Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal reports the NFL is exploring a proposal that would permit hard liquor and lottery sponsorships visible at the venue and on television.
The plan was approved by the NFL business ventures committee in March and will be discussed at the NFL owners meeting which gets underway Sunday in Dana Point, Calif.
A recession that has made new sponsorship revenue scarce for the NFL and its clubs and the relaxation of similar rules by other large U.S. sports properties are among the factors leading the NFL to consider legitimizing marketing around the gambling and hard liquor categories.
The NBA was the most recent league to allow its clubs to mix team marks with spirits brands at retail, in ads and on camera-visible signage. If the NFL allows co-branded spirits marketing, it is expected to take the same course as other leagues and not allow direct designations, like the “official Scotch whisky of the Green Bay Packers,” along with requiring a heavy social responsibility message.
“There’s definitely opportunity,” said Kevin Rochlitz, vice president of national sales and partnerships for the Baltimore Ravens, who already have Jack Daniel’s, Stolichnaya and Bacardi-branded taverns at their home M&T Bank Stadium. “Using [team] marks at retail to drive sales would be a whole different piece of real estate for us, if we can get it.”
Do you care where the NFL gets its advertising revenue? Should the league continue to avoid ads for gambling and hard liquor -- or is the NFL's moral stance a hypocritical one?
Will slump drive NFL to drink? [SportsBusiness Journal]