The NFL — A Brand in Turmoil

As a marketing professional, I preach that you must always adhere to and represent the core values of your brand. Stepping left and right of those values will incur not only disconnect, but loss of trust and allegiance. This is FACT – not opinion. And apparently it's a fact the National Football League doesn't SEEM to want embrace at this moment.

[ NOW WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CLIP FROM ESPN ]

There's no better way to alienate your audience than to introduce a consistent negative perception. Kicking your cash cow is a bad idea regardless of the day.

NO brand can survive an ongoing onslaught of negative perception, no matter how historical and well regarded the brand is. Cracker Barrel, SeaWorld (though this brand was attacked with content edited to an agenda), Abercrombie & Fitch, and the list goes on. The ones that weather the storm are those who take action to live up to their mission. Brands that bend, trying to be everything to everyone, will break and fall victim to their own insecurities.

Fall on your sword. Make it right. Fail fast! You will be forgiven.

That said, we need to put more onus on celebrity-status professionals that even they can be terminated if they don't behave in a manner befitting the brand's core values. No guaranteed money. No 15 appeals. No wrist slap and a PSA. Do not pass "GO" – and you don't get your $200!

Or $20 million, or grossly obscene salary, or ...

Would you maintain your employment if you continued to act in a manner inconsistent with your brand's values and accepted behavior? You know the answer.

In small part, the problem also lies with those that look the other way and don't make their heroes accountable for their actions. I'm a die-hard NFL fan who grew up as a diehard Denver Broncos supporter. But should that team/league continue to missrepresent why I became a fan, I would find fandom elsewhere.

We need to expect more.

Posted on September 19, 2014 and filed under Advertising, Brand, Business.