It has not been a banner year for the National Football League, public-relations-wise. But it seems that if fans aren't turned off by domestic abuse by players, brutal head injuries among players, reportedly rampant cheating by the NFL championship team, and ineptness in handling those controversies by the league's leadership, advertisers aren't either. Sponsorship revenue is predicted to rise 15 percent this season, to $1.3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports, bringing total NFL revenue to more than $12 billion.
The big pay bump is due partly to new deals with advertisers and satellite TV company DirecTV, but the NFL also didn't lose any of its national sponsors during last year's scandals. "There is the news cycle and then there is the underlying business of a game fans love and the teams they love," Brian Rolapp, the NFL's executive vice president for media, tells The Journal. "I have seen no drop-off in the latter."