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Are you Having a Super Bowl® party?

 —  December 18, 2013 — 2 Comments

1a4YVx.AuSt.69You may have heard back in 2006, when my Chicago Bears we playing the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl®, that the NFL told Fall Creek Baptist Church they were in violation of trademark laws for marketing a Super Bowl® party and charging for this party. This blog post on Fox News says…

NFL officials spotted a promotion of Fall Creek Baptist Church’s “Super Bowl Bash” on the church Web site last week (2006) and overnighted a letter to the pastor demanding the party be canceled, the church said.

Initially, the league objected to the church’s plan to charge a fee to attend and that the church used the license-protected words “Super Bowl” in its promotions.

Pastor John D. Newland said he told the NFL his church would not charge anyone and that it would drop the use of the forbidden words.

As I am sitting here planning my 2014 events calendar I thought to myself, “Can I have a Super Bowl® party or do I need to have a “Big Game Party?”

I am not sure what legal precautions I need to take so I do not infringe on the trademarked Super Bowl® or their intellectual rights. I found this video from a law office in Texas, don’t take these words as the absolute truth, but this may be all you need to know to make sure you and your church are above reproach:




Brandon Early

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I have been serving in youth ministry for nearly 20 years, am currently the Director of Student Ministries at Valley Church in Des Moines, IA, and am on a first name basis with several Best Buy and Apple employees. My wife Keri and I have been married over ten years and have three great boys. My four favorite things are Jesus, my wife, Chicago Style Pizza, and fighting off our boys with sweet ninja moves.

2 responses to Are you Having a Super Bowl® party?

  1. That’s an interesting post. Another thought worth considering…does it reflect new testament evangelism to elevate an event like the Super Bowl to lead someone to Christ? If your answer is a quick “Yes!” than I have a follow up question that’s not popular (at least among the men in your congregations)… Why didn’t the early church leaders (Paul, Timothy, John etc.) promote Roman contests and gladiator games to reach the lost. It’s interesting because time and time again we relate our games to the gladiator events and contests of old (“Gridiron Gladiators”). To bring the thought a few centuries closer and to build off of that logic: why would both Augustine and Martin Luther King Jr. label gladiator contests as detrimental to spiritual growth. To be honest, I think the question we should really be asking ourselves as leaders is not “is it lawful”, but rather, “is it beneficial”? (1 Corinthians 10:23)

    • Thanks for your thoughts Cole. I would not limit this event for evangelism, I love hanging out with our students and I want to do it legally. However, it does tend to be a great environment for our students to bring friends. I think “is if lawful” is a very appropriate Q, we want to be above reproach. Here’s a thought…Is it beneficial for our students to listen to Christ centered music? Yes! But not at the expense of stealing it via illegal download of bittorrent. I think “is it lawful” and “is it beneficial” are two solid questions to keep in mind when doing ministry.

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