I know the lockout is long gone and everyone has quickly forgiven the NFL, but this story really made me raise an eyebrow. I'm on the subway yesterday, thumbing through the Wall Street Journal (because that's how I roll) and I see this story about how the NFL signed a new 10 year $2.3 billion deal with Pepsi, which is one of the largest sponsorship deals in sports history. It encompasses a number of Pepsi brands (Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker Oats and of course Gatorade) all of which will be the official something or other of the NFL.
This deal, combined with a number of other new sponsorships, ticket sales projections & TV ratings mean that the NFL is projecting record revenues of over $9.5 billion this season. In fact, analysts have had to revise their projections up $100 million from earlier this year.
Remember, this is the league who said their situation was so untenable that they needed to lockout their players this summer and put the fans through months of angst and misery. And when you look on the horizon, with things like the rumored Thursday game package likely to be sold, the revenue is set to go up exponentially from here on out. In fact, the NFL is even looking into sponsorship deals with tablet companies to allow coaches to use computers on the sideline. Let's just hope they're laminated. o did the lockout ever really have to happen and should we really be forgiving it so soon? In the end, the NFL is more like a cigarette maker than any other business. It doesn't matter how wrong we thought they were this summer, we can't quit them. I know I can't... but I also can't deny that stories like this me really annoyed at what we were put through this summer.