Case Study: NFL Manages Its Message

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

No matter whether you believe or support the National Football League or its players’ union (NFLPA) in their latest contract tug-of-war, the NFL’s message management is interesting.

The league is rolling in dough. It’s a $9 billion enterprise. Yet, the owners want money back from their last agreement with the players’ union!

Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reasoning: prevent a financial crisis.

Just how well Goodell’s argument will work with fans—it appears to be DOA in the unions’ judgment already—remains to be seen. The owners renounced the current contract back in 2008, yet serious talks are just getting started with a March 3rd deadline before the existing deal expires.

This has all the potential of being a protracted situation that might even threaten all or part of the 2011 NFL season. If so, the real crisis will be for the players, fans and all the people in feeder jobs that support the league, players and the games.

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