Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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February 24, 2014

City purchases rights to ‘Okie Noodling’

emann@pvdemocrat.com — While the term “Okie Noodling” is as much a part of Pauls Valley’s identity as any other element these days, the community could never say it had total ownership.

This recently changed when Oklahoma native Bradley Beasley offered Pauls Valley the rights through trademarks to “Okie Noodling.”

It is an exciting time for those like Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Samford. She noted how this means limitless opportunities when it comes to marketing, and helps make sure the event sticks around indefinitely.

“It was a culmination of filming he was doing for the first documentary,” said Samford. “He wanted to tie it all and wrap it all together at (Bob’s) Pig Shop.”

“That’s how the tournament got started. Because of the growth we had to move it to Wacker Park three years ago.

Beasley had contemplated selling the rights, including intrinsic value like trademarks and patents, for some time. Only in recent months did he approach City Manager James Frizell and the PV Chamber of Commerce, according to Samford.

The City went before the Tourism Board with an opportunity to buy the rights in late January. At last week’s meeting city, council members approved the purchase for $50,000, based on the estimation of what Beasley made in merchandising.

“Like it or not, it is something your community is known for around the world,” said Samford. “We’re so well known for this, it is a good thing.”

Samford noted some of the main reasons for Beasley selling was to dedicate more time to his own hobbies of film making and an upcoming marriage. He felt it was the perfect time to move on and hand over the reins to something that attracts thousands from around the world.

The biggest benefit of having the rights is protecting the identity of the festival. Samford believes it could not continue if another community had gained control. She noted how a festival would still be possible, but that it would not have the same appeal.

“He wanted the tournament to stay in Pauls Valley; I think that is why he came to us,” said Samford. “I think there were other parties interested. He has worked with us for so long and seen how good it is for the community.”

In the end, Samford said with the help of the chamber and Erin Creach, the city’s tourism director, there is no limit to how they can use these rights.

One idea includes the possibility of a music venue the night before the tournament for the early arrivers.

“There’s not any one thing we do that brings as many tourists into town in a condensed amount of time,” said Samford.“There’s some potential there… the possibilities are wide open.”

The tournament will return for the fourth year to the park June 21.

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