Deflategate–the shameful scandal involving under-inflated footballs that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the entire Patriots organization unbelievably have no knowledge of and no responsibility for–is the latest in a long line of gate scandal names.
As noted in this post from the past, Watergate opened the floodgates for gate scandal names–Deflategate will surely not be the last.
Gate Scandal Names Instant Associations
Effective brand names are those that generate the right instant associations. People have to “get it” and understand the core of what you are trying to communicate in a femtosecond. The popularity of gate scandal names is that you instantly understand that what you are talking about is sordid and scandalous.
The NFL seems a fine breeding ground for scandals–who can forget the wardrobe malfunction that became Nipplegate?
Unlike the wardrobe malfunction, Deflategate has the potential to seriously damage the NFL brand. Nipplegate was about a celebrity during the half-time show. Deflategate’s unsportsmanlike cheating goes to the heart of the sport of football.