Munck Wilson Mandala

Why ads don’t say Super Bowl snacks, Super Bowl TVs, Super Bowl beer


Shannon Tipton
Public Relations Director 

Biz Beat Blog

Why ads don’t say Super Bowl snacks, Super Bowl TVs, Super Bowl beer

All those circled words mean Super Bowl. #SB50

Am I the only person who didn’t know when you put the words super and bowl together, in that order, and capitalize the S and B, it’s a rabidly protected trademark of the NFL?

I wondered why these circulars just don’t come out and say it. Super Bowl snacks, Super Bowl TVs, Super Bowl beer!

Here’s why: Those words represent a big business that’s growing faster than the stock market at the peak of the bull market.

Last year, every NFL team received $226.4 million in national revenue sharing. The pot they split was $7.2 billion, up $6 billion the prior year and it was a mere $3 billion in 2010. (Not bad: Double your money every four or five years.)

Some of those big bucks come to the NFL from licensing the words “Super Bowl.” That’s why Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart instead say things like “Score great savings” for “Game Day.”

I don’t blame retailers for not paying up just to say Super Bowl. We get it.

So this weekend, watch out mom and pop stores, bars and restaurants. You will get hit with a letter from a lawyer if you use the words. It’s not just the big companies that are policed by the NFL.

A bar can’t host a Super Bowl watching party and charge for admission, said Dallas intellectual property lawyer Bill Munck. “If someone like a Dave and Busters did that they would get a cease and desist order.”

Churches have been nailed too for using Super Bowl and charging a fee that only paid for the snacks consumed, said Munck. He reminds his firm’s clients in the hospitality business to be mindful of the rules around this time every year.

A few years ago, the NFL charged bars a fee to broadcast the game on a big screen TV that was over 55 inches, Munck said. “That’s before big screen TV prices came down and now everyone has one in their house.”

Twitter: @MariaHalkias