Saturday, June 09, 2007

Steelers Mascot Application: The Fine Print

If you’re considering filling out an application to be the Steelers’ mascot be warned: the application process is remarkably invasive—even in the early stages. For instance, the initial application asks about your marital/significant other status, whether "you have been treated for any serious physical or mental illness(es) within the last three years?", whether you are currently taking any medications, and if so, "what it is for, dosage and length of time on medication."

It gets worse. Section (h) of the application states: "To accept an invitation to be a semi-finalist, you must among other things, agree to submit to physical and psychological examinations . . . and meet all physical and psychological requirements."

Then, "if you are selected to be interviewed, you agree to authorize [the] Steelers to conduct thorough investigations into your background and personal history. The tests and investigations … may include… Pre-employment drug screen, PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA Act 34 Criminal Record Check, and pre-employment background check. And let’s not forget, like NFL players, you’ll be "subject to random drug testing thereafter."

I understand the Steelers need to be cautious when hiring their mascot(s), but one may as well be applying for a position with the FBI.

Meanwhile, the most interesting clauses in the "Release and Waiver" concern the three-minute video that applicants are expected to provide: "The video will become the property of [the] Steelers for all purposes (including, without limitation, use in television/multi-media programs…)." More specifically, applicants agree that the Steelers and any of its licensees, assigns, parents, subsidiaries or affiliated entities may use your voice, actions, likeness, name, appearance and biographical material in any and all media, worldwide in perpetuity, regardless of whether or not you are selected as mascot. And if you deliver any musical or literary compositions, you grant an "irrevocable, unlimited, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free and payment-free license to use and reproduce such Materials…."

Remember, there’s a lot of air time that needs to be filled on the NFL Network. One day you might find your application video on a mascot selection special.


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