Brandi Says

The NFL got themselves into the mess it’s in by being short-sighted. Mark Cuban says the league is headed for a meltdown due to “greed”. On the surface, I can see how he’d some to that conclusion. But I think the problems are more complicated than that.

It’s a combination of hubris and really gawdawful advisers. Most notably the NFL’s chief legal counsel from whom Tagliabue, previous NFL Commish, came (and went back to after his term expired) and who played a major role in selecting Goodell. These are the lawyers who convinced the NFL to make up phony medical studies to combat growing concerns about player injuries, most notably the long-term effects of head injuries. They’d done the very same thing before with the tobacco companies. They’re the ones who have convinced the NFL to take a hard line in most areas. Maybe as lawyers they think they’re doing their jobs. But lawyers shouldn’t be making business decisions, particularly in a business that is based entirely on customer perception and is completely a discretionary purchase.

The NFL’s future, like the future of every major league in every major sport is based on international. Where Baseball adopted a philosophy that what’s good for Baseball the Game is good for Major League Baseball, the NFL’s approach was it’s the NFL’s way or the highway. Europe and China said “Gas up the truck and get the hell out of here.” Now the NFL finds itself trying to come up with about $10 or $12 Billion a year that should have been and would quite possibly/maybe probably have been coming from abroad if they hadn’t acted like they were doing those countries a favor by shoving the league down their throats.

The NFL, to remain Major League needs that $25 Billion a year in Revenue they’ve got in their Business Plan. But they can’t come up with any way to get even halfway there let alone all the way. Without being Major League at the international level, the NFL can’t even maintain their current revenue stream without finding ways to make up likely losses by any means they can find. The Networks are probably done with them. They didn’t want to sign the current contracts. They sure won’t be signing any more like these…not without massive growth in viewership. Not when they can get the same audiences for programs that cost them less to produce per season than a single NFL Game costs them AND they own all of the rights to. They don’t love the NFL enough to give them ten times or more what it costs to get the same size audiences. :) Especially when there isn’t any international after-market.

What could be worse, by the time the next census comes around there will probably be more soccer fans among 12-24 year olds in the US and possibly more English Premier League Soccer Fans among young people than NFL Fans. That just about spells close the doors and put up the yellow tape because it leaves the NFL with another Player Contract down the line and no way to pay for it. Translation: The Showdown they avoided last time only a whole lot worse.

It’s a huge mess but one largely of the league’s own making. You cannot alienate your own customers any time and expect things to turn out well. But at a time when the core base is so desperately needed for the league to even have any shot at being around 10 or 12 years from now is just pure insanity.

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11 Responses to “Brandi Says”

  1. Sage says:

    It makes sense, but seems early. Jerry Jones thinks his team is worth $3B, and the nfl seems more arrogant than ever.

    My experience as a viewer has deteriorated ever since goodell.

    The sports media, too, are in a bubble, utterly isolated from reality and the obligation to thing objectively.

  2. Brandi says:

    Jerry Jones is in a league by himself among NFL Owners. He sued…and won…the NFL over Cowboys merchandising. So he has anywhere from $110-$150Million a year in revenue the other Owners don’t get any piece of.

    As for the Media, there’s multiple medias. There’s the Network Executives who were grumbling about the TV Contracts right after they signed them as they were headed off to a conference in Asia. That was before the word got out the NFL could let the 2011 Season just not happen at all and still bank the TV Bucks because there wasn’t any protection for the Networks against cancelled games. Once the Networks threw a fit, the NFL started telling their Media sycophants they would never do such a thing and the Mother of All Bad CBAs was hurriedly put together.

    The NFL Media wasn’t even in sync with the Bosses of the Networks they work for. :)

    The NFL Beat Crowd is little more than an extension of the NFL’s PR & Media relations Depts. BUT, to be fair to those guys, anytime they try to do anything substantive and thought-provoking the Viewers tune out. Even when they try to put on a show about the possibility of the NFL’s actually folding, like Mike & Mike put on one day, Viewers changed the channel. Chew on that for a few minutes. The audience that NFL Media caters to actually cares so little about the NFL that when a Show they respect like Mike & Mike tries to discuss how “real” the projections are that the league will fold, their audience just simply doesn’t care and changes the channel.

    I don’t care what other Major Pro League it is, MLB, NHL, NBA, if a popular and well respected Show talked about the growing chorus, including among some very serious and extremely well-respected Sports Biz Analysts/Commentators, that there is more than just a possibility, there’s a strong probability that league won’t be around in the future, those Fans would be glued to their sets. Even if they didn’t believe it or want to believe it, what they wouldn’t be is bored.

    So which came first, the incompetence and JerrySpringeresqueness of NFL Media or the apathetic Fans?

    • Sage says:

      Well, footall has never really been the thinking man’s game. At least during the years I’ve watched (late ’70s to 2011), the broacast teams have tried to style nfl coaches as geniuses. But in reality they are mostly meatheads.

      Now they even try to style linebackers as tactical geniuses, which is just too much.

  3. Sage says:

    Headline says Texans stadium has been re-branded NRG stadium this year.

    That’s such crap. Tradition means nothing to the nfl beancounters these days. Nothing. The mentality that says we don’t need continuity or tradition is the same which says Tebow’s epic character and competitive drive are dispensible.

    You can bet within a few years they’ll be trying to real people back in with footage of old games televised in black-and-white. But the soul-lessness is too cavernous.

    Does anyone here pay attention to theory of generational dynamics? (No, probably not.)

    • ck says:

      Sage: Had to look that one up! Very interesting theories…kinda looks like we are headed into the dark ages or worse!

  4. ck says:

    Like that “EPIC CHARACTER” and if anything need to go back to where we used to be regarding integrity, etc.!

  5. ck says:

    Yes, Brandi, is “ON IT!”

    • Brandi says:

      Thanks CK. :)

      There are still people who have no issues at all with the way the NFL operates. But the deeper I dig into that (and I’ve dug alot), the vast majority of those, when you come right down to it, actually are passionate about their Fantasy Leagues and Betting on Games. That is NOT the same as being passionate about the league, the Teams, the Players or even the Game of Football itself. Which means, the base the NFL seems to be catering to can leave at the next hot whim.

      That’s NOT how a league approaching its first full century sticks around for the next one.

  6. andrea says:

    Another home run by Brandi.

    Makes you wonder – if people were not allowed to bet on football games – would anyone watch?

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