Super Bowllogos:

The Rules of the Game, 1995

• 10 players from each team can wear Reebok
• 10 players from each team can wear Nike
• The remaining players must either wear Apex or cover the Nike or Reebok logo on their shoes
On the Friday before each game, the shoe companies deliver a letter to the NFL designating which 20 players on each team are to wear their shoes for that week.

• San Diego Chargers: Starter Company
• San Francisco 49ers: Wilson, Inc.

• San Diego Chargers: Starter
• San Francisco 49ers: Apex

• Chargers coaches: Starter
• 49ers coaches: Apex
• Chargers and 49ers players: Sports Specialties, AJD, Logo Athletic, Apex, Starter

• The only authorized brands are Easton, Saranac and Neumann. All other brands must be removed.

• Pine Hosiery of North Carolina

• The only authorized brands are Reebok, Nike, Neumann, Easton, Franklin, and Saranac. All other brands must be removed.

Do-Rags [handkerchiefs worn on head by some of the players]
• The only article of clothing not licensed. Yet.

Source: NFL Properties Inc.
reported in Philadelphia Inquirer, 1-29-95, p. A14.


Any questions?
Yes, I have some, Your Honor.

Logo = brand name. What is the origin of this term? The cattle-brand? Anyone whiff the smell of burning flesh among the sweat and astro-turf?

If a player gets “big” enough, he becomes his own brand---he can market himself and his reputation to sell company products. In many ways, the companies have to come to him. Perhaps being one of the designated players to get special shoes, etc., is the first step towards such a height. But only a few players in a generation become “brands” themselves. (Is there a question here, wise guy?)

OK, how did the companies decide on which players to wear their shoes without conflicting with the other company? If it was already known beforehand which players were under contract to wear the shoes, then why the dramatics of a “letter” the Friday before the Big Game? Who opens the letter? Are the contents read aloud to all the players assembled in glory in front of their lockers in the locker room? Or is the word just passed along by locker-room workers for the team: “Hey, J.C., you get to wear Nikes this year.” (?)

The poor “remaining players,” not chosen by any shoe company!

It’s bad enough growing up in the neighborhood and not being chosen by the locals early on for pick-up games, but always forced on a team at the end, a reject of both sides! (Of course, it must be the rare NFL player who was such a reject; that’s an experience reserved for the rest of us who would never get close to being tempted to go into pro sports....) So this experience of “rejection” may be their first. Yet it’s also rejection in the form of “free choice”---perhaps they can pick whichever shoes they want, among the companies that are allowed to participate.

Can the players choose a specific shoe style from the designated company, or must they adhere to the official style (the football shoe or the team shoe) that the company has chosen for that year?

Do some players wear other brands (of wristbands, say) during the week, and then have to remove them for the weekend? In some cases, are these “other brands” (Brand X’s) paying them for wearing their brands at other times, while knowing that they can’t be worn during the Big Moments?

How long will the handkerchiefs / do rags remain sponsor-free?

What, no jockstrap sponsor regulation? No vitamin and/or steroid pill endorsements?

No logos for footwraps, bandages, the oxygen mouthpiece, stretchers?

Major “reforms” since 1995? Monopolies---so that all the players get to wear the same company shoes?

Who's on top below?


Gnomon 1