When I think of the Super Bowl, even though I’m a marketer, my mind drifts more to food, drink, fun with friends and ranking the commercials. I’m into the game if it’s a grid iron battle – and would be a fanatic if my Dolphins were there, but sadly we haven’t been to the show in sometime.

Regardless, what I don’t think about is the Super Bowl’s logo. Brands are likely one of the most argued over in terms of importance and impact on consumers. For example, my colleagues and I have been wondering why time honored brands like Pepsi and Gatorade have changed their brand marks to now look like a beachball and the single letter “G”. I’m assuming some marketer convinced them it was time to ‘modernize.’ In truth, I am less motivated to buy Gatorade because now it seems trendy instead of effective.

But when I read the following from Reveries magazine’s Cool News of the Day, it made me realize the logo for the Super Bowl just hasn’t been that much to look at – and for a day that is one of the most watched events every year, it’s kind of surprising.

From Reveries… “The 43 Super Bowl logos ‘draw a line through the league’s growth, the trends of graphic design, even the vagaries of one nation’s popular culture,’ reports John Branch in the New York Times (1/28/09). John observes: “Flourishes arrive in the disco era, leading to a decade-long phase of red-white and blue badges. They look more like corporate logos, tinged with cold-war-era patriotism … As designers moved to computers, their logos became more complicated, their palettes more varied” (gallery). Design critic Stephen Heller has a more brutal assessment: “I’ll go out on a limb and say that all the logos starting with XVII are based on beer labels.” However, he thinks this year’s logo (designed by Landor Associates) marks a departure, suggesting it “looks like the Bank of America logo.” The current logo is also the first to use the color green, in a nod to “the surf and turf of Tampa,” where the Big Game will be held on Sunday. That’s part of the design spec, as each logo, in addition to including those Roman Numerals, is meant to convey something of its host city or stadium.That’s a tradition that started with Super Bowl XXI, with a rose representing the Rose Bowl. Only once was the logo changed, and that was post 9/11, when it was switched from a “festive” New Orleans motif to a more “patriotic” theme (images). Among other uses, each logo “is reproduced on $100 million worth of licensed merchandise.”

If however you’d like to see new options, or create one of your own, the New York Times is inviting its readers to submit their own designs via email (link) with the best ones published on its blog, The Fifth Down.

If the game turns out to be a blow out – maybe creating a new logo will make you feel better. If not, have another beer.

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