Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The numbers behind pinkification..

The NFL has decided to cut back on their pinkification... They will stop using pink penalty flags in week 6 - I have no idea when week 6 is but assume it is sometime around now. That is how much I know about football. But do not be too upset as they will still use pink cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline hats, helmet decals, captains' patches, chin cups, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels.

The reason given for the stop is that pink penalty flags can easily be confused by players with the other flashes of pink. Out of the corner of your eye, was that a pink penalty flag dropped or another player running by or a dropped quarterback towel? I guess it can be confusing to players but then I find the whole game confusing.

Pink penalty flags are a small portion of the NFL's efforts.

The  big picture effort is called a Crucial Catch and is a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the NFL and supported by corporate sponsors. This has been going on since 2009. It is not very altruistic of the NFL as they are trying to recruit more female fans, particularly younger ones.

But here are the real details behind this all. How much do you think the NFL must have donated in the past four years? Guess a number and read below:

"This is where the campaign gets murky. While all proceeds from auctioned game-worn items go to breast cancer causes, the league declines to say what portion of the apparel sales do. Inquiring minds can estimate, however. Ticketmaster limited its 2012 A Crucial Catch contribution to 10 cents for every ticket sold last October (up to $40,000 total), and The New York Times reported that Old Navy donated only five percent of revenues to a foundation via a similar 2011 campaign featuring the Dallas Cowboys. Charlotte Jones Anderson, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, supervised this campaign, and Anderson in December was appointed chairwoman of a new NFL foundation that will direct league community efforts.

The bottom line: The league hardly donates much to "fight" breast cancer. You'd need to use scientific notation with negative exponents to express what percentage of the NFL's annual revenues it contributes via A Crucial Catch. The campaign raised a combined $4.5 million during its first four years (2009-2012), including $1.5 million last year. League-wide revenues approached $8 billion in 2009, when NFL teams earned a median profit of $28.6 million, according to The Economics of the National Football League, a 2012 book edited by Kevin G. Quinn. (The NFL says it plans to donate $23 million to all community causes this year -- less than one percent of its likely revenues.)

If they are not really concerned with aiding breast cancer causes, then, why do the NFL and its corporate partners orchestrate this campaign? The cynical answer is that they are more interested in their images, and in growing their products and revenues. They are seeking to attract new consumers, usually female, and to establish a positive connection with them."

A whopping $4.5 million dollars from four years of effort out of $8 billion in revenues in a single year? Thats a teeny tiny percent.

I am not blasting the NFL here but using them as an example of how the numbers of pinkification never add up. If you really care, send your dollars to a worthy cause that you have checked out first.

The number is: 0.01406% each year. Basically a drop in the bucket.


Nancy's Point said...

Hi Caroline,

You know I was just wondering about this very thing today. Pretty eye-opening, but not really that surprising. Thanks for pointing out the numbers here behind this particular "pinktificattion" by the NFL.

Linda said...

Thanks for crunching the numbers to help illuminate the problem here. I know most folks who purchase such items truly want to help end breast cancer -- but there are so many better ways to do that...

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