NFL and Concussion: How the League Handled its Biggest Threat to Date (and What it Didn't Do)

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NFL and Concussion: How the League Handled its Biggest Threat to Date (and What it Didn't Do)

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NFL and Concussion: How the League Handled its Biggest Threat to Date (and What it Didn't Do)

  1. 1. Russell Varner – Public Opinion in New Media
  2. 2. NFL Success  Recently named the most popular sport in America for the 30th consecutive year  Brought in $9 billion in profits in 2013  Average NFL team worth: $1.9 billion
  3. 3. Concussions  Lawsuit from former players  Jim McMahon Interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkes 4Hb0HbI)  Junior Seau suicide  Bernie Kosar  Javhid Best
  4. 4. NFL’s Response  Heads Up Football  Lawsuit settlement  New rules  Madden  Few, if any, attempts to interact via social media
  5. 5. The Problem  24/7 Sports News Cycle  NFL one of the biggest talking points  Media made concussion a talking point daily (Agenda setting)  Opinion leaders sided with players (two- step flow, framing, cultivation)  Those who opposed seen as against helping older players (spiral of silence)
  6. 6. The Problem  NFL didn’t help itself • James Harrison hit • Backlash from players and fans alike
  7. 7. What the League Could’ve Done  Engaged with their fans  Two-step flow of their own  Used the same propaganda techniques used with Heads Up Football program

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