SBD/Issue 59/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Go Your Own Way: NFL Nixes Ad Campaign Featuring Bears, 'Hawks

NFL Rule Prohibits Bears,
Blackhawks Ad Campaign
A series of ads featuring players from the Bears and Blackhawks are "never going to see the light of day" per an NFL rule, according to Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The spots in the "Crosstown Supporters" campaign, via Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, were shot in October, but NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello indicated that the league "prohibits use of team marks and logos in connection with the promotion of other sports except by three-quarters vote of the league's 32 clubs." The NFL "saw no gray area, which is probably why the Bears-Hawks ads were thought to be unprecedented." Bears Senior Dir of Corporate Communications Scott Hagel: "We felt it was within the framework of the spirit of what the rule was. They felt differently, and we have to respect their decision." Rosenthal reported that five spots were filmed, including Bears QB Jay Cutler "trading passing tips" with Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews, and Bears LB Lance Briggs and Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook "talking about big hits." The Blackhawks "ponied up the cash to produce the ads and pledged to buy time and place the spots" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/6).

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