America’s No. 1 (unofficial) national holiday is right around the corner. I’m talking Superbowl Sunday. I’m not sure if I can even use the term “Superbowl” or “Super Bowl” (not sure which is proper) without getting this publication sued.
Seriously, the term “Super Bowl” is trademarked by the NFL, or something, but I think I’m OK to write about it because I am—very loosely, mind you—considered part of a news organization.
Some companies use the term “Big Game” in their marketing to get around the legal landmines. You’ll see generic football players in unrecognizable uniforms, or past NFL legends wearing jerseys that are similar to the ones they wore in their playing days, all plastered upon billboards and supermarket pop-up displays.
As if we’re fooled. It’s all kind of silly, if you ask me.
The correct term for this kind of end run is known as “ambush marketing.” Whether it’s corn chips, TVs, furniture or pizza, advertisers can march up to the 1-yard line with terms like “Super Savings on Super Sunday” and “Big Game Deals” as long as the proverbial ball doesn’t cross the goal. They can also say things like “Cleveland vs. Detroit” but not “Browns vs. Lions.” Of course, neither of those clubs ever get there anyway, but you get my point.
If you want to get on the NFL’s A-list, prepare to pony up the cash. I was thinking about being the Official Realtor of the NFL, but the price tag of 62 bazillion dollars was just a tad out of my marketing budget. I am however, Official Realtor of the Big Game. Me and a bazillion other agents. It doesn’t have quite the same cache but the price is right.
Since the Super Bowl is a pseudo national holiday, I think they (“they” being whomever is in charge of such things) should just let it go. Imagine if someone trademarked Christmas or Independence Day, or my birthday—three of the biggest holidays of the year. Would Santa be forced to wear a Nike swoosh?