Football Teams Sponsor Lottery Ticketsby Tim Manni
The economy has forced the National Football League (NFL) to change a long-standing rule that forbade teams from fully sponsoring state lottery tickets. The reversal is unprecedented in that previously teams were only allowed under NFL rules to partially sponsor lottery tickets. Also, the league has long had reservations in the outright support of gambling amongst its fans.
The Economy Changes Everything
E.J. Narcise, principal of Team Services, part of Plano-based Learfield Sports, said lifting the ban on scratch-off sponsorships was inevitable, especially in the current climate.
“There’s no question it’s driven by the economy,” he said. “Like everybody else, the NFL teams are certainly not bulletproof in economic downturns.”
John Alper, a regional vice president with Premier Partnership, said the lottery is not the only example of leagues looking for money in formerly forbidden territory. He said the NFL has started allowing corporate advertising on practice jerseys, and the NBA has eased some restrictions on liquor advertising at arenas.
“You see some categories that traditionally have been taboo that owners, because of the economy, have been willing to open up,” Alper said.
It’s unclear at this point how much, if any, of the football teams’ profits off the scratch-off tickets will take away from the states’ income. The Consumerist is of the opinion that some lottery players rationalize their decision to gamble with the thought process of “it’s OK if I lose, because at least the money is going to schools.”
Readers: should sports teams be allowed to benefit from their state’s lottery?