Mitchell Stabbe, our resident trademark law specialist, today takes his annual look at the legal issues in Super Bowl advertising and promotions (see some of his past articles here, here, and here). Take it away, Mitch:
As a life-long fan of the Baltimore Ravens (the life of the Ravens, not my life), my interest in the Super Bowl XVII has waned a bit. The opposite is true for those who seek to profit from the playing of the game. Accordingly, following are updated guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly reference the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL. But, first, a trivia question. Who won Super Bowl I. (Answer at end)
The Super Bowl means big bucks.
There are currently four primary television networks that broadcast and stream NFL games in the United States (CBS/Paramount+, Fox, ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ and NBC/Peacock). It is estimated that, with the new contract which took effect this year, each will pay the NFL an average of over $2 billion per year for those rights through 2032, including the right to broadcast the Super Bowl on a rotating basis.
The investment seems to pay off for the networks. Reportedly, it will cost $7M for a 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, which is about the same as last year. It has also been reported that last year’s game brought in advertising revenue totaling $600 M (up from $545 M the prior year). These figures do not include income from ads during any pre-game or post-game programming. (In addition to the sums paid to have their commercials aired, some advertisers spend millions of dollars to produce an ad.) In addition, the NFL receives hundreds of millions of dollars from licensing the use of the SUPER BOWL trademark and logo.Continue Reading 2024 Update on Super Bowl Advertising and Promotions