(This letter has actually been printed out, put in an envelope, addressed, affixed with a stamp and sent via U.S. Mail to Commissioner Roger Goodell. Hard copies have also been sent to all the company heads listed at the bottom.)
February 23, 2011
Mr. Roger Goodell
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Goodell:
I am a life long NFL fan, and I am appalled by the impending lockout. The fact that the popularity of the game is increasing at a staggering rate in viewership and revenue, while the owners and players have the audacity to put the game on hold is obnoxious and an insult to every real fan like me. The comments that have been made by you, ownership and management about the game’s “sustainability” under the current model is insulting when you are discussing how to split billions of dollars.
Mr. Goodell, I am your ideal fan. To the chagrin of my wife, I watch football from 1:00 to 11:30 on Sunday, every Monday night, Thursday nights and whatever other nights you jam the games. I was an Eagles season ticket holder for five seasons before moving to North Carolina in 2006. I subscribed to DirecTV and the Sunday Ticket as soon as I moved down here. I play in multiple fantasy football leagues, and have officially licensed jerseys, hats, shirts, flags, license plates, beer cozies, flasks and even a rug. But while you and the players are in negotiations, like most fans, I feel completely left out in the cold and forgotten.
As the callousness of the temporary seating fiasco at the Super Bowl highlighted, the average fan is very low on the priority list of the NFL. The upcoming lockout will just be another example of that hubris. There only appears to be two things that will inspire action from the NFL: Bad Press and Money. And while I only have a small blog with a few devoted readers, I can not put a ding in the monolithic PR machine that is the NFL, so I have decided to go the other route. If/when the NFL goes into a lockout; I will also start my own fan lockout of the NFL and a number of your sponsors.
The first act of my Fan Lockout will be to not to purchase any officially licensed NFL merchandise from the beginning of the lockout until one year to the day that the lockout ends. Even if the lockout is only for one day, there will be a full year embargo on NFL merchandise.
Second, as a DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket customer, I will be cancelling my subscription on March 4th. I have not missed an Eagles game in over 15 years, but I refuse to support a company that will still pay the NFL for games next season, even if they are not played. I will be switching to cable, and consider returning to DirecTV for the 2012 season. If Eagles games are not aired in my area, I will make accommodations to watch them elsewhere. If a bar I go to has the Sunday Ticket, so be it. They would have had it whether I went there or not.
DirecTV is not the only sponsor who I will lock out. I will also not be using any of the following “Official Sponsors of the NFL” during the entirety of the lockout: Pepsi, Gatorade, Bud Light, Papa Johns, Nike, Campbell’s Soup, General Motors, Sprint, Home Depot, or EA Sports. While it may be unfair to punish these companies since they will already be suffering from your impending lockout, maybe I can get their attention and they can talk some sense into you and the owners. I will be sending a copy of this letter to the heads of each of these companies.
This letter is not in any way meant as a threat or attack; it is merely a statement of fact and the plan for the lockout from a disgruntled fan and customer. I will be posting a copy of this letter on my blog and posting links to it via Facebook and Twitter.
Mr. Goodell, I want to be reading and writing about free agency and the draft. I want to talk about which coaching moves are going to effect which divisions the most. I don’t want to be learning about federal mediators and union decertification. I don’t want to hear anyone talk about the possibility of replacement players. The NFL is my passion. You are taking away what I love, and I don’t wish to feel helpless against it any longer. Please get a deal done. Now.
Bill Buckminster Jr.
CC: Jeffrey Lurie; Philadelphia Eagles, Chairman & CEO
Michael White; DirecTV, Chairman & CEO
Indra Nooyi; PepsiCo, Chairman & CEO
David A Peacock; Anheuser-Busch, President
John H. Schnatter; Papa Johns; Chairman & Co-CEO
Mark Parker; Nike, President & CEO
Daniel Akerson; General Motors, Chairman & CEO
Dan Hesse; Sprint, CEO
Frank Blake, Home Depot, Chairman & CEO
Edmund Carpenter; Campbell’s Soup, Chairman & CEO
John Riccitello, Electronic Arts, CEO
If you would like your own copy of this letter to send, please click here for a word version: Letter to Commish
And here is the mailing address for the NFL Office as well as all the other sponors listed in the letter: NFL Sponsors address