What Can You Learn From Deflategate?
What the "NFL and Deflategate" Can Teach You
This is NOT the typical article on this subject, it will not delve into "game integrity", "cheating" or "cell phone ownership", this article is about how the NFL convinced the media, and the masses, that they somehow "lost" in court.
For those of you who don't know the story, the NFL suspended Patriot's star QB, Tom Brady, for deflating some game used footballs during a playoff game. The QB appealed the suspension and took the league to federal court. The court ruled that the league's appeal process was unfair and overturned the suspension. At that time, the media was frenzied, reporting about yet another failure in court by the NFL and another humiliating loss for league Commissioner Roger Goodell.
This is where we get to learn a lesson in "controlling the story".
Because, contrary to popular opinion, the NFL, and Roger Goodell, both WON.
According to Fox Business(www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/07/21/tv-deals-boost-nfl-revenue-to-new-record )the NFL split over $7 Billion among its teams last year, with their new TV contracts, the league will bring on over $6 billion dollars in tv revenue this season. Knowing these percentages, shows you that the tv money is king. You also need to know that all of this money is divided equally among the teams, all of the teams benefit equally from the tv money. Now, what determines tv money? Ratings, of course. Now here is the big question, In sports, what drives up ratings? Stars!!
The NFL has no bigger star than Tom Brady. His teams have won multiple championships, but all of them have been under the cloud of various cheating scandals. Protecting their stars is paramount. Ask yourself, if you have $7 billion coming in annually, because tv loves your stars, you will do anything to protect them. What's the best way to do that? Well, by punishing them harshly of course, then having those punishments overturned in court is a win/win. The media and public see you as "tough disciplinarians" and the courts make sure you have your stars available for those tv ratings.
How can this help you? Well, we all have problems in our businesses with "bad optics", usually we meet them head on and ride out the problems these optics create. But with this example from the NFL, you can see that you can satisfy your "wronged" customer, discipline your employee and still not cost yourself anything in the bottom line. All you need to do is make sure someone on your executive management staff is so well compensated, they don't mind portraying a "loser" publicly. The plan is brilliant. It shows forethought. It is the NFL playing chess, in a world that only understands checkers.
So the next time you have a "public scandal" follow the lead of the NFL, you will soon have a "check mate" at hand.