NFL brand protection. Really?
So the day of the 45th Super Bowl is almost here. Wait, can I say that? What I meant is the day of the big game is almost here. Please don’t sue me Mr. NFL. And so comes my question of the day. Is the NFL simply protecting its product and brand, or has it become the greedy old man looking to suck every last nickel out of its adoring audience?
There is no question that football is the king of sports in the United States with the NFL coming in as the top dog and college football ranking number three in a recent Harris poll. But is the NFL going overboard with the protection of their product? Obviously steps need to be taken to protect ticket prices and discourage profiteering, but it seems a little ridiculous that even though everyone alive knows “the big game” is synonymous with the Super Bowl when used in the winter of every year.
Why can’t we just call it the Super Bowl? I understand the NFL not wanting its prize game to become a generic term like Kleenex or Post-It, but is there really a threat of Super Bowl becoming the name that refers to all championship games everywhere? I just don’t see SB replacing the fall classic and it becoming the Major League Baseball Super Bowl.
If the NFL is protecting its brand and is concerned with the image of the league (as they should be) then why are they so reluctant to hold its players – the product – to the same standards? This past week it was announced that Michael Vick just signed a deal to endorse shoulder pads. How quickly we forget that he was recently in jail due to being involved with dog fighting. Or the fact that Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre have both been linked to inappropriate behavior with very little in the way of repercussions. Hell, Roethlisberger is even in the “big game”.
If the NFL is so concerned with its brand, perhaps it should start looking in the mirror instead of looking for churches with a big screen.