The National Football League’s anthem protest controversy is costing major advertising dollars.
A study of invoices by the marketing research company SQAD has found the price for commercials during games has dropped by 6.7% overall. This includes a 15.67% decrease in prices for spots on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the research indicates the NFL “might be losing some of its appeal to advertisers” due to “the National Anthem controversy, key players being injured and lower ratings.”
These findings appear to vindicate “Papa” John Schnatter’s claims last week that the league’s leadership failures on the issue have hurt sales. Papa John’s, the official pizza of the NFL, has made moves to disassociate its advertising with NFL branding.
Furthermore, the drop in advertising prices provides more evidence that recent PR moves by sponsors Anheuser-Busch and DirecTV were motivated by concerns that association with the league was bad for business. Anheuser-Busch opened a telephone hotline for customers to voice opinions on the company’s relationship with the league and DirecTV has offered refunds for it premium out-of-of market television package for customers who complained.
With the league’s bottom line already taking a big hit, several groups are organizing a Veterans Day weekend boycott of the NFL.
A Facebook group called “Boycott the NFL” has over 200,000 followers and calling for its members to counterprotest the anthem demonstrations and “not watch or listen to any NFL games on Nov. 12 and 13 in deference to Veterans Day.”
Several other veterans groups like the Lackawanna County Council of Veterans are participating in the boycott. The council released this official statement:
We, under motion from the floor and unanimously approved by the Lackawanna County Council of Veterans profoundly respects and supports the right of freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, nevertheless we strongly condemn the immature amateur behavior and actions as demonstrated by so-called “professional” athletes of the National Football League (NFL) who by kneeling and protesting during the presentation of the flag of the United States of America and the playing of our country’s National Anthem we believe show great disrespect not only to our country, but to those who have served and are currently serving in defense of freedom and in some cases have made that ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom that we as a nation enjoy. There is a place and a time for legitimate protest in objection and belief to actions by one’s government that one is in opposition to; but, we believe the start of a “game” is not that time and place. The presentation of colors, and the playing of our country’s National Anthem, which is non-partisan and patriotic action as well as a recognition to those who have served, are serving and have sacrificed should be treated as such and respected as such. If for example, the owners, sponsors and players in the NFL cannot support either the flag or the country they live in, then we support the proposed national boycott scheduled for the 2017 Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 11-12) of all professional NFL presentations.
Veterans Day is this Saturday, November 11th and the first game of the weekend kicks off at 8:25 PM ET on Thursday. At 2ndVote, we’ll be STANDING with our nation’s veterans and not watching any NFL games.
The NFL’s advertisers are realizing the continuing anthem protests are bad for business and its affecting their bottom line. Last week, an executive for NBCUniversal said advertisers were telling her network, “We will not be part of the NFL if you continues covering [the anthem protests].” That’s how we know the more who STAND by tuning out this weekend, the greater impact we will have.
Will you join us this Veterans Day weekend and Boycott the NFL?
Tell the NFL’s leadership why you won’t be watching any games this Veterans Day with this link below: