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Are You Ready For Some [Insert sound of crickets]?

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T-minus 24 days to my favorite day of the year – Superbowl Sunday! There is nothing better than the culmination of 17 weeks of gridiron mayhem complete with 3 weeks of playoffs where anything can happen – hello Seahawks!

However, this very well might be the last NFL event we get to watch and enjoy before the looming lock out. While the thought of having a fall season without NFL RedZone makes me sick, dedicated fans like me aren’t the only ones losing out as the NFL season touches more than just their fans and players.

The domino effect of the lockout is staggering, as almost every industry, big or small, is impacted by football in some way. On Monday, AdAge reported that lost revenue in the ballpark of $12 billion.1 That’s a lot of beers and pretzels that won’t be sold in stadiums next season. In addition to lost ticket sales and Sunday Funday bar tabs; Las Vegas will take a huge hit, as will the Mom & Pop Pizzeria in town that spends all day Sunday delivering to fans hungry from cheering their team on all day.

It’s easy to forget that when it comes down to it, the NFL is a business, and they are going to do their best to protect their interest and make sure that money stays in their pockets. From here, it will be interesting to see how sport sponsorships are approached by potential clients in the future. I won’t be surprised if all sports sponsorships suffer after this, as it is hard enough measuring ROI on a good day, you can’t measure something that isn’t there. Where is the incentive for a company or city to shell out millions of dollars to be a sponsor of a sport or event that could potentially fall apart and disappear – who remembers 2004? As a result of the 2004 NHL lockout, an estimated $2 billion in revenue was lost from tickets, media, sponsorships, and concessions by teams.2 The city of Atlanta alone lost out on the 2005 NHL All-Star game, which usually generates between $15 million and $18 million in revenue for the host city.3 Yikes bikes.

While I did receive Commissioner Goodell’s email to fans last week explain in his commitment to avoiding a lockout, I’m still scared. (And by scared I mean terrified.) On the bright side March 1st, the deadline for the NFL and Players Associate to renew their collective bargaining agreement, is still more than a month away. And until then, I will savor everything the NFL has to offer what’s left of this season.

And last, but certainly not least – GO PATS!

Sources:

1 Over $12B at Stake if NFL Lockout Prevent 2011 Season

2 The hockey lockout of 2004 – 05

3 Cancellation is a serious blow to fans, host city