Evan Weiner: What’s Holding Back NFL’s Total Global Domination Plans?

Nov 26, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: Evan Weiner submitted a new piece from Grenada today discussing some of the NFL’s global expansion plans to continue the growth of their lucrative franchise outside of its monopolized American markets. Evan covers many of the reasons why there may be several hurdles the game itself needs to overcome but there’s also an Unintended Consequence from expanding to other countries where the NFL way of doing business won’t work. Our comments are at the bottom of this post.
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Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
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BY EVAN WEINER
COMMENTARY

NFL looks to England and Olympics while struggling for global traction

Roger and Mini-Me

By Evan Weiner
November 26, 2012
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(St. George’s, Grenada) — National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking for ways to globalize the American game. The NFL is attempting to establish a stronghold in England with an annual game in London and also by giving the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise exclusive marketing rights in the UK. The league might also have an interest in getting a long term lease at London Olympics stadium, which has been closed for renovations.
Goodell also has expressed, on behalf of his owners, a desire to see American football included in the Summer Olympics despite the fact that only one country –America– plays American football on a high level. Goodell contends more than 60 countries play a version of American football but other than a stray Canadian and a handful of others virtually everyone who enters the NFL is an American.
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American football just doesn’t have any traction in countries in the Western Hemisphere other than American and Canada although there seems to be some interest in the game in Mexico. There doesn’t seem to be American football on two of the American Virgin Islands – St. Croix and St. Thomas. In fact, one baseball field in St. Croix is in really poor shape and could use some help from a sports league to clean up the grounds.
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The NFL didn’t seem to be much of a big deal on St. Croix on Sunday as the beach was a far bigger draw than sitting in front of a TV on the American-owned Caribbean Island.
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A recent trip to three southern Caribbean islands, St. Kitts, Dominica and Grenada found almost no interest in the National Football League. There are football fields in Basseterre, St. Kitts, Rousseau, Dominica and St. George’s, Grenada but the local games are the international version of football and cricket. In Grenada, there are billboards saluting the country’s 2012 London Olympics gold medal winner, the 20-year-old Kirani James who won the 400 meters race. The Olympics are a big deal in countries like Grenada. Kirani James will have a stadium named after him and the country honored him after the Olympics by giving every worker in the country a half day off. Sept. 1, Jones’s birthday, will become a national holiday and he will be honored on a postal stamp.
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You can read the rest of Evan’s post by clicking HERE.
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Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on “The Politics of Sports Business.” His book, “The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition” is available at www.bickley.com or amazonkindle. He can be reached at evanjweiner@yahoo.com
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Our comments and observations as posted in the Comments Section on NewJerseyNewsroom.com:
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The Law of Unintended Consequences

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Evan -
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The Law of Unintended Consequences will likely come into play here with the globalization of the NFL. If it was that simple, the NFL probably would have merged or acquired the CFL by now. But considering their current looming headache with all the concussion lawsuits that continue to grow by the day, one has to look deeper at why they’ll need to fix their house before moving on to other pastures.
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In talking to many NFL players who either went on to finish their careers in the CFL or simply found it a better system, it was made clear to me that the Canadian system does have many advantages over the NFL. While the CFL pays nowhere near the ridiculous salaries that the NFL has been paying every year, the other benefits are an open secret among those in the know. Having socialized medicine is one distinct advantage. While not perfect, the Canadian Health Care system provides basic care and benefits to all who qualify as employees to one more big Canadian company that actually pays their fair share into the entire system. I’ve heard some very interesting personal stories from American players who ended up injured while playing in the CFL and most of them have been really positive as a whole. It may be worth your time to do some of your own investigative digging into this interesting side story; I suspect it may well interest your readers in general and football fans in particular. A good place to start might be with the CFL Alumni.
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Why do I point this out? Well, as more and more people are beginning to realize, the NFL has been running its own sham Pension and Disability Plan which was actually put together by its lawyers and manages to approve only fewer than 5% of those who actually get through their Byzantine process to apply for their benefits; the worst possible outcome for its former employees in what is probably the most physically brutal occupation in America. And because of this, it leaves the NFL and its owners with a larger pot of money each passing year with which to continue paying ever-increasing salaries to its newer players. And of course, the so-called Union – the NFLPA – stands by idly because it wants their active players to make those huge salaries. It’s the active players who then pay huge annual membership dues to their Union. So the management has no use for the thousands of retired players who continue to pay their annual $100 dues for nothing much more than a fancy membership card and a few side benefits that are nothing more than what the AARP could offer for $15 a year. Proving once again that you can’t serve two masters.
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Until they can finally sort out this no-win PR nightmare, one has to ponder this question: Ya think the NFL can actually enter into the European (or Chinese) markets which have socialized healthcare for all while they continue to avoid not only paying their fair share but going out of their way to ensure that their injured retirees are foisted on to the backs of those who are actually paying into this system? Somehow I don’t think they can do as convincing a job with the socialized Europeans and Chinese markets as they’ve gotten away with for so long with an ignorant and uncaring fan base here in America…
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