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NCAA Applies for "Battle in the Bubble" Trademark

The NCAA is looking to trademark the phrase "Battle in the Bubble". What does this mean for the 2020-21 college basketball season? Read on, to find out.

“March Madness.”

“Selection Sunday.”

“Final Four.”

Each of these phrases is well-known to every college basketball fan.

They are phrases that make hearts flutter with the excitement and anticipation of the culmination of a college basketball season.

They are phrases that currently carry the disappointment of a season cut short.

They are the dreams of every young basketball player hoping to make it to college basketball’s grandest stage.

Outside of the emotional response that these phrases evoke, they are also trademarks held by the NCAA.

Here’s one you probably aren’t aware of: “Battle in the Bubble.”

According to reports, the NCAA filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday, August 26 to trademark the phrase “Battle in the Bubble.”

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Why is this news important?

The importance lies in the fact that this is a clear indication of the NCAA’s intentions for the 2020-21 college basketball season postseason (and potentially other sports as well).

Having missed out on the 2020 NCAA Division 1 Men’s College Basketball Tournament, and its accompanying near-$1 billion payday, the NCAA is going to do everything within its power to ensure the 2021 NCAA Tournament takes place.

The NBA and NHL have used the bubble model to great success, thusly the NCAA is wise to work at replicating that accomplishment. Sure, creating a bubble will be an expensive endeavor. However, this is clearly a “spend money to make money proposition”.

The NBA bubble was reported as costing approximately $150 million. In a hypothetical scenario where an NCAA bubble would cost the same, holding the tournament will still result in a massive net gain for the NCAA. The ad revenue alone is worth $933 million. So yes, $150 million is a steep price to pay, but still nets the NCAA $783 million.

The college football community as a whole took more of a “wait and see” approach in terms of making plans for the fall rather than proactively seeking alternate solutions. The college basketball community saw this in action and has clearly worked at coming up with possible ways to make a college basketball season happen, even in the midst of a pandemic.

For the time being, we look forward with eager anticipation to what is hopefully to come in the 2020-21 college basketball season. A season that will likely end with a “Battle in the Bubble.”

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