Local League: Trademark Usage
As a chartered Little League®, the use of Little League marks is permitted in conjunction with your local league name (e.g., Hometown Little League). Little League’s marks, which include a series of logos, names and characters, can assist your league with drawing attention and interest from members of the community, including prospective players. Many families will seek out a Little League program by name, so using these names, marks and logos can assist your recruitment efforts.
Using Little League Trademarks, Logos, and Names
Utilizing the Little League name and logos in connection with your local league name can authenticate your league as being paired and unified with the largest youth sports organization in the world. In addition, it adds prominence and distinction to your league.
Any time a local league or district plans to use the Little League name, it must be accompanied by the local league’s name. For example if a league’s name is “Hometown Little League,” Hometown must appear in all cases promoting the league in connection with the words “Little League.”
Examples of Logos Available for Use
If your league has a chartered Baseball, Softball, or Challenger program, you are permitted to use the following logos in connection with your league name:
NOTE: At no time is a local league permitted to use the Little League logos in connection with a business or organization entity nor give that business permission to use the Little League logos in any form or fashion. Logo use is ONLY permitted by the league to help promote the league’s initiatives, which may include such activities as registration, promotion on your website, and social media posts.
Local League Use of the words “Little League”
Local leagues receive permission per the annual charter agreement process to use Little League Trademarks in connection with authorized local league activities as described in THE OFFICIAL REGULATIONS, or in the OFFICIAL RULES of the 2016 Little League® Rulebook.
This permission, which is effective only while a league remains chartered, includes the right to use Little League Trademarks as part of the local league name, and to use that trademark and the Little League Emblems or logos on stationery, uniforms, in press releases issued by the local league, in programs, and at the local league facilities on scoreboards, and other signs. All such uses of Little League Trademarks must include the local league name such as the city, town or other similar reference.
Limitations of using the words “Little League”
Chartered leagues may not use the Little League Trademarks in connection with any other activity or program, or as a part of a composite name covering unrelated programs. The Little League Trademarks may not, for example, appear on stationery, bulletins, advertisements, social media posts or press releases of other sports organizations, commercial enterprises, or businesses. For example, the local league may not grant permission to a local business to advertise its association with the local league whereby the local business profits directly profits from the use of the name.
Further, the Little League Trademarks may not be used separately or in connection with the name of any other program or activity for the purpose of soliciting funds to be used for activities other than Little League activities.
Soliciting Funds Using the words “Little League”
The use of the Little League Trademarks by any person, organization, business entity or league not chartered by Little League or in an unauthorized fashion is an infringement of Little League Trademark rights.
It is the policy of Little League not to endorse any company, commercial product, or service with the exception of those items of approved playing equipment and other materials and entities associated with Little League International. Any use of the Little League Trademarks, unless expressly granted by Little League Baseball, Incorporated, which falsely tends to imply such an endorsement is an infringement.
Local League or District Websites
Local leagues and Districts are permitted to host websites that assist with communicating information about their activities in the local community. The local league name, affiliation with Little League, registration, facilities locations, board members and other information for parents and volunteers should be clearly stated on the website.
Any league or district that wishes to host a website, which includes Little League Trademarks in any fashion must submit their LEAGUE URL (Universal Resource Locator) into the Little League Data Center annually. The URL must be a combination of a league or district’s local name in conjunction with the words Little League. By way of example, a URL may appear as such: www.hometownlittleleague.org or www.pa12littleleague.org.
Use of the Little League Trademarks, logos and links to LittleLeague.org are permitted on websites operated by local leagues or districts, however, permission must be granted in advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Under no circumstances may a league or district register a website using the words Little League in the website address for any other purpose other than to represent their local league or district. If teams within local leagues also host websites, they are required to follow these guidelines and the guidelines for use of Little League Trademarks. Team URLs are not required to be submitted to Little League International. It is strongly encouraged that Local League Board Members visit the websites of their associated teams to ensure appropriate content is being provided.
Leagues are also encouraged to secure model releases as part of the player and volunteer registration process. This allows leagues to host images or video of players participating in league activities.
Little League reserves the right to review any league or district website that uses Little League Trademarks and logos. If content is deemed inappropriate, the league will be required to remove the content.
Change for 2016: Local leagues or districts are no longer required to maintain an eteamz.com website. Leagues or Districts may continue to use at their discretion, if desired.
Additional information on use of websites, online registration and other technology can be found on LittleLeagueToolkit.org.
Restricted Use of “Little League” by Third Parties
Under no circumstances may local leagues, District Administrators, or other field personnel permit the Little League Trademarks to be used on or in connection with any business products or services. The local league does not have the right to assign the use of Little League Trademarks to any third party entity.
Further, the Little League Trademarks are representative of specific baseball and softball programs chartered with Little League International and should not be used as merely a descriptive term for all youth athletic programs. Whenever they appear online or in print, the Little League Trademarks should always be capitalized and refer only to the activities of Little League.
Exploitation of the Little League program, a league, a team or individual players, for the benefit, financially or otherwise, of an individual or a business will not be condoned. Leagues which permit any type of exploitation run the risk of losing their charter.
Little League Baseball, Incorporated encourages all leagues and its members to use our partners of Little League Baseball, Incorporated, especially licensed partners, to produce any special goods, products and/or fundraising requests that could benefit the local league. Such partners are familiar with the policy regarding Little League Trademark usage. There may be a situation, however, in which a league or district cannot use a licensed partner to perform the special need. Little League Baseball, Incorporated requires a single-use agreement be completed to fulfill the league’s needs.
A single-use agreement may permit a league or district to use a supplier outside of our licensed partner. A league or district can request the usage of said Little League trademarks in various capacities, however, the understanding is that Little League Trademarks are only dispersed to any other party with the consent of Little League Baseball, Incorporated. It is also understood that the outside supplier may not utilize the marks for financial gain. For more information on obtaining a single-use agreement, please email email@example.com. Forms can also be found on www.LittleLeague.org/licensing.
Guidelines for Use of “Little League” in Fundraising and Local League Sponsorship
Donors and sponsors of teams at any level of the Little League program should be motivated by the single objective of making a worthwhile community contribu¬tion. A local supporter should aim to assist youth and help make their community a better place in which to live. Sponsorships should be positioned as donations to the local league. Local leagues must recognize that they have a responsibility to the local com¬munity to see to it that funds collected in the name of the league are used for league purposes and not for any other purpose, however laudable it may be. Further, great care must be taken to assure that such funds are not diverted to line the pockets of some enterprising operator, business or individual.
Sponsorship of leagues and teams is an important way for local Little Leagues to raise funds for operations. It must be understood, however, that sponsorship donation does not give the sponsoring entity any rights in the operation of the league or any team, nor does it give the local league sponsor the right to use Little League trademarks in any way. For example, such prohibited use includes giving a local business entity the right promote the local league in the business entity’s advertising or public relations. The local league must conduct its own recognition efforts for any and all promotion of activities related to the local league operations.
No advertisement (lettering on uniforms, fence signs, program ads, website etc.) for sponsors may include direct references to alcohol, tobacco products or adult content. Leagues should carefully choose sponsors, avoiding those which may, according to local community standards, be offensive. Additional standards for sponsorship may be set by the local Little League.
Little League International reserves the right to prohibit any local Little League from accepting a sponsorship, advertisement or donation if it deems that the spon¬sor, advertiser or donor violates the provisions of the following statement: Little League does not limit participation in its activities on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual preference or religious preference.
FUNDRAISING BEST PRACTICES
In addition to sponsorships, leagues should consider holding several fundraisers throughout the year. Please note Rule XIII (b) - Commercialization.
Rule XIII (b) - Commercialization
Solicitation for fundraising by Little League (Majors) Division, Minor League, Tee Ball, Intermediate (50/70) Baseball, Junior, Senior or Big League players in or out of uniform is prohibited, except for one fundraising project annually under adult supervision.
The key to successfully fundraising is to consult with other league officials and specific fundraising activities for the year. Within these meetings, duties should be assigned and a monetary goal should be made. Planning these endeavors helps eliminate competing efforts and unnecessary demands on volunteers and the community. It is important to check within your community any laws surrounding fundraiser exempt activities. Fundraisers can be broken into several categories including preseason, in season and postseason. Below are some fundraisers that are used by numerous Little League programs.
These should occur during registration or during the Opening Day Ceremonies of the league. Large crowds at the events and other members of the community should be targeted for these types of fundraisers to drive interest and successful turnout. These examples include:
- Candy sales/ Bake sales
- Silent Auction
- Magazine sales
- Trading pin sales
- Discount cards
- Yard sale/Craft fair
- Online donation on league site
- Brick purchase to line the walkway at the park
These events should occur as secondary events, and not take away from the baseball/softball product on the field. The event should be about making a contribution to the community and not exploit the help of volunteers or players. Some examples include:
- Hit-a-thon – For every 5 dollars raised by a player, they get one hit in a hitting contest
- 50/50 drawings at games
- Pass the hat at games
These events should occur at the conclusion of the season play. These events can still be baseball/softball related, but also can give your league a chance to offer other activities for the community. Some examples include:
- Car Wash
- Major League Baseball/Minor League Baseball Ticket Sale Fundraiser (Most professional teams have fundraising options available for local leagues)
- Pancake Breakfast
- Spaghetti Dinner
- Social functions such as picnics, barn dance or awards banquet
- Talent based events including talent shows, plays, or concerts
Local leagues are encouraged to contact their District Administrator as a resource for other fundraising ideas. DAs are encouraged to pass along experience and opportunities to inquiring leagues. Furthermore, contact your DA before entering into any agreement that may involve neighboring leagues or regions to prevent confusion.
A successful fundraising campaign will include fundraisers during all three time periods, however, leaning on the preseason and postseason events may allow for increased participation.
- Planning is crucial. Failure to plan is planning to fail.
- Market your events. Use local newspapers, school bulletins, radio or television or word of mouth. People don’t come to events, they don’t know about.
- See Marketing Your League and Marketing Tips and Tools sections of Tool Kit
- Use your league website. Eteamz.com provides a calendar tool that can be very useful in the notification of events.
- Display the benefits of helping your league by making it personal. Personalized appeals and campaigns that center around the kids always help.
- Keep costs low. Simple accounting: lower cost equals higher profit.
- A good mix of fundraisers goes a long way. Not everyone wants to buy candy or baked goods.
- Be creative! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
- Ride the success train and get off when it derails. If a specific fundraiser works, stick with it, but don’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results.
Logos available for download:
Any chartered league may download the logos through the Little League Data Center.
- Login to the Data Center at www.LittleLeague.org/datacenter
- Click on Official Logos and Artwork (you will need to accept the License Agreement to continue)
- Click on the logo you want and do a “save as” to your computer
For additional information on using logos with non-Little League licensees, please review the section on Single Use Agreements (League Representative and Supplier)
Questions on logo or name usage:
Should you have any questions or concerns with regards to the trademark logos, or trademark usage rights, please direct your questions to the Licensing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.