It's football season, and whether you've lost yourself or loved ones to the couch, there is always something beyond the actual sport to buzz about. Paul Hicks, NFL EVP of communications and government affairs, tells us that right now, rather than spend his time monitoring individual teams' and players' social media activity, reality TV dating, or commercial folly - he said he hasn't heard much about jail-ridden Old Spice star Ray Lewis - he is wholly focused on comms around the soon-to-expire collective bargaining agreement. He said:
We manage the communications of which there's a considerable amount. Now, we're concerned the league is too big, complex, and too important for fans to wait until the midnight hour to reach an agreement with a player. That's the message we're getting out through various channels.
He added that the longer it takes to finalize the agreement, the less confident the organization will be in its ability to secure revenue-enhancing partnerships.
If you're a large company with a huge marketing budget and you're looking at a premier sports property in the world that may have labor unrest, you have to be thoughtful about how you allocate sponsorship dollars...
The organization is doing a fan call-in and chat on Thursday so that NFL commissioners can be "in regular touch with fans in structured ways," he said. Hicks' team is also posting updates and info on NFL.com and NFLLabor.com, as well as fan and team sites.
The organization is not currently working with an agency.