Commentary

Marketers To NFL: 'Do We Have Your Attention Now?'

Listen, NFL executives: Anheuser-Busch isn’t happy. Neither are McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Campbell's Soup, and Visa.

A-B started the ball rolling: "We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” said a company statement on Tuesday. “We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league."

That’s right. One of the biggest NFL sponsors doesn’t like what the league has been doing so far. We assume this includes not just NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s “investigation” of the Ray Rice mess, but other domestic violence issues, as well as head trauma injuries and usual drug issues.

A-B spends $200 million on the NFL through sponsorship fees and its advertising on TV networks and other media platforms.

How soon did the NFL respond to A-B? Within an hour of the release!

You can be absolutely sure that team owners who only recently were so supportive of Goodell aren’t feeling so hot right now.

Business is business. And if the NFL is dropping the ball with marketers, what’s going on is serious.

Already there have been some cracks. Following his recent indictment for child abuse, Adrian Peterson has seen his deal with Nike suspended, and the Radisson hotel chain has suspended a limited sponsorship with Peterson’s team, the Minnesota Vikings.  And now, after allowing Peterson briefly back on the team, the Vikings have re-suspended him.  

Here’s the question closer to TV Watch’s heart: “Which TV network sales executives aren’t pacing the floor right now?”

Scatter inventory is still available for games on all the NFL’s networks -- Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network. Think there isn’t just a bit of downward pressure on pricing? C’mon, just a bit?

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