Friendly reminder to stay away from saying it’s your brand’s Super Bowl Party or associating with the NFL’s trademarks.

It’s that time of year again… time to remind you that Super Bowl and Super Sunday are registered trademarks of the NFL. This is why most brands and businesses use the phrase “the Big Game” in advertising linking promotions or events to Super Bowl Sunday.

Promoting your brand with the trademarked phrases almost always infringes on the NFL’s marks, and to the extent the NFL takes notice, may end up costing you. Promoting your brand with allusory names is cool – so is saying “San Francisco” or “Kansas City” in place of “49ers” and “Chiefs” – works, so does censoring yourself when saying the name or coming up with something else that’s funny to show you’re aware of the issue – like Colbert’s Suberb Owl bit.  This is all because a direct association, through logos, or labeling or hosting an event where you use the trademarked phrases in advertising what your doing can, and usually does, cross a line from fair use to promotional use, and trying to draw that line when you’re a business is tricky. So, keep your advertising and social media peeps from getting you in trouble and remind them to it’s your #$@% Bowl Party unless you’ve paid the NFL for it.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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