CREATIVE LICENSE IN BRANDING

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Two of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet took place earlier this month, with the National Football League’s Super Bowl having been staged at Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium in early-February and the 23rd Winter Olympics having gone from Feb. 9-25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

With such prominent events being at the forefront of our cultural zeitgeist and a ubiquitous media presence for weeks on end, it can seem like a good idea to incorporate terms or themes from sporting entities such as these into your marketing in order to draw attention to your business in an opportune manner.

If that’s a path you ever elect to go down – be very careful how you present and phrase your promotion.

In order to use the specific terms like “Super Bowl” or “Olympics” in any kind of marketing or advertising collateral, you have to be an official partner of the NFL or the IOC. Ever wonder why so many ads use the phrase “The Big Game” when promoting a big screen TV sale or pizza delivery bargain? That’s why.

The NFL has very strict licensing/trademark regulations and the IOS’s sponsorship guidelines are even more stringent. As AdWeek outlined in 2016, even using certain words or hashtags in social media posts can land you in hot water with the Olympics’ governing body.

Instead of trying to dance around the rules, using creative phrasing and relying the power of suggestion can allow you to incorporate big events into your digital marketing efforts, particularly on the social media side of things. A tweet from Oreo went viral during the 2013 Super Bowl when a brief power outage occurred at New Orleans’ Superdome for example, as did one from Duracell this year after Philadelphia defeated New England.

It’s a fine line to navigate though, and the last thing you want to deal with is cease-and-desist notifications from powerful organizations for something as trivial as a fun social media post or marketing promotion.

With March Madness coming up soon, the NCAA will be on the lookout for trademark offenders so if you’re planning on using any hoops-related language in any of your marketing collateral, make sure it’s compliant with their innumerable rules and regulations!

Given that there are so many things to worry about when it comes to marketing and promoting your business these days, it makes sense now more than ever to rely on professionals to handle your digital marketing efforts. At AMG, we’re well-versed in both the nuances and big picture components of small business marketing, have expert creative mavens on staff and specialize in developing sustainable and affordable integrated marketing strategies that provide small businesses with the solutions they need to reach high-quality customers. Click HERE to request a FREE marketing assessment of your business from our team!

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