By: Kaleb Miller
January 27th 2016
The NFL is one of the most recognizable organizations across American and global homes alike, and with nearly 29.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the Seattle-Dallas game this past November, it’s safe to say that the National Football League has a majorpull in influencing the American people. There are currently 32 NFL teams nationwide bringing in an estimated $9.5 billion in revenue for the organization in 2014. We see these “all-star” players who many follow their every move, idolizing them and allowing their children to look up to these men as good examples. So how does the NFL handle a national PR crisis that begins to seep its way into it’s own organization?
2014 brought many headlines of domestic and sexual assault in the US. For some, it might not seem real if it isn’t within the context of their every day life. However, the NFL could not escape the virus sweeping the nation called domestic abuse and violence. Let’s look at some recent instances of domestic abuse in the NFL:
- July 2012: Dez Bryant receives class A misdemeanor for assaulting a female family member
- May 2014: Police responded to call and reported that a woman accused Greg Hardy of assaulting her and threatening her.
- August 2014: Ray McDonald suspected of domestic violence against pregnant fiancé.
- January 2015: Junior Galette accused of simple battery against woman in Galette’s home
- February 2015: Ray Rice knocks out Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevatory.
Of course, this is merely a glimpse into the recent troubles NFL players have been finding themselves in as a result of domestic abuse. Not only has this been a public relations nightmare for the players and their teams, but also for the NFL as whole, who seems to be doing it’s best to patch up some of these problems and maintaining it’s images as family friendly organization that serves to entertain. To solve this problem, the NFL has launched it’s support for the “NO MORE” campaign, looking to raise awareness for domestic abuse and to help eradicate the problems that it brings in not only the NFL, but across the entire world.
The NFL set out to put this campaign into motion by airing a commercial for the 2014 Super Bowl (XLIX), airing to more than 100 million viewers. What is important is that they directly infiltrated the audience they wanted to target by airing this during not only the biggest NFL of the year, but one of the biggest television events of the year. The campaign also pushed a four step process to helping combat domestic and sexual assault.
- LEARN ABOUT THESE ISSUES AND TALK OPENLY ABOUT THEM
- SUPPORT SURVIVORS
- SPEAK UP
I think it is safe to say that the super bowl commercial sent a chill through the millions of spines that watched, anticipating a heartfelt Budweiser commercial, or a couple laughs from a Doritos commercial; it definitely hit me and my friends and coworkers by surprise. The NFL continued to take to the internet to reinforce their message by putting a face to the message. Videos such as this one from October 2014 show the extended efforts by the NFL to use it’s prominence of NFL stars to make it message clear. I think it finally took some media coverage for the NFL to start giving a…you know what about it’s image; it’s players image, it’s teams image, and the upper management’s image. Thank goodness for our good friend Public Relations coming in to save the day (well, maybe). That’s for the public to decide…