Despite the “tsunami” of bad press that has begun to touch on NFL sponsors like CoverGirl via the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, we think it safe to say that most of the corporate names backing the world’s most profitable sports league will continue keeping the bench very warm until Roger Goodell does something that goes well beyond the poor management practices he’s displayed so far this year.
However, one brand did make headlines last night by becoming the first to drop its sponsorship: Radisson Resorts will (temporarily) suspend its relationship with the Minnesota Vikings. This move almost reminds us of the team’s decision to (temporarily) suspended running back Adrian Peterson himself when he was charged with abusing his son: the suspension lasted one game, and the team will allow him to continue playing while under indictment.
To answer the second part of our headline, then, the answer is almost certainly “no.”
You’ll notice that this particular move on Radisson’s behalf had absolutely nothing to do Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, or the larger story about the league’s approach to domestic violence incidents.
In terms of other brands pushing back, here’s CoverGirl’s statement via American Prospect editor Adele Stan:
— Adele Stan (@addiestan) September 16, 2014
“Encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward” sounds a lot like “we wish this story would go away,” doesn’t it?
A post via enterprise marketing platform maker Networked Insights sums up the league’s strategy quite well:
“So how will the league come back from this latest PR black eye? Perhaps the same way it always has. By putting players on the field and games on TV. The rest will take care of itself.”
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it.