Link to original WordPerfect Document

                                         118 N.J.L.J. 592
                                        October 30, 1986


Appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey


Advertising -
Sponsorship of Sports Teams

    We are asked as to the propriety of the use of a law firm name on the shirts of players and coaches of a team that is part of a childrens' community recreation association where the firm pays a sponsor's fee to help with the cost of that activity.
    The shirts first show the initials of the municipal activity, then a soccer ball, and below the ball, the name of the law firm - thus:





    The profession is omitted, there is no address. The recreation activity is limited to a local area. Recognition of the sponsor as a law firm depends not upon the device but upon the general repute of that firm as a law office in that locality.
    The use of a firm name to aid an athletic activity is an established method of advertising whether of marketable goods or of services for hire.

    A relationship between the activity utilized to circulate the information and the particular qualities or skill offered by the advertiser is not contemplated.
    The proposal does not plan speech or materials urging viewers to visit the law office so named. Thus, this practice appears to be limited to engendering good will in a local community by associating its members with the support of a community youth project.
    Under RPC 7.2(a) advertising may be used by lawyers provided the materials are presented "... in a dignified manner without the use of drawings, animations, dramatization, music, or lyrics".
    Since advertising must meet the standard of RPC 7.2(a), use of the above method and the activities associated with it should endeavor to be carried on as discreetly as may be reasonably appropriate in recreational activities.
    The above rule refers to the use of public media including radio or television. While our rule does not specify the shirt logo method, we hold that the proposal of the inquirer sufficiently conforms to the requirements of RPC 7.2; it is, therefore, approved.

* * *

This archive is a service of Rutgers University School of Law - Camden