The NFL is all about big hits and explosive plays. To the American public it has become a part of our everyday lives and we wait patiently for it to return every Sunday. We are hit with all types of advertisements throughout the week building up our excitement for the big game. Unfortunately, it is not Tom Brady getting sacked by Tamba Hali that is a concern for the NFL now, but rather the continuous blows the NFL’s image has seen over the past two weeks that has been the problem.
In the past few weeks, numerous NFL players have been indicted for beating children and women. These blows to the NFL image are unprecedented and are casting a shadow over the games themselves. Nobody wants to be associated with this mess. Teams are fearful of the ramifications and are distancing themselves from the players in question and companies have even begun to pull back their advertisements and endorsements. Companies such as Nike and Budweiser are taking dignified stands against these intolerable acts.
In recent days, Nike announced that it would be suspending its deal with famed Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson was recently accused of beating his 4 year-old son. From a PR standpoint, a company can’t run far enough and fast enough away from a mess like that.
Running away is precisely what Castrol Oil is trying to do. They too were a sponsor of Peterson. The key word there is “were.” The company, which is owned by BP, just decided to drop Peterson as a client all together.
Ray Rice and Jonathan Dwyer are two other players facing similar situations. Rice was caught on camera beating his wife unconscious in an elevator and Dwyer has been indicted for beating his wife on numerous occasions. Each player has been distanced considerably from their prospective teams and is dealing with their own legal troubles. As the NFL monitors these situations, they need to remain weary of their sponsors. Budweiser has come out on record saying that they are not pleased with how things are being handled and what has been occurring does not mesh with their company values. If the NFL isn’t careful they could lose their biggest sponsor.
The National Football League is in crisis mode plain and simple. There is no way to spin it. They have a problem and need to stand up strong against it or risk losing the American public. Only time will tell how this all plays out, but we will all certainly be keeping an eye on everything.