super bowl li

The Big Game for 2017 is finally here! Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 marks the date of Super Bowl LI.  This year’s Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, which is the third time that Super Bowl has been played in Houston.  (And for those of you that are not big football fans, this year’s halftime show will be headlined by international pop star Lady Gaga!)  

The two teams to make it to the Super Bowl this year are the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.  The Patriots are no stranger to the Super Bowl as they have made nine appearances (the most of any NFL team),  while the Falcons are making only their second appearance.  

We aren’t going to be making any picks and predictions between the Patriots-Falcons, we’ll leave that up to the NFL experts, but instead we will be looking at each team’s trademark history.
 
Branding is crucial for creating value in a business, and a sports business is no exception. Having a strong brands creates customer loyalty and is key to many types of sports business transactions like merchandising and licensing agreements and sponsorships. And of course at the heart of branding is trademarks.

Let’s take a look at each team’s trademark history:

New England Patriots

OneMore (The newest mark filed!)

  • Filing Date: Jan. 23, 2017
  • Word mark: The mark consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.

Do your job

  • Filing Date:  Sep. 12, 2016 (Notice of Opposition received)
  • Slogan for the New England Patriots’ marketing campaign based off the term “Do Your Job.” On and off the field the players and staff wear clothing with the phrase.  It is essentially General Manager’s Bill Belichick’s mantra.

Patriot’s Mark Logo

Patriots logo
Note: Logo that is registered with the USPTO.
Patriots Logo Wordmark
Note: Color is not a claimed feature of the mark

 

 

 

 

 

  • Registration Date:  Jan. 06, 2015
  • Color is not a claimed feature of the mark
  • The Mark consists of the word PATRIOTS and a patriot’s head

Patriots Logo “Pat Patriot”

Pats Logo
Note: Logo that is registered with the USPTO.

 

Pats Logo color
Note: Color is not a claimed feature of the mark

 

    • Registration Date:  Jan. 06, 2015
    • Color is not a claimed feature of the mark
    • “Pat Patriot” logo was used by the Patriots as their primary logo through 1992.

 

Atlanta Falcons

F Logo 

Falcons F Logo
Note: Logo that is registered with the USPTO.
Falcons F logo color
Note: Color is not a claimed feature of the mark
  • Registration Date: Jul. 17, 2007
  • The mark consists of a stylized profile of a falcon.
  • Color is not a claimed feature of the mark

Atlanta Falcons

  • Registration date: Oct. 09, 2007
  • Word Mark: The mark consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.

ATL Logo

  • Registration Date: June 21, 2011
  • The mark consists of the letters “ATL” with a stylized wing extending from the left of the “A”.
  • Color is not a claimed feature of the mark

Rise Up

  • Registration Date:  May 05, 2015
  • Word Mark: The mark consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.
  • No, this isn’t a reference to a song in the Tony Award-winning hit musical Hamilton, but rather is a mantra for the Atlanta Falcons.

For football fans, the trademark system offers vital information (especially if you were in San Diego, St. Louis, or Oakland). In 2008, the Atlanta Falcons’ logo mark lapsed. The falcon design was no longer exclusively associated with the “ATLANTA FALCONS” mark. While renewing their various marks, the owners continued registering their goods and services under “FALCONS” marks. You wouldn’t want to read too much into that given how things turned out, but it never hurts to check. Trademark registrations and amendments can reflect decisions percolating among team management and ownership.

Sport has the ability to bond people together on both a macro (brings communities together) and micro (brings family) level.  Additionally, sports allow people to capture that little sliver of glory that comes with a win.  

And for this Super Bowl – the 51st Super Bowl – for devoted Patriots and Falcons fans (or even those fans rooting for either team for just one day), the Super Bowl provides them the opportunity to feel the winning team’s glory.

And even if you aren’t interested in the Big Game, the Super Bowl always provides ample opportunity to check out some of the upcoming top trademarks in the famous (and famously expensive) commercials.

Go Pats! Go Falcons! May the best team win.


Written By: Chelsea Wold, with Robert Makar and Shane Ross

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