Who Dat? It's the NFL Acting Foolish.

Posted in Articles, Branding by Frank Cowell

Recently the NFL attempted to put a stop to New Orleans merchants who were selling t-shirts with the phrase “Who Dat” and the fleur-de-lis symbol. These t-shirts are a reference to the NFL franchise, the New Orleans Saints. The phrase, “Who Dat”, is a popular, shortened version of the team chant, “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints.”

Now, I’m all for protecting your brand identity, trademarks, etc, but the NFL just goes way overboard at times. Sometimes the NFL forgets that when you have a business that is fortunate enough that your customers are so much into your product they call themselves “fans”, you have to cherish that and sometimes let some things slide. Sadly, the NFL goes out of its way, at times, to squash ‘non-sanctioned’ activities that are very harmless in nature.

Of course, they have a balancing act here but they would do well by their fans (read: customers) if they just relaxed once in a while and allowed the fan to enjoy the product THEIR way.

Another instance of this is when they, annually, do not allow businesses to refer to the Super Bowl as the Super Bowl. Instead, businesses everywhere refer to the Super Bowl as “The Big Game.” I’m not sure what the NFL is gaining here – everyone knows which ‘big game’ is being referenced. Why are they so hell bent on trying to squash fan (read: customer) support of their product? Quite frankly, it just comes off as ‘corporate greed’ to most people and when that happens, you start to lose fans (read: customers).

Yes, protect your brand at all costs but ease up at times, will ya?!

Read more about this situation on MSNBC

About Frank Cowell

Frank Cowell is President at Elevator, a digital brand strategy agency based in the San Diego, California area. He works regularly with CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of Marketing who are looking to create amazing brand experiences while driving inbound leads. A self-taught programmer with a deep understanding of technology, Frank enjoys a unique blend of brand development and marketing savvy that enables him to offer fresh perspectives on often-complex marketing concepts that he distills into actionable, easy-to-understand language. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to branding and digital marketing.
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