Herb Kelleher (Right) Chairman of Southwest Airlines and Kurt Herwald (Left), Greenville, S.C based Stevens Aviation wrestle in Dallas, Texas in 1992, to determine who would get rights to an advertising slogan.
Stevens had been using the slogan ‘Just Plane Smart’ for over a year before Southwest unknowingly began using the exact Ad campaign. Herwald decided to challenge Kelleher (Southwest) to the wrestling match, instead of dishing out thousands of dollars in legal fees and the two heads also agreed the publicity from the match would benefit both airlines even greater.
Whoever wins, gets to keep the slogan, the loser would also have to donate $5000 to a notable charity.
Herwald eventually won the highly publicized match, which by the way was entitled ‘Malice in Dallas’…. but out of good sportsmanship, he allowed Southwest Airlines to continue using their slogan, plus also as a ‘gift’ for accepting the crazy proposal in the first place.
Both companies reported increase in profit shortly after, Southwest estimated gaining around six million dollars from publicity and doubling their stocks after a year and within three years Stevens Aviation was making four times what it made in the year of the match. The charity also gained fifteen million dollars from the three rounds of the match.