Whether the organization is the US Government, The Catholic Church, Gen’l Motors or the NFL the #1 goal of any organization is too protect itself, to prevent harm from coming to it and to sustain itself no matter what the adversity. The Prez, the Pope, Mary Barra and Roger Goodell know that truth. As CEO’s (so to speak) they are charged with the responsibility of their organization’s viability. All other goals are subordinate to that BIG KAHUNA. While we all understand that, every CEO is vulnerable to his/ her self-perception of organizational invincibility. Being “ too big for your britches” for an organization being too awesome for its own good. This view is probably each CEO’s looming minefield of disaster. Forgetting Obama, Francis, and Barra, suffice to say the Goodell may be the most powerful private sector leader in North America if not in the world. His visibility and the NFL’s prominence place him there. As a CEO– strongman he is likely surrounded by YES PEOPLE who have convinced him that when there are warm, calm currents that he can probably “walk on water” (at least part of the time.) We agree with ESPN’s PTI twins who concluded that either Goodell had lied about being aware of the “elevator tape” OR that he had so little organizational control that he didn’t know about it and therefore he must be judged, incompetent. Since Goodell runs the NFL house, NO matter which deed he committed (malfeasance or misfeasance), he is “guilty” and needs to be held accountable for the result. Whether “cover up” or a claim of ignorance, neither is acceptable and is an immediate reason for resignation or dismissal. It is our feeling that when Mr. Rice dragged his fiancé from the elevator (an event we all saw) that Mr.Goodell was all but fried, then and there. Perhaps, there is an exception, if she ran into the elevator door or self-administered a KO punch. Save those possibilities, no further info is needed! What else does anyone need to know? The truth is that the NFL is a multibillion dollar biz with millions of dollars in of anti-trust exemptions, tens of millions of $$ worth of corporate sponsors and billion dollar owners who hire a commish to take care of ALL their laundry. If he doesn’t then it’s time to separate him from his $40M+ CEO position. At stake beside the credibility of the NFL, itself is the credibility of the many NFL sponsors who pay $20 – 50M a year per sponsorship. Their strength, their $$, their influence will be very determinative. W/O rushing into judgment the NFL”s current credibility conundrum, has also now become a women’s problem. Misbehavior of a goodly # of NFL players has been refocused by N.O.W, USA2day & others. Look, no one can dispute the deplorable domestic violence of Mr Rice. Having said that, it may be 2ndary to the breach of public trust suffered by the NFL. Nonetheless, it may be a reason to issue a” 2nd life sentence” to the NFL & Goodell. (For more about the National Female League, please read on.)


In our view there is ONLY one reason the NFL is the galaxy’s #1 league. That is b/c it has been very, very, very successful in capturing female fandom. Through the years, it has offered special football classes for women; it has fully embraced women into the “broadcast booth”; it has become a pink sector of the economy in Oct, as it fights breast cancer; and it’s apparel e-retail arm (NFLshop.com) has grown the female side of the biz so extraordinarily well that it has made the male side of the biz look like it has been standing still. If you hadn’t noticed, females are no longer wearing men’s ftbll jerseys but a very hip line of women’s clothing and accessories. Having said that, let’s be clear, about the fact that it is the FEMALE size of the TV audience (with a 35%-45% of the viewership) that makes the NFL whether it be “Opening Night” in the NFL or Super Bowl Sun Night. Gender integration has definitely come to the NFL. Let’s review some of the data and better understand why this league with 32 teams valued at $45.7B and revenues of almost $10B CANNOT drop the handoff to or from American women.

  • Females “make up” 46% of all NFL fans with an avg of 63% of females 12 and older being fans (AdWk 8/24/14)
  • According to Marie Claire, the NFL is way past the days of “Pink it & Shrink it.” There are over 200 + NYG T’s available on NFLShop.com & only 10 are pink.
  • Today, designer Marie Clair (with publisher, Cardore of the Fangirl’s Guide) is exclusively sponsored by NFL in its “Together We Make Ftbll” campaign. (If you missed it, that’s TOGETHER!!!)

According to CNN (2-1-14)

  • 375,000 women attend NFL games EACH wknd.
  • Team gear can be found at Victoria’s Secret.
  • As we know, 70% of important family decisions are made by women (Ann Bastianelli, IN U, Kelley School of Biz) and when tied to the fact 45%± of NFL fans are female that means that this incredibly big female TV viewing audience gives the NFL yet another new advertising power. For example P&G’s Cover Girl is the NFL’s “official beauty sponsor”. That’s right the OFFICAL BEAUTY SPONSOR OF THE NFL! ANYQUESTIONS?

Ladies and gentlemen our point is clear to an NFL with or w/o Roger Goodell, with or w/o Ray Rice, the NFL had better quickly have a clear policy and a clear direction regarding women and violence b/c WOMEN are the future of the NFL’s $ucce$$!!!!

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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