Monday, September 22

The NFL "Crisis"

From a marketing perspective, and ONLY from a marketing perspective, it's been interesting to follow the developments of the NFL "crisis" as they unfold.  The actual events are disturbing to say the least, but I'm only observing the marketing activity from this vantage point.

I've been impressed by how some of the sponsoring brands have handled the situation, especially over the course of the last few days.  It would be easy to either keep quiet and let it blow over or simply pull out.  Neither one would do much good to be honest.  But using a brand's economic power to influence how the NFL handles the situation is putting brand marketing to good use.

Stay in the game and then try to change the game.  That's impressive, actually.  Like the statement from the PepsiCo CEO ... that's using your marketing clout to influence change.

And now the NFL has announced that it's hiring a former PepsiCoCEO to be its CMO.  Smart move.

One thing we've learned in this situation is that there's no separation between home and work life, that's for sure.  What a player, or any of us, does at home can severely impact how we are perceived at work.  And it can ultimately affect performance at work as well.  The lines between work and home are gone, particularly if you are a public figure.  Your "brand" has to be consistent throughout.

Which is why I was also impressed when the NFL announced its continued, permanent commitment to support a domestic violence hotline.  Good thinking.  Not only because it's needed and it's right, but because it shows the ability to put customers first and to listen to sponsors, who after all are the reason why the NFL even exists.  It also shows going outside of your "space," and getting into the homes of those who count:  the families who watch your programming.  The families that you make money from.

While this "crisis" isn't solved yet and while I don't think we've heard the end of it, I am relieved to see it all turning the corner toward a path that makes sense.  At least now it's on a corrective path, thanks in part to the influence of very powerful brands and their consumers.

What's your experience?  JIM.

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