An Overview of NFL Promotions and Trademark Usage

There are very few certainties in life, but one thing you can count on is the that The NFL will enforce its trademarks.

Each year sponsors pay the NFL millions of dollars to be associated with the juggernaut. Sure, the NFL makes money from all sorts of sources from ticket sales to merchandise sales, but its bread and butter comes from selling sponsorships to advertisers.

It is big business and sold at a premium with all sorts of advertisers vying for these spots every year. This is why the NFL is adamant about protecting its trademarks. So, how can businesses (who are not “official” sponsors of the NFL) talk about their favorite team? The answer is, very carefully. The NFL has the terms Super Bowl and Super Sunday trademarked. You cannot use these terms in any commercial context. This also includes all team names and logos. They are off limits.

You can refer to these terms in a newsworthy context. For example, “Yesterday, I watched the Chiefs game.” You just cannot advertise a “Chiefs” special. You can refer to the city names of the teams. You can congratulate your team. That is really it. You can be creative and have fun with your team, but stay away from the trademarks

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