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Sports Illustrated 2011 on the Six Main Revenue / Wealth Drivers of the NFL

See also Sports Illustrated and Inside the NFL's Money Machine.

Note how well they fit well into the surrounding community while earning major dollars.


  1. Football Is the Most Popular Sport: 32 cities have an NFL Team. 26 of the top 50 markets do not. The NFL is a $9.3 billion money machine.
  2. Halo Effect: Pro football doesn't just produce cash for the NFL. Local economic activity generated by a single NFL game is estimated at $20 million to $21 million. Over eight home games — excluding preseason and playoffs — that's $160 million per year per market and $5.1 billion total earned by peripheral businesses. The $9.3 billion pie just scratches the surface and doesn't get into how much money is spent around stadiums, merchandise, agents, all the way down to mom-and-pop shops."
  3. Broadcast Revenues: Our new football league, even if it does a tenth, could yield $5 - $10 million/team. NFL games are popular on TV. The same will be true of our little town.
    • $4 billion in radio, TV and digital earnings across the 32 NFL teams
    • $125 million/ team
    • The 19 highest-rated fall TV programs (and 28 of the top 30) were NFL games
    • Super Bowl this year was the most-watched program ever
    • ESPN pays $1 billion per season (18 games)
    • DirecTV pays $1 billion per season (8 games plus NFL Sunday Ticket)
    • Fox pays $712.5 million per season (102 games)
    • NBC pays $650 million per season (18 games)
    • CBS pays $622.5 million per season (102 games)
  4. Stadium Sponsorships: I have a complete package and PowerPoint presentation on naming rights for the L.A. Coliseum ($2.75/year).
    • Teams can collect as much as $25 million to $30 million for stadium naming rights, usually on 10-year deals
    • LA Farmers Insurance has promised to pay $700 million over 30 years to name an L.A. stadium for a team that doesn't exist yet
    • Reliant Energy pays $10 million per year for stadium naming rights with the Texans (pictured)
  5. Corporate Sponsorships: From credit cards to cameras, from auto makers to pizza, companies pour money into the league's coffers for the right to associate their brands with the NFL. Among those pouring are Pepsi ($560 million over eight years, starting in 2004) and Gatorade ($45 million a year, plus marketing costs and free Gatorade for teams).
    • Nike paid $1.1 billion to land the NFL's apparel sponsorship
    • Reebok, previous NFL gear partner, had been moving $350 million annually in NFL gear
    • Verizon paid $720 million over four years to be the NFL's wireless provider
    • Pouring (beer)— $700 million in cash from its $1.2 billion, six-year deal with beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch — but teams still cut their own deals when it comes to pouring rights at individual stadiums
  6. Tickets and Concessions: In 2010 more than 17 million fans, paying anywhere from $54.51 (Browns) to $117.84 (Patriots)/game ticket. Examples from only publicly-held team (records), Green Bay Packers, regarding ticket office and concession stands:
    • The Packers reaped $13 million from concessions, parking and local media in 2010, which figures to about $416 million NFL-wide
    • Green Bay also cleared $60 million from home and away game tickets plus private boxes. Projected over 32 teams, that's close to $2 billion

Headlines from the 1990s: "NFL Teams as Gold Mines with Diamonds in the Mother Lode" and "The New Piggy Banks for Financial Wizards"

Source article from Sports Illustrated, 2011 and Inside the NFL's Money Machine.

Page content written / posted: 2011, 07-12-13, 10-13-13

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