SBD/June 18, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Marketing Expert Predicts NFL Bags Ban May Wind Up As Boon To Stadium Vendors

Tote bags made of clear plastic will be sold at stadiums and on
Marketing consultant Tobe Berkovitz said that the NFL's move to "ban all bags, backpacks and purses from games could be a jackpot for stadium vendors," according to Smith & Goodison of the BOSTON HERALD. The NFL last week "announced fans would be able to put personal items in clear, plastic tote bags sold at merchandise shops and on the NFL’s website." The bags -- "outfitted with handles and printed with a team logo -- weren’t for sale online" as of last week, and there is "no indication how much the tote bags will cost." Berkovitz said, "They will sell plenty of them because the fact is anything with a team logo sells if people like their team" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/16). ABC's Susan Saulny said the NFL "knew this call wouldn't be popular, but they see it less a penalty than a precaution that's meant to enhance public safety." Saulny: "League officials said the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, where deadly explosives were hidden in backpacks, factored into the decision. Smaller bags also mean faster screening and faster entry." NFL Chief Security Officer Jeffrey Miller said, "By taking this minor step per person we create a major improvement. It really does dramatically increase our security posture at our stadiums." ABC News consultant and former FBI special agent Brad Garrett said, "Football is such a national pastime in the U.S.; if you are a terrorist bad guy, that would be a great target. I think it's a reasonable approach" ("GMA," ABC, 6/16). In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted as part of the policy, "seat cushions have been banned." The explanation of the new policy "does not mention chairbacks or stadium seats, but those might be prohibited as well." The Packers are "in discussion with the league about stadium seat carry-ins and perhaps will have a clearer sense of what the policy will be in the next week or two" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/15).
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