Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

‘March Madness’ for some, ‘basketball tournament’ for most

The 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament begins a week from now. You might know the tournament better as “March Madness.” But you could also theoretically be sued if you tried to make a profit off of the phrase “March Madness.”

That’s because the NCAA has trademarked the term, along with several others (Final Four, Elite Eight) synonymous with one of the best events on the sports calendar. Only the organization’s “corporate champions” or “corporate partners” can use the terms in their advertisements.

To avoid trademark infringement lawsuits, then, companies use euphemisms (“Hoops Hysteria”) to connect their product or promotion with the tournament. Like, for example, vasectomies.

“It’s like the marketers who reference [the] ‘Big Game’ when they really mean ‘Super Bowl’ and those companies who try to market around the restrictions regarding the Olympics,” notes Awful Announcing.

In related news, I’ve just trademarked “Hoops Hysteria.”