Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | punish | professional | sports | Rick Horrow

Sports Business Expert: Let Marketplace, Not Pols, Punish NFL

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 05:47 PM

Let fans and advertisers, not politicians, punish wayward professional sports leagues like the scandal-ridden National Football League, a veteran industry consultant told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"It is a business, and the bottom line is there are enough private forces to regulate this kind of business," Rick Horrow, CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures in Florida, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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With Congress again threatening to revoke the NFL's tax-exempt status, Horrow said  the marketplace, not the government, should be entrusted with forcing change on a league that is under fire for its handling of domestic abuse by players.

"This is one of those things [where] we'll see what the market does, not what lawmakers do," said Horrow, arguing that professional sports already operate under enough government purview.

"Anti-trust exemptions . . . the blackout rule — we have it," he said. "It's all been legislated."

Anyone doubting the power of consumers and advertisers to prompt reform should consider some of the recent moves by major NFL sponsors, said Horrow.

He cited beer maker Anheuser Busch's statement that the company — which spent $185 million last year on pro football advertising — is "disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season."

Other top-tier sponsors have put shots across the league's bow, issuing statements of concern or canceling involvement in NFL-branded events, after the release of a video in which running back Ray Rice allegedly punched his fiancee.

"That sends shock waves through the NFL," said Horrow.

After the video surfaced, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upped Rice's original two-game suspension to an indefinite ban and hired former FBI Director Robert Mueller to probe the league's handling of the entire matter.

"If you accept the fact that the market and other conditions — and people's excitement about the game — will drive change . . .this is a watershed time for the NFL," said Horrow.

He said NFL executives will take the league's predicament "seriously" because fans and advertisers want them to — "not necessarily because legislators are telling them to," he said.

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Let fans and advertisers, not politicians, punish wayward professional sports leagues like the scandal-ridden National Football League, a veteran industry consultant told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
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Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 05:47 PM
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