Rick Jensen Guest Post

The NFL Sees Green in Pink

Most of us expect about 90 percent of our charitable contributions to go toward funding any charitable cause to which we give.

How do you feel about the NFL donating only 8 percent of Pink gear sales toward cancer research?

nfl pink2 The NFL Sees Green in Pink cartoons       This is one of those big stories that got lost in the giant news vacuum of the failed Obamacare website and subsequent “800″ number crash.

It’s also a big story that could reverse favorable American opinions of the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodall.

Business Insider reports only about 8 percent of sales from the popular pink NFL merchandise goes toward cancer research. They break down distribution of the money from sales this way: 50 percent goes to the retailer, 37.5 percent to the manufacturer, 8.1 percent to the American Cancer Society for research, 3.24 percent to the administration at the Society and 1.25 percent to the NFL.

Here’s something else to consider: the “retailer” who gets 50 percent is most often the NFL itself and NFL teams.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell jumped all over this, writing that the league “takes a 25 percent royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90 percent of royalty to American Cancer Society.”

Business Insider does quote the NFL website that states any money the league makes that is not donated to the American Cancer Society goes directly toward covering the costs of the Breast Cancer Awareness program.

That sounds good, but it doesn’t explain some more troubling aspects of the way money is shifted around and how little actually goes to cancer research.

Most of the pink NFL merchandise is reportedly sold through the league’s online store, individual teams and at the stadiums. That makes the NFL and individual teams the retailer. As noted by Business Insider, retailers get 50 percent.

If the league is giving all that money to Breast Cancer Awareness, that sounds great.

However, consider these numbers from Darren Rovell: “On pink gear, the NFL says it takes a 25 percent royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90 percent of royalty to American Cancer Society.”

“In other words,” writes Business Insider’s Cork Gaines, “for every $100 in pink merchandise sold, $12.50 goes to the NFL. Of that, $11.25 goes to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the NFL keeps the rest.”

“The remaining money is then divided up by the company that makes the merchandise (37.5 percent) and the company that sells the merchandise (50.0%), which is often the NFL and the individual teams.”

Considering only 71 percent of ACS money goes to research and cancer programs, that’s how they get to the 8 percent number of your purchases actually going to cancer research and programs.

The real outrage is the big profits for the NFL and small amount that goes to their broken promise of fighting breast cancer.

How many women in pink NFL gear are now regretting their purchase when they learn only 8 percent of the money they or their generous gift-giver spent goes to cancer research?

From a purely business marketing perspective, the NFL used the emotional attraction of pretending to care about cancer survivors and victims to attract and maintain female fans and got caught profiting from the pain of millions of Americans.

From a human perspective, there’s something especially sleazy about pimping such a heart-wrenching pain as Mom’s cancer for financial gain.

There is sure to be a lot of buyers’ remorse around the flat screens this weekend.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall needs to do what too few so-called “leaders” do anymore. He needs to publicly apologize to the fans, breast cancer survivors and the families of those who have lost Moms, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, Grandmothers and Wives to cancer.

Then he needs to dig in and donate 100 percent of every penny used to purchase pink NFL gear during the month of October to cancer research.

Only then can you and I trust the NFL to be honorable with any other charitable venture.

4 Comments on "Rick Jensen Guest Post"

  1. William Christy says:

    SOP 8% and less is becoming the norm. It certainly appears the bigger the entity in this case the NFL the lower amount the charitable event gets.

  2. Mike Protack says:

    The NFL is a non profit, the NFL pays its leader over $30 million a year and the NFL denied concussion science for almost 15 years before settling for almost $700 million.

    It is no surprise.

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