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SBD/July 1, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
NFL Indicates It Will Not Participate In Obamacare Campaign
Published July 1, 2013
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THE COVETED DEMOGRAPHIC: The NATIONAL JOURNAL's Catherine Hollander noted HHS "doesn’t have much money for ads, so sports-league partnerships are an efficient use of cash because they allow it to reach the 'bro' demographic -- healthy, uninsured young men." It is "not yet clear what form a partnership between HHS and the football or other sports leagues would take." Sebelius said that they were "discussing paid advertising as well as other agreements." The administration in any case "has a tough road ahead" (NATIONAL JOURNAL, 6/29). THEHILL.com's Elise Viebeck noted McConnell and Cornyn also "warned the leagues not to follow the precedent" of the Red Sox organization, which "promoted the Massachusetts healthcare overhaul" in '07 (THEHILL.com, 6/28). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Amy Schatz notes, "The Obama administration's effort to draft athletes and sports leagues to promote health insurance to the uninsured is off to a rocky start." The "benefits of using athletes and celebrities to promote health insurance to millions of uninsured young adults are clear for the Obama administration." Less "obvious are the benefits to the sports leagues and celebrities being courted to promote the Affordable Care Act." Sebelius "didn't name the other sports leagues contacted by officials." An NBA spokesperson said the league had "nothing we plan to announce at this point." 16W Marketing co-Founder & Partner Frank Vuono said that the NFL "might benefit from promoting health insurance after its struggles with player-safety issues." He added, "It's a pretty smart thing on the NFL's behalf, to be pro-health and friendly with the federal government at this point. Yeah, there could be a backlash from more conservative states. Do I think that would translate into people not rooting for their favorite team in the fall? I don't think so" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/1).