How to Put the Super in Your Super Bowl Sale Without Getting Sued

Football-playersSuccessful retail promotions are all about giving customers what they want when they want it. And giving them a reason to shop now. For some retailers, the Super Bowl provides that perfect opportunity for a great sales event. If you sell big screen TVs, surround sound systems, great TV-watching furniture, pizzas, beer or other super snacks, people have a good reason to shop your store before the big game. Market conditions are ripe for a Super Bowl Sale.

The trick is, how do you say you're having a Super Bowl sale without violating the NFL's very strongly enforced trademark and copyright issues. The NFL and the TV network charge millions to be an official sponsor or run ads during the broadcast. Local and regional advertisers can't afford official sponsor prices. That means, technically, you can't use the words "Super Bowl" or "NFL Championship" in your ad. Or mention the teams by name. If you do, you're opening yourself up to a lawsuit. You can't use any images or logos from the Super Bowl or NFL either.

Super Weekend SaleThat doesn't mean, you can't have a sale tied into the Super Bowl. You just can't call it your "Super Bowl Sale." They don't have a trademark on more generic terms such as "super", "football," or "the big game." So, you can have a Super Sale and talk about getting ready for the big game. You can talk about a big screen TV perfect for watching the big game or your Super Snack pack perfect for feeding 20 hungry football fanatics. 

You can even show images of football, as long as they're generic uniforms – not official NFL ones. Or show fans going crazy watching the game, as long as they're not in official NFL gear. We even found that the old Monday Night Football theme that ABC used for years is available as a piece of needledrop music you can use in your commercial for less than $100. 

So, don't let this perfect sales opportunity pass you by. If you sell products that football loving fans will flock to your store for, make sure you put together a good sale the ties into this natural reason to buy. Just know the rules and make sure you don't get yourself into hot water that could cost you more than you gain. Enjoy Sunday's game and hopefully, have great sales leading up to it! 

Mike McClureMike McClure – fan of football & marketing

Join the discussion 3 Comments

Leave a Reply