Posted October 16, 2013

Report: Less than 10 percent of NFL pink merchandise sales go toward cancer research

NFL
Less than 10 percent of the overall sales from pink NFL merchandise actually goes toward cancer research, according to a recent report. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Less than 10 percent of the overall sales from pink NFL merchandise actually goes toward cancer research, according to a recent report. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Approximately 8 percent of sales from pink NFL merchandise go toward cancer research, according to a report this week from Business Insider.

The league uses the color on its jerseys and other apparel in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research, but according to the report, the breakdown of how the money from sales of the apparel gets distributed is as follows: 50 percent to the retailer; 37.5 percent to the manufacturer; 8.1 percent to the American Cancer Society for research; 3.24 percent to the administration at the Society; and 1.25 percent to the NFL.

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According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the league “takes a 25% royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90% of royalty to American Cancer Society.” According to the Business Insider report, citing information from the NFL, any money the league makes that is not donated to the American Cancer Society goes directly toward covering the costs of the actual Breast Cancer Awareness program.

It should also be noted that the most common place for pink NFL merchandise to be sold is through the league’s online store, individual teams and at the stadiums. Therefore, the NFL or the individual teams act as the retailer in this case and therefore receive a portion of the 50 percent that goes toward the “retailer.”

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64 comments
dave591
dave591

And all the clothes are probably sewn by women making a dollar a day and having to choose between feeding their families or paying rent.

redmiata35
redmiata35

Knowledge is power, now that you all have knowledge of just how little of your thoughtful and generous donation goes to the actual cause what are you going to do in the future? This is not just an NFL problem, this is how almost every money raising effort is handled. Do any of you think that your money you donated to support Hurricane Katrina/sandy or victims of the San Francisco earthquake or other major disasters faired better? Even FEMA takes the money and squanders it on itself before it trickles down to the very people they were created to help.

The next time anyone asks you for a donation, look them in the eye and ask them to show you their incorporation documentation. In it, it must stipulate EXACTLY how much of the cash will actually go to the stated cause. If that percentage is under 50% I simply tell them NO and point out why. If they pull the guilt card, ask them what the top members of the governing board and management make in a year. Then point out that they should be making a minimal salary so that the money will go to the stated cause if the believe in it so much!

Lastly, do any of you understand just how expensive it is to make pink (or any other specialized color or design) cleats and uniforms? Yet another cost taken out of the money that is supposed to go toward research...the goal is to skim as much as possible off the top while giving the impression that they are helping a worthy cause. Kinda one step away from embezzlement.

DaveVachon
DaveVachon

This is exactly why people don't donate to the Red Cross. When so much goes to administration and so little to the actual cause, why the (expletive deleted) should anyone trust these ugly corporations.

CraigJohnson
CraigJohnson

No...the NFL keeps MUCH more.....it's the retailer 75% of the time.   Can we end this farce now?

frankleetyred
frankleetyred

The NFL keeps 1.25%.  Seems to me the problem is not with the NFL, the problem is with retailers keeping 50%. Since I do not have enough info about the cost of production I cannot comment on the manufacturing part of the pie.  But, 50% simply for selling a product that has a motivated buyers market, appears less than charitable.

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips

Just another charitable fraud under the guise of a great cause. Another example of why one behold be very careful in who donations go to.

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

A few people keep attacking the NFL for this.  Unfortunately this all too common in most "charitable" donations.  Everyone wants a piece of the pie when it comes to the dollars people donate.  There was a big expose on athlete's charitable organizations and how little money goes to the charity.


custommotorcycl
custommotorcycl

I think the N.F.L.has devolved from a game to a racket. This is why one has to be very careful before they donate or buy for charity as most times the charity gets next to nothing!

  The owners are mostly pigs. The league is all about money which is part of the reason so many players gt injured as they just take too many hits! The "league" hid the brain trauma so many have for years. The league wanted to expand the schedule to 18 games.The quality of play for those of us old enough to remember has suffered so much that the old Packers,Cowboys,49er's,Colt's,Bronco's,Patriots,Raider's all of who along with the Vikings and Steelers,the Old Dolphins had GREAT teams,Great teams that make this mess look like what it is.


  Most people cannot afford to take a family to even one game never mind seasons tickets as the "fees" are outrageous,parking et al,the $20,000 teams like the 0-6 Giants charge BEFORE a fan can even apply.


  I played the game through college and did some work after for an N.F.L. team. I don't watch the game anymore as the"product" is second rate and puts me to sleep!

Keith25
Keith25

Cancer fund-raising and research is a SCAM. US Govt and Big Pharma have conspired to KILL OFF many actual cancer cures. They THWART research to keep their money-machine going. I've had cancer twice and the recommended amount of chemotherapy (drug treatment) is 3 treatments. Each treatment cost $90-100,000 x 3. Nice profits. Search "Burzynski Cancer Movie" to see the HELL he went through. He survived so far and tells his story, a GREAT movie.

Mark20
Mark20

As a male of the species, I only give money to male specific cancers, such as prostate. Pink, schmink.

trobbins88
trobbins88

1st Off, At least cancer research is getting some money...

2nd, Everyone is getting into the BCA game (NBA, NHL, NCAA, NASCAR, etc)  Wonder how the other leagues are donating and if they are at the same level as the NFL

3rd, I wonder how much of the proceeds went to the military for the MLB CAMO hats, 9/11 hats, and now the NFL Military Salute Hats.  Saw a 2013 Lions Military Salute Sideline Hat at the mall for $38.99 and it had a sticker on the bottom indicating where the proceeds would go to.  8% would not be very much to send to veterans.

Karl7
Karl7

Here's how it should break down if they truly wanted to maximize their contribution to a cancer cure, both literally and figuratively:

33% back to manufacturer for cost

5% to brick and mortar retailers for lost space costs or 1% to online retailer for online costs

1% to the NFL for admin costs

3.24% for society admin costs

the rest to the ACS.

GO22JETS
GO22JETS

The NFL never gives up a single $. They will never sign up  for anything that doesn't benefit them. Its all about stuffing their pockets / image and then some. 

GO22JETS
GO22JETS

The NFL NEVER takes a $ hit.  Very sad that its all about stuffing their pockets and then some. 

rskins09
rskins09

That's why I don't give to charities ... MOST of them are shams ...By law, they only have to spend  5 % on the research  AFTER  exorbitant  salaries and expenses ..What's the CEO make a year of this charity ..Breast Cancer Awareness ...Remember the NFL 's big crusade with the   ' United Givers Way " before the big scandal ?  There's a web site you can look up the CEO  salaries  of charities ..Plenty of their salaries are out of site ...BTW, I don't mean the Salvation Army  or  the  Red Cross ....

CharlesVekert
CharlesVekert

I could think that Dan Snyder was running the program.

6marK6
6marK6

It is so deceptive to imply that the NFL is generating minimal income from this and that most of the profit is going to the retailers. Yes, the retailers are making the most, under the guise that the money is actually going to a good cause, which is themselves. BUT, the licensing fees charged to these manufacturers by the NFL is substantial. So the NFL is getting more than they let on. As for the "awareness" thing, that is comical. People are caught up in pink being different, it is not causing people to line up around the block to get exams. The only real positive that could come from this is if the majority of the proceeds from selling this stuff went to cancer research.

matthewloop
matthewloop

Cancer is big business. "Pink" is a total scam, too. Most of the money collected is spent on marketing / admin costs. The little money that does fund research, funds barbaric and antiquated treatment like chemo and radiation. 

Cancer has been cured a few times throughout history (without drugs), but has been suppressed by the AMA and drug companies. They function like a cartel more than anything else.  

 It's time we get to the cause of cancer. Over 90% is influenced by daily choices we make. If you donate to "pink" charities, you're wasting your money.

Fisherman695
Fisherman695

Seems to me the manufacture/retailer could come up with another 15% between the two of them. They make money on quantity. IE:Walmart    All cancers should be in the mix.

The Burning
The Burning

This is not at all surprising. Frankly, I'm totally sick of breast cancer awareness garnering so much attention. Can't we focus on ALL types of cancer, including breast cancer?

Ya know, prostate cancer is as common as breast cancer and kills almost as many men as breast cancer kills women (and men). But prostate cancer has "Movember". Great, maybe the Arena Football League will make all their players grow mustaches.

Breast cancer is the most common, but colon/rectal and lung cancers kill more people each year. Pancreatic cancer almost kills more people each year than breast cancer.

If people want to stop one type of cancer, they should want to stop ALL types of cancer. Get rid of "Breast Cancer Awareness" and replace it with "Cancer Awareness."

I'm also sick of the bourgey, white-people dominated Race for the Cure. How about we show some compassion for, and raise money toward, ALL Cancers.

Smitter
Smitter

But ... Merchandise sales is likely only a fraction of the value the NFL creates by having players wear pink shoes, gloves, etc on National TV!!!! The main goal is awareness, and they do that brilliantly.

Think about how many people have wondered why that big tough linebacker is wearing pink shoes!? It's for a GREAT cause, why else would he do it!! They're pink!!!

This article attempts to portray as negative an entirely positive situation.

ReginaldJordan
ReginaldJordan

they could not do this and then 0% will go to cancer research

ImeldaTheHon
ImeldaTheHon

I am no apologist for the NFL, but this is not surprising to anyone who understands how retail and wholesale pricing and royalties work.

Plainview
Plainview

anyone who has taken an economics class is taught that when it comes to firms, they will not do anything charitable unless it profits them in the long run.  

Whether it be raising money for breast cancer research, or green sustainability initiatives, or any other charitable effort, firms do it for 1) the PR, and 2) overall profitability.  In this case, the NFL sees a huge jump in women's merchandise sales. 

The question I have for any tax experts out there: could the NFL get a tax write-off  for their donation?

DSM
DSM

Sadly, this is not surprising--the % of $ raised in charity walks/runs is also usually far below 50% and the salaries and overhead at the Komen Foundation have come under criticism.  Before making a donation, it is always smart to check out www.charitynavigator.org  a free, unbiased source of data on what charities do with the money they raise.

BrianGrabo
BrianGrabo

No ones going to stop watching football over it. At the end of the day the NFL is a business, they are out to make money! The don't have to donate anything to anyone but they do. The pink campaign is really just a way to generate more sales from females on NFL clothing. 

Holden
Holden

Look, nobody admires female breasts more than I.  Still, football and pink really don't go together.  The NFL could spare football fans all the ridiculously colored shoes and towels and just make a small donation to the cause.

There's already FAR more advertising than the average football fan can take.  In fact, were it not for the DVR, I'd not watch televised NFL games.  Cramming pink down fans' throats--for and entire month--is total overkill.

riley8
riley8

I never thought that a color could be used to scam people but I guess I was wrong.

JoyceLang1
JoyceLang1

WTH is the NFL receiving funds at all for? I thought it was their way of participating in this charity? if their excuse is cost for the 'pinking' of things, have they never heard of tax write off?

muser
muser

How much less are retailers supposed to make? Should they just stop making money and close? Will unionized labor make the stuff for free? Get a grip. 

cord u
cord u

Breast cancer is big business, nothing less.


6marK6
6marK6

The NFL is just pure evil. And shut up if you don't think there is a problem with this. This league is using cancer to make a profit!

mystafugee
mystafugee

@frankleetyred If you believe that then I have some magic beans I'd love to sell you.  I will only you charge you $500 since my retailers are keeping 50%.  

mystafugee
mystafugee

@RayHuggyBearYoung so I guess because other charitable donations aren't on the up and up that makes what the NFL doing okay.  Nice to know.  

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

@Mark20 Then you Sir are a jerk.  I lost my Mom to cancer and she meant something to me.  I wish you had a positive female influence in your life.

ChristianAlexanderRodriguez
ChristianAlexanderRodriguez

@Mark20 are you really that stupid? I mean really, how ignorant can you be? just because it doesn't affect you directly you blow it off and don't give a damn? What if your mother got breast cancer? What if your wife got breast cancer? You mean to tell me you dont care? You're an idiot. You are an idiot, you're just as bad as the NFL right now.

rskins09
rskins09

@matthewloop   There is no cure for cancer ....Chemo  is glorified poison  and radiation is licensed torture ..70%  survival  rate ...sure , right ..If they ever found a cure for cancer, the AMA would go bankrupt .....If they found a cure for AIDS after a few years, why couldn't they find a cure for cancer after  40 years ..Why  ? .. The Medical community  doesn't have to document  their so-called figures ..ONE thing you don't hear  is that  500,000  a year die undergoing Chemo. and  Radiation  treatment  ....Cancer treatment is a fraud , a sham ..Big business ..Trillions of $ a year......Lung cancer, brain cancer - your wasting your time AND money ...Give me a name of anyone who's survived lung cancer (chem. & radiation )  and I'll give you 20 who didn't ..Same with brain cancer ....

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

@The Burning I certainly agree. My take is that Goodall wanted to pander to women. If a player wears green shoes to support mental health, he gets fined. Yeah, I know the rules about uniforms, but the NFL invited this

OPRollout
OPRollout

@Smitter The issue is not that people aren't aware of breast cancer.  At this point, I imagine, most people are aware of the issue.  What does wearing pink actually do for people who have cancer?  Awareness doesn't always create change.  If the NFL was really concerned about making a difference, why not donate all proceeds to cancer research instead of keeping the money.  My guess is that the NFL has some $$ to spare instead of making money off of others' illness.

Ericfollowedbyanumber
Ericfollowedbyanumber

@muser I don't have a problem with them making money. I have a problem with breast cancer turning into big business (as noted below) with companies getting good PR while doing very little to help.

6marK6
6marK6

@Plainview @6marK6 Feel sorry for people that have no values and morality and think making a buck justifies anything.

laurielynn78
laurielynn78

@6marK6 @Plainview I feel sorry for people who don't live in reality and who are very generous with other people's money. How much have you donated?