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Battle of the Logos: BCS Bowl Games Edition

Posted by admin on: January 6th, 2011

This week featured most of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl games and next week Oregon and Auburn will face each other in the BCS championship game.

Despite the “amateur” nature of college athletics, each bowl game features a myriad of trademarks – corporate sponsors, broadcast station promotions, sponsored aerial footage, sponsored pregame, postgame and halftime shows, apparel logos, and more. The bowls themselves are well known brand names. Some are well protected with multiple trademark registrations, while others are not (which is shocking, given the millions of dollars in ticket sales, broadcasting fees, corporate sponsorship, and merchandise.)

Of the five BCS bowl games, which has the best trademarks? See if you agree with my assessment below!

  • TOSTITO’S FIESTA BOWL
    • The logo is hideous in my opinion. It is dominated by a food product brand name. But it does feature a sun – the game is in Arizona – and mountain tops along the bottom. The name “Fiesta Bowl” is also not great. It says nothing about football or a game, just a party.
    • COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S BIGGEST PARTY – registered for “Entertainment services, namely organizing community festivals featuring a variety of activities including parades, sporting events, and musical performances”
    • – registered for “conducting athletic competitions”
    • FIESTA BOWL – registered for “conducting athletic competitions” and clothing
    • FIESTA BOWL FESTIVAL – registered for “paper goods, namely, stationery, business cards, envelopes, matchbook covers, paper napkins, and printed materials, namely, brochures, handbooks, and souvenir programs all featuring information about community festivals”
  • DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL
    • The logo is not registered. The name is appropriate for Florida, and the stadium in which it used to be played was nicknamed the ‘Orange Bowl.’
    • ORANGE BOWL – registered for “Entertainment in the nature of an annual college football game; organizing community festivals featuring a variety of activities, namely, sporting events, such as a tennis tournament, basketball championship, and golf tournament” and a variety of goods
    • THE PATCH – registered for “Printed material, namely newsletters on the game of football; Entertainment services; namely, organizing and conducting parties and special events”
  • ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
    • The logo revolves around the trophy that is awarded. As you can see below, the trophy is a registered trademark. But the logo is not registered. The SUGAR BOWL name is not registered for clothing or other merchandise.
    • SUGAR BOWL – registered for “Providing Football Games, Basketball Games, Tennis Games, Running Races and Regattas”
    • – registered for “Providing Football Games, Basketball Games, Tennis Games, Running Races and Regattas”
  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    • The title game for the Bowl Champtionship Series is the “BCS National Championship.” The name is boring. The title game logo is boring. The title game logo and the acronym BCS are not registered trademarks. The crystal trophy is not a registered trademark. Given the attention and dollars spent on this game, it is a wonder that the brand is not better protected!
    • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – registered for “Entertainment services in the nature of television and radio sports programs featuring college football games, exhibitions and tournaments; entertainment services, namely, organizing and staging college football games, exhibitions and tournaments; and providing entertainment, information, news and programming, all in the field of sports via the internet” and a variety of goods
    • BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – registered for “Entertainment services in the nature of television and radio sports programs featuring college football games, exhibitions and tournaments; entertainment services, namely, organizing and staging college football games, exhibitions and tournaments; and providing entertainment, information, news and programming, all in the field of sports via the Internet”

It is clear to me that the ROSE BOWL has the coolest logo.  And its owners are the wisest, as they have gone to great lengths to protect all types of trademarks.

Lesson: A good brand has many facets. The Rose Bowl organizers have capitalized on all the facets of their brand and have properly protected them so they can more easily stop infringers and better capture the value – and dollars – of the brand.

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