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In the glory days of Super Bowl branding, the logos were designed to have a sense of place, visually reflecting the personality of the particular game’s host city.  So, leading up to Super Bowl XXXVI, which was to be played in the Louisiana Superdome, the design the National Football League had been using had a New Orleans look and feel.

But that all changed on 9/11, when the USA’s biggest single-day sporting event became more than just the big game being played in the Big Easy.  Recognizing this, the NFL wanted a new logo that reflected the mood of the entire nation, and boiled down the creative brief to one word: patriotic.

Pencil was put to paper and mouse to pad in an effort to capture the American spirit in a single mark, with elements including stars, stripes, banners, symbols and shields.

Proposed logos

One of those directions, inspired by a World War II era football game program, resonated with the NFL brass, as it represented the entire country, both literally and figuratively, and it was chosen to be the symbol for the game that, fittingly, would turn out to be won by a team named the Patriots.


“This was one of those things that was almost instantly the strongest,” said Brad Jansen, the Executive Art Director at NFL Properties at the time. “The layout had an intriguing movement happening, and it incorporated the shape of the United States, which appealed to a lot of people. The concept says ‘United we stand.’ It positions the Super Bowl as an All-American event."


One of the most iconic logos in Super Bowl history.

– The Philadelphia Inquirer

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