SBD/May 2, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NCAA Football Committee Rules No Hashtags, URLs Allowed On Field Of Play

The NCAA football rules committee yesterday announced “the ban of all urls and hashtags from the field for 2013,” as they represent "an advertisement," according to Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson CLARION-LEDGER. The only ads "allowed on the field are for the NCAA, the conference, the bowl game or the home team.” Mississippi State was the “first to break into the hashtag game when it put #hailstate in the end zones during the 2011 season.” It is unclear “if the ban will extend" to basketball courts. Meanwhile, the committee also ruled that “pylons can have ads printed on them” as long as they are not in the end zone (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 5/2). In Mississippi, Brad Locke notes a memo from the committee sent to all schools “outlined what markings are allowed on the field of play: the NCAA logo, conference logo, college/university team name and logo, team name and logo, name of the commercial entity that purchased naming rights to the facility, and in the case of postseason games only the name/logo of the title sponsor.” MSU used the Twitter handle “for marketing, game day information, news, and all the other normal uses” (NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI DAILY JOURNAL, 5/2). USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken noted there is a “fear that schools could presumably use hashtags as a loophole to commercialize their football field.” College Football Officiating LLC National Coordinator Rogers Redding said, "If they have stuff on the sidelines, or on the walls that go around the stadium, it's OK. The idea is just to preserve the integrity of the field and not open it up to other kinds of advertising" (USATODAY.com, 5/1).
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