Is All Publicity Good Publicity?


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Leaves changing, pumpkin-flavored everything and football: a few of my favorite fall staples. Coming from a girl with zero hand-eye coordination, who still doesn’t completely follow every rule of football, come September, Sundays are still an exciting day. Although I’m forever a Green Bay girl at heart (Go Pack!), there’s an undeniable energy that encompasses the city of Denver when the Broncos are back in action.

From “deflategate” to player scandals, to the concern of concussions and their link to brain disease, there have been some serious recent issues surrounding the NFL. With football season kicking off, I found myself questioning – will these negative situations impact both fans and marketers involvement in the sport? As an Ad Age article explained, although consumer perception levels are increasingly down, sponsors and advertisers are still charging towards the season at full speed.

Toyota just kicked off a new campaign that focuses on fans dedication to their teams. Hyundai, Ford, Procter & Gamble and MillerCoors are also in on the NFL action with spots that will span throughout the season and culminate with Super Bowl 50. Regardless of the public’s view of NFL controversies, the impact and exposure of the sport is undeniable. The Patriots, last year’s Super Bowl champions, have accrued 8.66 million engagements from August 9th to September 4th. WOW. The digital engagement ratings of football teams are off the charts.

In this specific case, I’m left wondering – is all publicity good publicity? There’s no doubt that fans were distraught over many recent issues surrounding league, but are those issues enough to turn them away? With the hype surrounding Super Bowl 50, both the enthusiasm of marketers and fans seems to be present as ever.

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