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Is Your Church Hosting a Super Bowl Party? Remember These Tips.

NFL rules require caution from churches regarding this event.

By David Middlebrook

The National Football League has a few requirements that churches and other organizations must follow in order to host a Super Bowl party. These requirements emerged a few years ago, after a dispute arose between the NFL and a large church which wanted to host a party.

As the big game approaches, here are four tips regarding these requirements that church leaders should note:

  1. Do not rent any equipment. Churches must use equipment they already own and regularly use to conduct their religious worship.
  2. Show the game live in your facility only. Recording the Super Bowl to exhibit later is not allowed. And streaming the party online, which might include portions of the broadcast shown at your facility, is also not allowed.
  3. Do not charge admission. However, the NFL allows churches to collect an offering to cover expenses.
  4. Be careful about how the party is promoted. We recommend churches not call it a “Super Bowl Party” in advertisements, announcements, social media mentions, and other promotions. Rather, we encourage churches to call it a “Big Game Party” or something similar. Also, avoid using the NFL logo and other branding associated with the league and the game. All of these items, including the term “Super Bowl,” are trademarked by the NFL, and the NFL is vigilant about protecting its trademarks and intellectual property.

 

It’s critical for pastors and church leaders to understand the importance of protecting the church’s intellectual property, protecting the intellectual property of pastors and staff, and the avoiding the infringement of intellectual property owned by other individuals and organizations.

David Middlebrook is an attorney and his practice emphasis is focused on representing tax-exempt organizations. This article was partially based on a video recorded by David Middlebrook for the Church Law Group.

Shared from the Church Law & Tax website.

https://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/january/hosting-super-bowl-party-remember-these-tips.html

Matthew Gore

Matthew Gore

Matthew H. Gore is a British journalist, historian, popular culturist, archivist, and educator residing in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the immediate past-president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists and is best known for his book The History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kentucky to 1988 (2000). He has also published on a variety of topics as diverse as The Origin of Marvelman (a British superhero of the 1950s and 1960s), the relative scarcity of East German philatelics, and the biography of British pulp artist, Denis McLoughlin. He is employed by the Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the Cumberland Presbyterian Center in Memphis, Tennessee, as editor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Magazine and as publications manager. He has been associated with both Western Kentucky University, which honored him with their James H. Poteet Award, and the University of Kentucky. He also serves as editor for all Boardman Books (Memphis, Tennessee) publications.
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