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Football Designs: What You Need to Know

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Football has a massive hold on the hearts and hopes (and wallets) of sports fans worldwide.  Men, women, children, grandmas, grandpas and pets come out of the woodwork each year to cheer on their favorite team.  What does that mean for you?  Well, you sell designs, don’t you?  Of course you do!  Adding a few football-themed designs to your mix in time for the Super Bowl on February 5th could give you a nice little spike (pun intended) in your sales.

The National Football League (NFL) gods have very strict rules on what you can and can’t use when creating football designs.  You’d do well to learn from the lessons of others, as failing to do so could find you in some very hot (and expensive) waters.

You can probably guess what has drawn the NFL’s ire before. They’ve tackled a church that hosted a Superbowl watch party, and it’s such a well-known issue that even Stephen Colbert has ranted about it. Law enforcement can sometimes even get involved. And in case you thought this was just a “big league” thing, think again: the same thing goes on at the college level.

In fact, you may be so used to it by now that you don’t notice how most people say “the big game” instead of “the Super Bowl” in their advertisements. Watch advertisements closely, or check any promotional email newsletters you get, and see how often it comes up!

The NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl and the hundreds of millions of fans that will be watching can offer you a great opportunity to get creative with some football-related designs.  In this case, though, “getting creative” means tippy-toeing around one of the biggest bullies in the world, so be careful, and if you have designs that you think may be close calls, consult your lawyer!

Do you have some experience or success in designing for high-profile events that go hand-in-hand with a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo?  If you’ve got some tips for other designers or comments about the info we’ve provided above, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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