One thing black folks have in common with the NFL is the billions of dollars we represent in sports marketing. We must learn to use our collective influences to affect change where there is racial injustice and disparity in our communities.
The NFL is the most successful sports league in history, garnering over $13 billion annually. Yet the handful of white owners who control the 70 percent of African-American football players representing the majority of the league have a lot to lose when they forget who really controls their bottom line: TV revenue, not ticket sales.
The “psychographics” behind TV commercials is how advertisers target us for our dollars. When you see a commercial with only white people but you hear black music (i.e. the Temptations or Stevie Wonder) in the background, who do you think the target market is? If you guessed both black and white folks, you’re right. It’s how advertisers get away with taking millions from people of color without hiring one. Needless to say, one commercial in a thousand markets is far cheaper than two commercials (one with a black family and one with a white family) in a thousand markets.
So how do we use this information to our advantage? Licensing deals advertisers make with R&B artists must be stopped. When advertisers have to pay more money to target us for their products, our fight becomes their fight, too.
The sound of money being made or lost is the only sound some people — black or white — will be willing to listen to and take a knee for under any circumstances.
WILLIAM J. BOOKER
Chief publicist, Black Men Matter
Park Forest, Ill.
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