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NFL: Example of Advertising Gone Too Far or Brilliant Idea?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I was reading a recent post from Jackie Huba over on her Church of the Customer Blog. She had an interesting post about the NFL and how they generate $7 billion dollars per year. Seems to me that the NFL does is right when it comes to marketing. I mean everyone is aware of the cost associated with a 30 or 60 second spot during the SuperBowl (CBS was looking to charge a record $2.6 million for a 30-second spot), but just how does the NFL continue to increase revenues year in an year out? Especially when you consider that a number of the league's players are often shrouded in some manner of controversy (think steroids, weapon charges, illegal dog fighting rings, spousal disputes, bar room brawls, DUIs etc.) You would think that the NFL's reveunes would be suffering. (You would also think that they would be in the market for some positive PR and reputation management control.)

So getting back to Jackie's post, I ask the question, is the following an example of advertising gone too far or is this another great idea by the NFL's marketing team. According to the post:
The league is placing advertising space on the backs of photojournalists who cover the game. This season, photographers for local and national media will be required to sport red vests emblazoned with logos of Reebok and Canon.
Are you for real? Now we can't even enjoy a sporting event without advertising on the camera crew and photographers? Wow, walking/human billboards. There has been some uproar over this as the Chicago Tribune reports.

How effective does the NFL think this will be? Having a photographer wear a vest with Coca-Cola's logo on the back is not going to necessarily motivate me to go grab a coke. Are they going for the subliminal effect in hopes that the brands will register with audience? Last time I checked I don't even pay attention to the photographers or camera crew. I truly would like to see how effective this will be for the NFL. Being the avid sports fan that I am, I might just get to experience this first hand as I attend my first NFL game in a couple of weeks during a pre-season game in Oakland vs. St. Louis.

The NFL is all about marketing. Case in point, the league even went so far and initially refused to allow two head coaches to wear a suit and tie for games because of its tie-ins with Reebok, which supplies the coaches' apparel. So is this an example of advertising gone too far or is this a brilliant move by the NFL? Well judging by the fact that the league generates $7 billion per year in revenue, I'm not so sure. My initial reaction was "you really must be kidding.." and I am still inclined to feel this way. As Jackie Huba puts it,
The photojournalists are not employees of the NFL. Why should they be made to follow the NFL's field-level marketing machine?
This really is a case of advertising gone too far. If you feel the same way, feel free to let your voice be heard here.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 07, 2007  
  • At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't think it is too far. Each of the teams sports those same brands on their jersey's, why should it be any different for the people covering the game?

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