Marketing Around the "Big Game"

January 22, 2017

Nothing gets Americans excited like a big football game, and the pro football championship garners some of the highest television ratings every year. For that reason, many brands are eager to work the game into marketing campaigns to piggyback off the attention it draws. However, most companies can’t afford the pricey commercial slots the game is known for. Therefore, brands look to other means of incorporating the event into advertising.


First things first, if you’re going to work the game into your marketing strategy, it needs to be done legally. The NFL has trademarked the usage of the popular title we all know so well, to the point where even editorial usage of the term has become risky business (including for us). With this in mind, it is essential to be mindful of your promotions. From social media and printed materials to radio and TV ads, usage of that aforementioned term should be avoided at all costs. Unless, of course, your company is shelling out the big bucks for one of the coveted game-time tv slots (we’re talking upwards of $4 million). If that isn’t the case, here are some terms that are safe to use:

  • The Big Game
  • Sunday's Game
  • Game Day
  • Pro Football Championship
  • #ATLvsNE
  • The Biggest Event in Football


With the possible legal implications in mind, the next concern for brands is of course how to best implement the game into marketing efforts successfully. While there are many mediums through which companies can tie the championship into their advertising, one of the most popular methods of doing so is through social media. Given that the game is typically a top-trending topic on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, social media is undoubtedly one of the best places for businesses to make mention of it.

Here are some tips for making an impact on social media during the big day, or as Stephen Colbert popularly refers to it, the Superb Owl.

  • Brands should incorporate themes like humor, nostalgia, and inspiration, which routinely claim the spot of top advertisements every year.
  • A string of posts during game time may not be the best strategy. Instead, companies (particularly those with tight budgets) can often benefit from a single, well-crafted post.
  • Hashtags that are short, sweet, and impactful are the way to go.
  • When appropriate, tie in influencers to enhance your reach.
  • Finally, and most importantly, businesses must ensure the message expressed is consistent with that of the brand. Incorporating the big game into marketing simply for the sake of doing so will prove ineffective without a strong, relevant message.

The last thing any brand wants is for marketing efforts to result in a lawsuit. Therefore, seeking out an attorney’s opinion for major campaigns is advisable. If it’s marketing assistance your brand is in need of, our Boca Raton ad agency is just a call away. Reach out today to ensure your next campaign is your best one yet.

7 marketing musts for startup, independent brokerages

Unlocking Ultra-Luxury Marketing Magic: 5 Reasons to Hire a Plug-and-Play Marketing Team

Embracing Value-Based Pricing for Small Business Week and Beyond

May 2, 2023