by: William Gennuine on
Are the Saints the new America's Team? Some say they are. And it’s more than just a title; it’s potentially the greatest windfall of attention and focus ever to blow into our state. With their fame comes an almost irresistible urge for businesses to find some way to associate themselves with the Saints' success.
In this issue of the Marketing Minute, we take a look at the question of should you, can you, and if so, how do you “be in that number”?
In the weeks between the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl, there was quite the controversy as the NFL sought to flex its licensing muscle to claim the rights to, and hence the money from, the use of the phrase, “Who Dat.” Under extreme pressure from everyone from Congress to Tom Benson, the NFL attorney-types finally backed off and let the licensing rights issue fade quietly away, but for you, chances are pretty good that they won’t be quite as generous.
So what’s an enterprising, Saints-minded business to do? One option is to employ the roll-the-dice method. Black and gold, that’s pretty straight forward. Fleur de lis stencils – easy cheesy. All you need now is a coat hanger and a street corner. But wait…is it worth it?
Basically, here’s the deal: The NFL and the Saints actually WANT you to sell things using their name. They encourage it. They want their name on pretty much everything. The thing is, they just want you to PAY for it first. It’s something called a trademark and guess what, the Saints identity, in all of its forms, is trademarked by the Saints and by extension, the NFL. So if you want a Saints association with your company, you can either buy all of the already officially NFL-licensed items you can handle, or you can approach the NFL for permission to have your products licensed. It’s not easy but if you really want to give it a shot, here’s where to start: https://www.nfl.info/NFLConsProd/Welcome/index.html. Sorry, sometimes it really is all about the money.
Since I have this vision of a disappointed groan after reading this, let me end with a little hope brought on by a couple of ideas of marketing finesse. Try this: While you probably can’t lay claim to a Drew Brees endorsement of your company, you can perhaps remind the market how the leadership, hard work and perseverance needed to win a National Champion has been a part of your business since <<Insert Date>>. You can also lay claim to being from the state that produced the Super Bowl Champions, which by association, makes you a part of a winning team. You get the idea.
So with full acceptance of the risks of violating NFL trademarks, we join with you all as we shout out loud, “Who Dat?! Who Dat?! Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints?! Who Dat?!”