includes a name field 76, a team field 78, a league field 80, and a year field 82. Name field 76 is sized and adapted to receive the name of the intended recipient. Likewise, team field 78 receives the name of the team to which the recipient belongs. League field 80 receives identifiers correlated to the league to which the team belongs with this league, for example, being a particular league in the club designated in the club field. Finally, the year field may include an identifier indicating the year or a range of years over which the participation occurred. With reference, again, to FIG. 1, name field 76 is provided with a name 84, team field 78 is provided with the team name 86, league field 80 is provided with the league name 88, and year field 82 is provided with a year date 94.

Naturally, it should be understood that not all of the information for these fields may be appropriate for a particular award trophy, such that different fields may be deleted or other fields added for the specific customization of the award trophy to the individual. Thus, the award trophy may be constructed to be, for example, generic for a particular club for a particular year or highly individualized for a particular person to receive the award. Also, fields can be provided for the inclusion of a club logo or the logo of a sponsor.

Accordingly, the present invention contemplates a method of forming a nameplate 50 to include this information. Where the nameplate is to take the configuration shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, this method includes selecting the image for the photo image field and cropping that image to have a selected width and height such that the height extends transversely across the nameplate between lower edge 56 and upper edge 58. The method then includes entering the selected identifiers in the selected fields of nameplate 50 with all of this information being stored in a computer memory.

The method then includes printing, on a suitable substrate, so that the substrate contains the desired information. This information may be printed on a substrate that is pre-cut to the size of nameplate 50 or, alternatively, the substrate may be cut to the size after the printing. In any event, the method then includes the step of securing the nameplate to a selected trophy, such as along front surface 22, so that the trophy becomes individualized to the person whose image appears in the photo image field.

Alternatively, the method may include printing a reverse image of the desired information and/or photograph onto a suitable substrate such as paper. The printed image may then be transferred to a second substrate via a sublimation process whereby heat and pressure are used to transfer the image to a second suitable substrate such as aluminum. The aluminum substrate may be approximately between 0.010″ and 0.020″ or other suitable measurement, and once it bears the transferred image, may then be secured to the base. For example, the aluminum substrate may include a peel back strip that covers an adhesive layer. The strip may be peeled off thereby to expose the adhesive layer and permit the nameplate to be affixed to the base.

It should be understood that the present invention contemplates a wide variety of characters for an award trophy. FIGS. 4-6 illustrated three additional exemplary embodiments, although it should be understood that these embodiments by no means limit the variety of characters that may be used for the ornament or the riser and that the appearance of the ornaments and risers may include a vast array of subject matter. In each of these figures, the nameplate has been omitted from the base, but it should be understood that a nameplate such as nameplate 50 would be used with each of these award trophies.

Thus, for example purposes only, FIG. 4 illustrates an award trophy 110 wherein an ornament 140 is in the form of a bear character engaged in the game of baseball. Here, the bear 142 is holding a bat 144. Pedestal 130 is in the form of a baseball and supports 140 relative to base 112. Whereas in FIG. 1, the pedestal 30 was in the form of a soccer ball and the ornament was illustrated as kicking a softball, in FIG. 4, the correlation between the sports is in the form of a baseball and an implement used to strike the baseball instead of another baseball, itself. Ornament 130 is again provided with an impression, such as impression 132 which, again, is in the form of a bear paw.

FIG. 5 illustrates an award trophy 210 in the form of an ornament 240 that is a bear 242 illustrated as a female cheerleader holding pompoms 244 and 246. Pedestal 230 then takes the form of a pompom correlated to the athletic event of the cheerleader image with pedestal 230 supporting ornament 240 relative to base 212. Here, the impression, such as impression 32 or 132, is omitted.

Finally, with reference to FIG. 6, an award trophy 310 includes an ornament 340 illustrating a bear 342 playing basketball. Here, pedestal 330 is in the form of a basketball that supports ornament 340 relative to base 312. Ornament 340 includes a character in the form of a bear shooting a basketball 344 so that the sport is correlated to the pedestal. A bear paw impression 332 again appears on pedestal 330.

Accordingly, the present invention has been described with some degree of particularity directed to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. It should be appreciated, though, that the present invention is defined by the following claims construed in light of the prior art so that modifications or changes may be made to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention without departing from the inventive concepts contained herein.