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NFL Launches Aggressive Offense

In a TV and online campaign beginning today, the National Football League will counter fans' and marketers' outcry over the criminal behavior of some players by shining a spotlight on what is presented as the good behavior of the many. "We're going to do everything necessary to protect the strength of our brand," says Lisa Baird, senior vice president for marketing at the NFL.

The commercials feature five players--selected for their marquee names and clean-cut images--and are planned to run through the 2007-8 football season, appearing on television and on Web sites like

The origin of the campaign dates to January, Baird says, after discussions among league executives about player misconduct. Within the league, people were worried that "the misdeeds of a few" were starting to "represent the image of all 2,000," she says. In research the league conducted, younger fans in particular say they are "interested in these stories" about misbehaving players.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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