Is the NFL at Risk of Losing Sponsors?

Domestic violence advocates and feminist groups across the country are pressuring NFL sponsors to stop sponsoring the NFL due to the recent domestic violence allegations against Ravens player, Ray Rice. Some have backed out of certain NFL campaigns while others are showing their support for domestic violence. Sponsors, CoverGirl and Verizon Telecommunications are using their brands to shed light on the issues and are creating domestic violence awareness campaigns and helping the NFL to create long term domestic violence prevention strategies. Not only are sponsors speaking out and showing where they stand on these issues, social media campaigns have gone viral. Victims of domestic violence are speaking out using social media to share their stories and offer support and advice. Domestic violence cases are often not heard about, because victims feel threaten or alone. It is hard for them to get out of these situations without help because they feel manipulated and powerless.
CoverGirl, a brand known for woman empowerment issued a statement that ‘Domestic Violence is unacceptable’ (LAtimes). Even though they have said its unacceptable they will still be sponsoring the NFL, they will actively participate in providing support and information for young woman. Activist and feminist groups are trying to stop NFL sponsorship’s. CoverGirl’s recent advertising campaign ‘Get your Game Face On’ targeting woman show models with game face make-up that matches each NFL team color has taken to a recent uproar. Adam Stan, the editor of The American Prospect in Washington DC photo shopped the CoverGirl models that were the face of their recent campaign to show them with bruises around their eyes and obviously beating images. The images started going viral on Twitter and then Pinterest when boards were created with various models photo shopped to look like victims of domestic violence with NFL logos next to them.

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Since the allegations, NFL hashtags have gone viral people using the hashtags #GoodellMustGo and #BoycotttheNFL. People have gone to twitter using the hashtag #whyileft and #whyistayed shedding light on the issues of domestic violence.

• “‪#whyistayed I thought that he was my best friend. ‪#whyileft I became my own best friend.”
• “Because i thought if i loved him enough he would stop being abusive ‪#whyistayed. Because I knew he would kill me eventually ‪#whyileft”
• “I believed him when he said it was the last time. ‪#whyistayed The last time almost killed me.‪#whyileft”
Domestic violence is complicated, and the hashtags #whyistayed and #whyIleft are showing support for all victims of domestic violence and helping to shed light on the series matter. These hashtags have gone viral and are hoping to reach policy makers who do not see ‘domestic violence is a widespread and harmful as it is’ (Wofford).
CoverGirl also took to Facebook posting “As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence” (Parker). To show their support for woman and the issue.
The CEO of Verizon used LinkedIn as his social media platform of choice to shed light on the issue and share his company’s stance. He said Verizon ‘has been involved in Domestic Violence prevention since 1995’ and is encouraging everyone to take part in their on-going campaign ‘Voices have Power’ and is working with the NFL to create long term solutions to address domestic violence in the NFL. “Voices have Power” campaign ‘calls upon people from across the country to submit a message of hope to domestic violence victims and survivors. For every message of hope submitted, Verizon will donate $3 toward supporting proven and innovative dating and domestic violence prevention programs produced by the company’s national and local campaign partners’ (Crawford).
CoverGirl and Verizon are choosing not to distant themselves from the NFL, sponsor P&G has pulled out of the NFL’s breast cancer awareness campaign, a national NFL campaign players take part in by raising money and wearing pink in October. P&G will still donate to the American Cancer Association, but will not be par taking in any NFL campaigns.

Should other NFL sponsors take after CoverGirl and shed light on domestic violence issues the NFL is facing, or should they stay quiet?

Crawford, C. (2014, July 15). Verizon Launches “Because Voices have Power” Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Parker, R. (2014, September 16). CoverGirl issues statement after protesters alter NFL ‘Game Face’ ads. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
Wofford, C. (2015, September 12). The Silver Lining of the Ray Rice Saga. Retrieved September 29, 2014.

One thought on “Is the NFL at Risk of Losing Sponsors?

  1. I think it’s amazing that CoverGirl and other companies didn’t/don’t drop their contracts with the NFL! The NFL and its players have been been under basically very little to no scrutiny for their crimes (Hi Michael Vik, hey OJ Simpson)… I’m just googling “NFL crimes” right now and I’m getting annoyed by it. I sincerely think it’s disgusting that 1) America glorifies this league and 2) this league has so much money, power, respect, etc…

    And before I forget to mention, the sport can cause very serious brain trauma that’s resulted in suicide for some.

    I’m obviously not a big football fan, if you can tell 🙂


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