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Posts Tagged ‘National Football League’

NO MORE Unveils New Anti-Domestic Violence PSA Starring NFL Players

Today on TODAY, the National Football League made what looks like its biggest attempt to date to address the ongoing struggle with the domestic violence in its ranks.

This is the first concrete evidence of work performed by the league’s recently created “social responsibility team,” which includes its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom has extensive experience dealing with domestic violence and sex crimes.

The clip stars some of the league’s most prominent players, beginning with Giants quarterback Eli Manning:

This PSA was created to promote NO MORE, an anti-DM advocacy group founded by Law and Order actress Mariska Hargitay (who directed along with fellow actors Tate Donovan and Blair Underwood). You may note that it’s a variation on a PSA released last year that starred various actors.

That one after the jump.

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5 PR Experts Weigh in on NFL’s Attempt to ‘Combat Domestic Violence’

Peaceful football

We’re all well aware that the National Football League has a big problem on its hands. A recent YouGov survey tells us that the NFL brand has experienced “the [sharpest drop] in consumer perception since Target’s data breach” last December.

Here’s something you may have missed this week: in order to confront all that terrible publicity, the league announced the creation of a “social responsibility team” consisting of its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom have built careers as experts on the prevention of domestic violence and sex crimes.

The question: is this a meaningless stunt or an earnest attempt to address underlying issues?

This week, we spoke to five industry experts to get their take on the league’s move. For context, we’ll start with quotes from two of the women involved, who will be responsible for “policy-making and education.”

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Everyone Is Pissed at the NFL

nflHere’s a somewhat encouraging note on which to end the week: in the wake of its horrific handling of the Ray Rice scandal, the National Football League‘s reputation hit its lowest point in the past five years — and approval ratings have dipped more among men than they have among women.

Before the full video of Rice punching his fiancee broke, the league was at a high point — it was even more popular than during the period after the 2014 Super Bowl. Now, however, the YouGov Brand Index tells us that public perception of professional football has flip-flopped from a positive 36 to a negative 17.

Also: the dip was more than three times as extreme among male respondents as among females.

Maybe bad behavior does come with consequences.

Here’s the chart — and that looks like a game-ending fumble at the end:

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Redskins PR Chief Yanks Mic from Reporter’s Hands

Let's talk media relations strategy...

Let’s talk media relations strategy…

Got your attention yet? OK. Today brings us a very weird report from the world of sports PR in which the National Football League‘s most embattled team demonstrates some…unconventional ways of dealing with the media.

For context, the Washington Redskins fired manager Mike Shanahan yesterday, because a 3-13 record does not inspire one to perform the traditional “Gatorade dump” victory dance.

Here are some of the (very) lowlights from Washington Post sports scribe Kent Babb‘s excellent report on the event:

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The NFL Still Deserves Bad Press for Breast Cancer ‘Pinkwashing’

NFL breast cancer2As the month of October winds down it’s time to revisit what is becoming an annual controversy involving breast cancer, the National Football League and “pinkwashing.”

A year ago Business Insider reported that only 8% of the proceeds from the sale of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness products go to the American Cancer Society, and this year the same author followed up with a variation on the story, this time calling the total “shockingly small“. The league didn’t dispute these numbers but simply said that it raised a total of $3M from 2009 to 2012, which isn’t too terribly impressive for a business that expects to reach $25 billion in revenues by 2027.

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Should Washington’s Football Team Continue Using the Name ‘Redskins?’

Finally, a sports controversy that has nothing to do with steroids, gambling or murder!

The debate over the Washington Redskins‘ name and its relationship to the Native American community has been with us for a while, so here’s what happened this summer:

  • Team owner Dan Snyder said he’ll “never” even consider changing the name
  • NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told NBC that “The name from its origin has always intended to be positive and has always been used by the team in a highly respectful manner”
  • Upstate New York tribe Oneida Nation launched a radio ad campaign that will pressure the team to change the name throughout the season
  • A group of Native Americans filed suit looking to strip the team of federal trademark rights to the name
  • Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask wrote that it is “unacceptable to use a derogatory term when referring to any person or any group of people; and the word Redskins has been widely used throughout our history as a derogatory slur”
  • “Full-blooded American Inuit chief” Stephen Dodson “reached out“ to tell the team that he’s “honored” by the name and that others can’t claim to speak for the entire NA community

White House Taps Baltimore Ravens to Promote ‘Obamacare’ Enrollment

Don’t worry, your ears are fine—that click-clack you’re hearing is the sound of a thousand conservative bloggers registering their disapproval of Super Bowl champions the Baltimore Ravens.

Today the White House and the state of Maryland announced plans to use the champs to promote the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. More specifically, the team will work to encourage MD residents to enroll in the statewide health insurance exchanges that serve as one of the central pillars of the law.

The administration first aimed to get the entire National Football League to collaborate on a promotional campaign, but the organization (wisely) chose to sit that one out due, no doubt, to the corrosive power of partisan politics. Individual teams, on the other hand, can do as they choose and the league will support them.

So how will this new partnership work?

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NFL Reaches $765 Million Settlement with Former Players in Concussion Case

Breaking news: the National Football League‘s notorious concussion case headache is over—for now. The league reached a $765 million settlement in the class action suit filed by 4500 former players who claimed that they were misled about the toll a (brief, ridiculously profitable) football career would take on one’s mental and physical health.

Our big conclusion: this is more of a a PR fail than a monetary fail. Given the fact that the league brought in at least $10 billion in profits last year, looks poised to reach $25 billion within the next five years and miraculously retains its status as a non-profit organization, this is a big but completely manageable hit—each player will get just under $200K, which is less than what most would earn playing a single game. Oh, and we just learned that the freaking NFL, which is one of the most successful businesses in the world, doesn’t have to pay taxes. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Touché.

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