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Dazz
Last year

#38923

The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

Every time something about merchandising or apparel comes up, somebody always says "why don't they do it like the AFL?"

So I thought I should explain why they can't.

In the AFL, the AFL itself owns all the trademarks of the individual clubs. ie The AFL owns the trademarks for Collingwood, Westcoast, etc, etc.
That's why when a club wants to even change a logo or design, they need AFL permission. And its how the AFL was able to block Richmond from applying their brand to an NBL team.

Allegedly, one of the reasons behind this is to prevent the formation of a "super-league" or any form of breakaway. It also makes it far simpler for the AFL to coordinate licensing for apparel and other merchandise.

Whereas in the NBL, the individual owners (or associated entities) own the trademarks.
So its not a question of teams "vetoing" anything, they actually OWN the trademark and you can't use it without their permission.

Now I suppose that at some point in the future the NBL could require a similar arrangement, but they would have to pay compensation (effectively buy the trademarks) and I doubt they could afford that unless LK tips in a LOT more money.

So as its stands, the AFL can license all 18 clubs' trademarks to any merchandiser it chooses, the NBL cannot.

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koberulz
Last year
18:10 3 Feb 16

Reply #575908

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

I can't imagine participation in the league would be allowed without the NBL getting some sort of rights to use trademarks, etc., otherwise the league would cease to function.


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Anonymous
Last year
19:33 3 Feb 16

Reply #575935

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

But the AFL gets the profits, then distributes them how?

Is the AFL system a fair one, maybe it is better business sense for the AFL with its billion dollar budget, but what choice has the NBL but to leave it to the clubs?


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Ricky
Last year
19:40 3 Feb 16

Reply #575941

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

Could be looked at in a couple of years when hopefully more teams are involved.

The league needs more merchandise exposure for sure, even Best and Less has AFL gear.

More promotions, partnerships with food and drinks suppliers, e.g. Chicken Treat and Coke back in the day.


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Luuuc
Last year
19:44 3 Feb 16

Reply #575946

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

And don't forget convenience stores!


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Ricky
Last year
19:49 3 Feb 16

Reply #575956

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

LOL, those were the days. Bball was EVERYWHERE.


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Anonymous
Last year
20:06 3 Feb 16

Reply #575978

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

AFL merchandise is lame.


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Ricky
Last year
11:30 4 Feb 16

Reply #576103

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

Lame or otherwise, it still keeps them in the public conscious, not to mention their bank accounts happy.


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Anonymous
Last year
16:17 4 Feb 16

Reply #576137

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

What else is there in Aus though. Not like they have any decent competition. Best of the worst really.


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Ricky
Last year
16:25 4 Feb 16

Reply #576141

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

They probably started implementing these things among other ploys to tackle the NBL in the early 90's while the NBL got complacent and did nothing after awhile.

AFL got smarter, bigger and richer, NBL just wasted away out of the limelight, a shame.

Really encouraging steps made this season, can only see things getting better.


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Anonymous
Last year
16:28 4 Feb 16

Reply #576143

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

Correct. NBL and the game of basketball viewed as a forein sport in the country still has potential despite making it to the top in the past. The rest of the leagues in this country however are so dour and boring but remain strong due to historical support. Maybe we need another century or two.


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Bear
Last year
14:20 5 Feb 16

Reply #576283

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

The AFL does not have competition, nor does the NRL realistically speaking.

Think bout it, when you walk into a sports store for example and look at playing singlets/jumpers what is there to compete against the AFL/NRL?

Basketball in this country is going gang busters, but there is a monster in the room when it comes to merchandise and it is called the NBA...

Yes, we love our sport, but even the NFL doesn't have huge presence in the football sense here, nor does the soccer, but they do have a presence. Yet it is nothing compared with the NBA, this is where the NBL can either learn from or shy away from...

I think LK and the NBL commission can do something, perhaps speak with the clubs and together come up with some form of cooperative NBA style or look and start flooding the market in a way it doesn't hurt individual clubs if it takes a while to catch on.

Worth at try IMHO...


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Ricky
Last year
14:40 5 Feb 16

Reply #576288

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

Definitely, some partnership with Rebel to sell NBL merchandise at a profit to everyone.


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Dazz
Last year
16:11 5 Feb 16

Reply #576306

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

I can't imagine participation in the league would be allowed without the NBL getting some sort of rights to use trademarks, etc., otherwise the league would cease to function.
I am no expert on trademark law, but it is very specific and applies to specific "classes". Simply referring to a trademark or even televising it does not constitute misuse, and nominative-use is also permitted.
But you're right, there are obviously some agreements to use trademarks, eg if you buy a club singlet it has the NBL logo on it.

The issue is that the starting points are diametrically opposite. The AFL owns the Westcoast Eagles trademarks, so the club must get agreement for every use, and the AFL is free to license that trademark wherever. (Some of the merchandise is chinzy and demeaning, and a wealthy club like the Eagles might well prefer to say no to some forms, but they cannot.)
Whereas in the NBL, the trademark is owned by the franchises, so every new type of use would require a new agreement. ie there may well be an agreement to allow use of the trademarks in promoting the league, staging the games, and advertising, but not necessarily merchandise.


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Dazz
Last year
16:22 5 Feb 16

Reply #576307

re: The Difference between AFL & NBL Merchandise

The league needs more merchandise exposure for sure, even Best and Less has AFL gear.
It's a good point, but the AFL is a massive market, much more scope for diversity. If you want a genuine jumper, prices are high, and the limited edition ones are even higher and have restricted availability. But you can buy more generic shirts & tops in club colours, with your clubs logo, from K-Mart etc, reasonably cheap.


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