Don't get stung by 'March Madness'!

March 16, 2017

Be careful how you allow advertisers to utilize certain phrases during the next few weeks.

The phrases “March Madness.” “Road to the Final Four” and “Final Four”” and their logos are trademarks.

While they can be used in editorial copy, you must pay licensing fees to use them in conjunction with any advertising promotion.

The NCAA is very aggressive in tracking down violations, and employs “spotters” to look for unauthorized uses of the words or logo. Even a seemingly innocuous reference to a March Madness sale is in violation if proper fees are not paid.

A merchant selling products that have already been licensed by the NCAA can promote the sale of these items in advertising, provided the appropriate wording is used.

The best advice: avoid those terms. Make up your own that reflect your community.

Simply tell your clients they run a huge risk if trademark holders find out about misuse.