While we won’t know which teams will face off in Super Bowl LII until January 21, if your church is planning a viewing party, it’s not too early to get started on your game plan.
It’s no secret the NFL came under scrutiny earlier in the year. However, the fact remains the Super Bowl is one of America’s most “sacred” national holidays, and many churches use it as a catalyst for “friendship evangelism” celebrations. Viewing parties provide churches with a dynamic opportunity to reach out to their community.
Here are five ideas that will help you host an enjoyable and meaningful party:
- Extend invites beyond your congregation – This is a great time to invite a neighbor, co-worker or family member who doesn’t attend church. A viewing party provides a non-threatening and relaxing setting. An open atmosphere can help nurture relationships and deepen friendships. You may want to consider inviting someone who is homeless or having a difficult time in their life. What a great way to share your blessings.
- Big screens can be a big draw – If your church has a big screen, that can be a real draw to invite friends to watch the event at your church building. And, the NFL is OK with showing it on a big screen if it is equipment used all the time and not rented just for the party.
- Provide crowd-pleasing game day snacks & refreshments – You could ask guests to bring snacks and drinks, but it might be better to express hospitality by providing all the food and drinks. Don’t forget plates, cups, and utensils, and you’ll have everything you need for a great outreach party.
- Use halftime as inspiration – Provide some type of entertainment during the halftime show. Sports Spectrum, the top Christian sports magazine in the country, develops a Super Bowl halftime video every year. This year, players from this season’s biggest game and CBS Host James Brown will share messages around the theme of Seek, Search, Surrender. To sign up click here.
- Don’t be blindsided by copyright issues – The NFL does not block religious organizations from hosting Super Bowl viewing parties. There are some important rules, however, to follow to side-step possible copyright infringement:
- Churches must show the game live on equipment they use in the course of ministry at their premises; recordings of the show are not permitted.
- Churches cannot charge admission for the party. The NFL has stated, however, that churches may take up a donation to defray the cost of the event.
- It’s advisable for churches to call the event a “big game” party rather than a “Super Bowl” party, as both the “NFL” and “Super Bowl” are trademarked and protected intellectual property.
There are several elements of intellectual property rights involved in the Super Bowl, which falls under both Copyright and Trademark protection. This gives the National Football League (NFL) ownership of the rights to the text, images, photographs, video, audio, graphics, user interface, and other content provided on their services, and the selection, coordination, and arrangement of such content. This also gives them the rights to the product names, company names, trade names, logos, product packaging, and designs. Any non-official of the NFL who is advertising or transmitting any of this content is viable to infringement.
If you have any questions regarding copyrights and your church, call us at 855-576-5837, live chat right here from our website, or send us an e-mail.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.