By Barry Janoff
September 21, 2014: Even as commissioner Roger Goodell was apologizing for his actions and the state of the NFL, marketing partners were bemoaning the state of the league and Procter & Gamble was severing league ties for a planned initiative, some sponsors were unveiling new products and marketing campaigns.
Among others, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, Verizon and Nike have voiced their displeasure on how the league and commissioner Roger Goodell have handled domestic violence and child abuse problems involving players.
Procter & Gamble went so far as to eliminate the NFL element from a Breast Cancer Awareness event led by it's Crest brand, claiming, “The brand has decided to cancel on-field activation with NFL teams.” Crest said it would still proceed with the activation and make a planned $100,000 donation to the American Cancer Society.
Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless Communications elected to use its alliance with the NFL to continue to enhance its message regarding domestic violence. In 1995, Verizon enacted a program called HopeLine, which connects victims and potential victims of domestic violence with funds, shelters and other resources.
“The real crisis this firestorm has brought to light goes way beyond Verizon’s image or the future of the NFL,” Lowell McAdam, CEO for Verizon Wireless, wrote on his Linkedin page last week. “It’s about the scourge of domestic violence itself — a plague that crosses all sports, all communities, and all demographics."
Forging ahead, Tommy Bahama and '47 Brand have released new products and marketing campaigns to support them.
Tommy Bahama and the NFL have teamed up for the second year on an officially licensed collection of customer-designed premium lifestyle sportswear.
Marketing support includes print, Internet, social media and the Tommy Bahama Ultimate Tailgater Sweepstakes, offering a top a prize worth more than $70,000: a retro-inspired, customized 'Woody' teardrop tailgate trailer that includes a Viking grill, pull-out bar with refrigerator drawer, a draft beer dispenser, TV and sound system and a $1,000 Tommy Bahama gift card to use in stores or online. (Details here.)
Tommy Bahama's NFL activation also includes Kick Cystic Fibrosis with New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, with $10,000 going to Brown's goodfor3 Foundation and people being given the opportunity to meet and kick field goals with him. (Details here.)
Forty-Seven Brand's NFL Fall 2014 collection is supported by a "Let Your You Out" campaign, which focuses both on its men's and women's gear.
The push is anchored by a spot highlighting the collection and directing people to a dedicated Web site where they can post photos of themselves in an action shot "letting your you out." Those who enter will have a chance to win an NFL ’47 Brand prize pack, with the winner to be selected by the brand (Details here.)
The Boston-based lifestyle company also has deals with the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers; in addition to MLB, NBA, NHL, Minor League Baseball and several colleges.
Regarding there P&G Crest campaign, Goodell said "We understand the way the last week(s) have impacted our partners, including Crest. Players will still have the option to wear pink gear, including mouth guards, as planned. We are looking forward to out sixth year of the 'Crucial Catch' campaign in partnership with the American Cancer Society."
"We believe we can be far more effective in preventing domestic violence by remaining in the arena with our partners at the NFL, rather than backing away from the controversy."
Verizon opted for the same strategy with its NFL platform. "Because of our long-standing commitment to [domestic violence], we believe we can be far more effective in preventing domestic violence by remaining in the arena with our partners at the NFL, rather than backing away from the controversy," wrote McAdam.
Among other moves, the NFL said it would partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center,
Anna Isaacson was given an expanded role from NFL vp-Community Affairs and Philanthropy to vp-Social Responsibility; and Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith, experts in the field of domestic violence, were appointed by the NFL as senior advisors to "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault."
“These are by no means final steps,” Goodell said last week. “We will continue to work with experts to expand and develop long-term programs that raise awareness, educate, and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault both within the NFL and in our society in general.”
Back to Home Page