The NFL Draft

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

22 April 2020

The NFL Draft: The league gets lucky

I’m not the biggest NFL fan (I prefer the college level), but I do find the actions of sports’ most valuable brand interesting and often amusing. Gronk going to Tampa to join Brady cracks me up. Suddenly, many think the Bucs will go all the way with a QB who will be 43 by the start of the season and tight end with a long history of injuries. Then there’s the NFL Draft.

NFL DraftTomorrow, the 32 NFL teams begin drafting college players virtually that promises to be plenty entertaining. One GM noted his greatest concern is background noise from his kids fighting and dogs barking. Another worried he wouldn’t have enough bandwidth.

Then there’s Commissioner Roger Goodell, who will host things from his basement without the NFL Draft tradition of fans booing him every time he appears at the podium.

Or won’t they?

Goodell says his virtual background will be fans from each team selecting that pick. Whether there’ll be sound or not is unknown. I’m guessing the NFL just wants to broadcast fans’ reactions to their teams’ picks.

Meanwhile, Bud Light is donating $1 for every tweet that records a fan booing with the hashtag #BooTheCommish. The money goes to coronavirus relief.

“The NFL Draft comes at the perfect time, so the NFL must be grateful this didn’t happen in the fall. The league is as lucky as lucky can get.”

Timing of the NFL Draft is welcome, lucky 

Again, I find this greatly amusing and the right kind of approach for a virtual event like the upcoming NFL Draft. The league, which is working with Bud Light for its charity efforts, understands a little levity is welcome at this time from a league nicknamed the No Fun League.

The NFL is the most powerful brand in US sports. But it’s also tremendously lucky. The spread of COVID-19 in the US happened in the spring, the offseason for the league. Games, if they happen, won’t take place until September. That’s more than four months away. Who knows what the world will look like then.

The NFL Draft, like free agency a few weeks ago, places the NFL in the forefront of sports fans’ minds while other sports are silent. The NBA tries a H-O-R-S-E contest that gets no play, although ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” is grabbing record ratings. (It’s replacing Tiger King as the show we’re all watching.)

The NFL Draft comes at the perfect time, so the NFL must be grateful this didn’t happen in the fall. The league is as lucky as lucky can get.

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