For 30 consecutive years, the NFL has been the most popular sport in America. More than 114 million people tuned in to watch the 2015 Super Bowl. A 30 second commercial during the game cost $4.5 million. And annual revenue for the league is near $10 billion, with a 2027 goal of $25 billion seemingly in sight.
That’s a lot of attention – and money – directed toward one of the biggest and most powerful brands in the U.S.
Yet, many NFL-related headlines from the past season were dominated by problems that appeared off the field.
Drugs and alcohol.
These aren’t issues that only plague the NFL. They’re global issues that affect people of all shapes, sizes and colors. And companies with offices on Main Street, Wall Street, and anywhere in between.
The NFL is at an important junction. On one path, it’s full steam ahead, profits and growth at all costs. Deal with issues as they arise and take the backlash in stride – the brand is powerful enough to withstand. On the other path, pause for reflection and take a real stance against violence and drugs. Hold star players accountable for their actions. Change from reactive to proactive and get in front of issues before they turn into national news.
Magis, Latin for “more”, is a key value in Jesuit higher education. Magis embodies the act of discerning the best choice in a given situation and always striving for better. Striving for excellence. The NFL has absolutely been striving for more for the past 30 years – more fans, more exposure, more ads, and more money. Things that enhance a balance sheet. But when the conversation turns to ethics and responsibility – striving for excellence has long been forgotten.
Parents are steering their children away from football due to concussion and health risks. But how many of those same parents won’t think twice about devoting 17 Sundays to consuming the sport in the living rooms as a family? It’s time to put the NFL to task for their decisions and ask them to take a hard look at the brand they’ve become.
Regis University encourages students to view current events and consider the ethical and moral side of business with an eye on becoming effective – and responsible – leaders. Regis asks students to think introspectively and ask questions of themselves, such as, how have you found ways to strive for excellence in your own life?