nfl_pink As it recovers from locking out its employees and tries to stave off its players’ claims about its obvious extreme health dangers, the National Football League continues to exploit breast cancer to soften its image and increase the emotional habits and brand loyalties on which it trades.

Idoubtit, an excellent “skeptic” blogger and activist, has started a helpful thread on the topic.

The numbers involved are fascinating. The NFL has annual revenues of $9.5 billion, and yearly profits of $979 million. Business Insider reports:

According to the website, by purchasing pink items in the NFL Shop, fans can “support the fight against breast cancer with pink NFL breast cancer awareness gear.” Of course, there is a huge difference between supporting “awareness” and donating money to research. In the case of the former, most of the money ends up in the pockets of billionaire NFL owners.

When we contacted the NFL’s online shop for clarification, we were told 5% of the sales are being donated to the American Cancer Society. If the pink products have a typical 100% mark-up at retail, that means the NFL is keeping 90% of the profit from the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness gear.

And then consider that only 70.8% of money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs. So, for every $100 in sales of pink gear, only $3.54 is going towards research while the NFL is keeping approximately $45 (based on 100% mark-up).

When the NFL wrote back to Business Insider to “clarify” the facts, it defended itself by saying it donates “approximately $1 million per year” to this cause it wants its fans to believe it seriously cares about.

“Approximately one million dollars,” however, is a mere one tenth of one percent of the NFL’s annual profits, and roughly one one-hundredth of one percent of its revenues.

Gosh, I wonder why they don’t brag about those numbers…

Skeptical, But Not of Capitalism

The Amazing Randi, scourge of small-time quacks and hoaxers, is now pimping for corporate usurer Capital One, recipient of $3.6 billion in TARP money, long-time practitioner of bait-and-switch promotion, junk mail, and saturation “brand loyalty” advertising.


I guess being big and rich enough gets you a pass at the JREF.