Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Planning a Super Bowl-themed Marketing Campaign? 5 Tips for Staying In Bounds

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With the Super Bowl coming up, it is important for brands looking to capitalize on football-themed promotions to remember that the terms “Super Bowl” and “Super Sunday” are registered trademarks guarded by the National Football League (NFL) more closely than a shutdown corner on a wide receiver. Because there is a fine line between permissible fair uses of Super Bowl and Super Sunday (e.g., in on-air banter and news and sports reports) and impermissible promotional uses that may infringe the NFL’s trademark, here are some guidelines to keep you from going “offsides.”

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a brand?
  2. Is the NFL a brand? Is the Super Bowl a brand?
  3. How do companies protect their brands?
  4. Why is it important for companies to protect their brands?
  5. What is a trademark?
  6. Why do you think the NFL owns trademarks for phrases like “Super Bowl” and the “Big Game”?
  7. What is sponsorship?
  8. How might a sponsorship with the NFL allow a company to use protected phrases like Super Bowl in their marketing?
  9. What is ambush marketing?
  10. How might a company create a promotion around the Super Bowl without being an official sponsor?
  11. According to information from this story, what are some things a company would need to avoid from a marketing perspective if they were not an official NFL sponsor?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.

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