That headline may seem crazy, but please, hear us out. We are a meager blog set up primarily for fans of the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have been out of the playoff picture for some time, so we’ve had some time to think about 2011. We’re pleading with all fans of the NFL. YOU have the power to help avoid a shortened or lost NFL season. Yes, we’re talking to you, fans of the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles….Fans of EVERY NFL Team.
As fans of the NFL, we have been hearing about the labor negotiations and impending lockout for months. The billionaire owners opted out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was set to expire after the 2012 season. It’s now set to expire in the next month or so. The thought league-wide is that there will be a Lockout of the NFL players and there is a chance there won’t be NFL football in 2011. For some background, the NFL generated roughly $8.8 BILLION in revenue in 2009. Even during the recession, average team profits rose 3.5%. During that same time, players average salaries increased 3.4%. So if everyone is making money, why can’t both sides just come to an agreement? It’s truly a case of millionaires (the players) vs. billionaires (owners). The players would like to keep the status quo, while the owners want to decrease the percentage the players receive.
The league is doing better than it ever has. Ratings are way up. In fact, last year’s ‘Big Game’ had the most viewers of all time, just over 104 million. The NFL is signing agreements with networks, apparel companies, advertisers and anyone that will pay for the privilege of sponsoring an NFL event. For a list of details on the success of the NFL, please check the NFLPA site here.
What can YOU do?
A lot of you reading this are asking what you could possibly do to effect a ‘non-profit’ that generates $8.8 Billion. Yes, the NFL is actually a tax exempt, non-profit organization. The owners make a profit, but the league, technically does not. We’re here to tell you that there is something that you can do. The key is that we need to spread the word, and spread it quickly.
Many fan sites, blogs, etc. have suggested boycotting season tickets for next season. A good idea, only it won’t work. Why? Because in places like Pittsburgh, New York, and Philadelphia there are waiting lists for season tickets. Here’s an example. Joe has been an Eagles season ticket holder for 20 years. Joe has been to every Eagles game for the last 20 years and loves his Eagles football Sundays. Chris is a die hard Eagles fan and is currently on the season ticket holder waiting list of 40,000+ fans. If Joe decides to protest and not renew his season tickets for 2011, Chris, who’s been dying to get his hands on tickets, will purchase them. This is a good idea, but it’s just not feasible.
The NFL and it’s owners are billionaires and will still get paid by the networks if there is no season in 2011. But effecting their revenue is how we, as fans, can get their attention. So if boycotting season ticket renewals isn’t the answer, what is? Our suggestion is that fans of all NFL teams go on ‘strike’. Yes, a unified protest of the NFL and their licensed partners. After the Big Game on February 6th, we suggest that ALL NFL fans immediately boycott all NFL licensed products. That means no jersey sales, no hat sales, no bumper sticker sales, NOTHING. The NFL gets a royalty from all sales of their licensed products. If you don’t think that this would have a big impact, check this out. Nike recently outbid Reebok to become the official apparel maker of the NFL. Last year, $350 mil of Reebok’s $565 mil in apparel sales came directly from it’s NFL contracts. So even if the NFL doesn’t care, their business partners will. We, as fans CAN make a difference. So please help us get the word out. If we can do this, on February 7th, NFL licensed items will see a HUGE drop in sales. And this ‘strike’ will continue until the NFLPA and the Owners can work out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If you would like, we even created an online petition to sign. On February 7th, we will send the list of names, however many it may be, to the NFL Commissioner to show him that the fans have a voice to. We want a full NFL offseason and a full NFL season in 2011.
For updates on the Fans Strike and the CBA, please follow us on Twitter @NFL_FanStrike