As if the Madden video game series doesn’t do enough to lure a legion of youngsters toward football, the NFL has a new plan for getting them even earlier. And while the latest venture looks like it may come from the pages of The Onion or the conference room of The Office, it’s real.
The league announced on Wednesday the “NFL Newborn Fan Club.” Described as a “new way for parents to show their team pride and celebrate the newest addition to their football family,” it’s actually a way to imprint a team’s logo on the infant’s fontanelle.
Families who register their newborn will receive a “digital birth certificate” along with “exclusive offers [to buy stuff] from Pampers and NFLShop.com,” along with a sweepstakes entry to win free baby apparel.
There’s no problem with looking for ways to expand the brand, but the NFL is going to catch most of if not all those infants as they get older. Besides, the sponge is already saturated, as far as the United States go.
“[M]ore people understand our sport the more love it and we have pretty much tapped out what we can do here in America,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said last month regarding the NFL’s ongoing interest in overseas games.
The NFL has indeed tapped out the American market. Still, the challenge domestically becomes avoiding the prediction of Mark Cuban coming to fruition: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
As a high-level executive with one of the 32 teams told PFT in response to the announcement of the NFL Newborn Fan Club, “We are not under attack because of safety. We are under attack because we have become pigs. Arrogant, bully, chest-beating, know-it-all pigs, and people are after us.”
At least they’ll still have the newborns.