National Football Foundation Looks To Change Sport's Narrative
The National Football Foundation has made "rebranding" the sport amid persistent safety concerns "perhaps the biggest part of the foundation's portfolio," according to Drape & Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. The result of a December '17 NFF board meeting was to make "relevant in the 21st century" the mission the organization was founded on in '47: to "promote football as a way to mold future leaders." Money "started to roll in," with Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and the NFL all committing "several hundred thousand dollars." NCAA commissioners also "pledged to set aside money" from the CFP. The #FootballMatters campaign by May '18 had "spread across multiple platforms." The effort already has cost $2M, and NFF leaders claim to have been "careful not to allow the NFL and the NCAA ... to take the lead." It is "too early to tell" if things are working. TV ratings are "rebounding after a period of decline, but participation has continued to fall." LDWW Founding Partner Ken Luce, whose Dallas-based marketing agency is running the campaign, said, "We're not going to change anyone's minds, but we hope to put football in a fuller context." NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell: "We are facing a lot of issues -- the biggest one is that you can get hurt playing football. But we have decided to be a player in the conversation. To push back" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).