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Why do Businesses Use “Big Game” in its Advertising for Promotions, Rather than “Super Bowl?”

The simple answer is:  Money.

The words "Super Bowl" are trademarked by the National Football League.  Want to use it in your advertising?  You have to purchase an official sponsorship package that allows you to use "Super Bowl" in your advertising.  As well as get the use officially signed off on by the NFL.

Screen Shot from Episode of Colbert Report, featuring Stephen in front of commercials featuring "Big Game"

That's why you see a lot of companies talking about "The Big Game" or event, their "Superb Owl" parties.  The above screenshot and "Superb Owl" are from a 2014 episode of The Colbert Report, worth a watch if you have an extra five minutes to spare.

The argument is that people can assume a relationship between the NFL and some business using the term Super Bowl.  And, yes, the NFL has sent out cease-and-desist letters to businesses ... even churches.  It's a sponsorable asset that makes the NFL money.

On top of the sponsorship fee, companies then spend even more money to activate their sponsorship.  Those companies want that positive association of supporting the Super Bowl to further enhance their brand.  Activation is something that even the smallest company can do on simple sponsorships and partnerships, so you can imagine the value of activating the Super Bowl.  And if every company in the world activated the Super Bowl without paying for it, it would drive the value down.

That's why the NFL is pretty stringent in enforcing the use of "Super Bowl."  It's protecting the value of its sponsorable assets and in turn, protecting their bottom line.


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