SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NFL CALLING COLLECT: ASKS SPRINT TO PONY UP MORE IN DEAL

          The NFL is seeking a "steep increase" of 25-50% in
     Sprint's exclusive telecom sponsorship, which is already the
     "priciest" of any pro league at $24M per year, according to
     Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Fatsis notes that
     part of the reason the NFL is asking for more from Sprint is
     that it "wants to place a separate dollar value on the TV
     exposure" Sprint earns from coaches wearing logoed-headsets. 
     Sprint's "counteroffer [is to cut] the annual fee nearly in
     half in exchange for fewer marketing rights," as Fatsis
     reports that Sprint "appears willing to part with local
     marketing exclusivity to concentrate on cities where it
     wants to boost business."  NFL President Neil Austrian said
     that the league "intends to meet with other" telecom
     companies."  Fatsis: "[The NFL's] success has bred what some
     sports-industry executives consider a heavy-handed business
     style, which is prompting some NFL partners to fight back.
     ... Even some team owners are concerned about the NFL's
     approach."  Bengals President Mike Brown: "When we're
     perceived as always trying to maximize our money, it puts us
     in an unfavorable light" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/2).     

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Related Topics:

Cincinnati Bengals, NFL, Sprint

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