Super Bowl LII is this weekend and maybe you have heard the constant ads on TV or the radio talking about the super game or the big game, but never the Super Bowl. Why?
The NFL had trademark the phrase “Super Bowl” in the late 1960s, but only until recent years have they heavily enforced its trademark.
The first time this made big headlines was in 2007 when the NFL send a cease-and-desist letter to a church in Indiana who was advertising a super bowl party.
Instances like those have changed how people, especially bars and restaurants, advertise their Super Bowl viewing parties. This also changed how radio and TV stations who may want to use the super bowl name for promotions went about doing that.
Talk show host Stephen Colbert had a solution to this problem a few years ago. Instead of calling it Super Bowl he called it the Superb Owl. He used the hashtag #superbowl and called on everyone to use it as an attempt to get one over on the NFL. And it was all legal.
The NFL doesn’t just do prevent people from using their game name to be a mean corporation, they do it to be a rich corporation.
Super Bowl ads cost around $5 million for a 30-second ad and companies like Budweiser pay billions of dollars to be the official Super Bowl sponsor. So in all fairness the NFL has to protect their trademark at all cost, even against churches and TV hosts.
Even though it is annoying to hear “the big game” or “Superb Owl” instead of Super Bowl, the game is still the same. A different name won’t change much about it. I will be enjoying the “Superb Owl” just as much as anyone else.