National Football league owners and their advertisers are beginning to feel the pinch from ongoing national anthem protests by their players. It was reported Friday that NFL ticket prices have plummeted for the first time this year below 2016 season prices. As player disrespect invades NFL fans’ leisure time, the NFL goes down in flames.
A social conscience is one thing and revenue loss to billionaire businessmen and Madison Avenue is another. Once thing is certain; change is coming.
An analysis released Friday by CNBC found that ticket prices during the first three games of the 2017 season enjoyed a 20-40 percent increase over last year. That figure has dipped in Week Four, dropping by two percent last week.
Television viewers began to register their distaste and anger by turning off the games. For many, football is their oasis away from political drama. Their Sunday viewing world has now been invaded. Football fans are beginning to realize the front yard needs mowing or the kids want to go to the park.
Public relations experts for the NFL should be alarmed. When viewers get out of the habit of watching their product on TV, the chance of different activities can become irreversible.
The drop in viewership began following President Trump’s criticism of the protests on Sept. 22. That prompted nearly 200 players to sit or take a knee during the national anthem in the Sept. 24-25 games in Week Three. Thousands, then millions of viewers found other activities to enjoy. Their weekly distraction had been altered by real world realities.
CNBC’s Eric Chemi summed it up saying, “After the president’s comments and NFL player reactions, Week Four saw only a five percent increase, and now we’re seeing an outright decline. So that’s a bad direction.”
The quote was the understatement of the year. The NFL knows it. The scary part for the NFL is Budweiser, Nike, Chevrolet and other major revenue-contributors know it too.
The video below shows what happens when players and team owners forget where their wealth comes from.