cheap nfl jerseys china free shipping American football faces financial reform
But few of the New Orleans Saints fans in their gold and black supporters’ jerseys will have given much thought to how America’s most popular sport is run.
There are only 32 professional football teams in the United States and strict rules about who can own a team.
But uniquely, the teams share at least half of their revenue from lucrative TV rights, merchandising and ticket sales.
“The revenue sharing keeps all 32 clubs in the hunt,” says Mike McCarthy, who writes about the business of sport for the national newspaper USA Today.
“Every year they get to split up a huge amount of TV money, so you don’t have this huge gap between the richest clubs and the smallest clubs.
Any team can compete for the Super Bowl title every year in America. Particularly in a capitalist country like ours, that is very unique. As one NFL owner put it ‘we are 32 fat cat republicans who vote socialist’.”
In contrast, in other sports leagues the burden of rapidly rising player salaries has broken smaller clubs, leaving larger ones to dominate the landscape.
Think of Premier League football in the UK or US professional sports such as basketball, baseball and ice hockey.
Limits on pay
Salaries for players such as the Saints star quarterback Drew Brees are limited by a centrally set budget.
This season, team bosses were limited to $127m ( for their entire squad of players.
That means some footballers are handsomely paid Mr Brees has a six years $60m contract.
But the system has other benefits too, explains Marc Waller, the NFL National Football League’s chief marketing officer.
“We have a sort of socialist capitalism, I think is the best way to describe it,” he says.
“Essentially all teams share in the vast majority of revenues on an equal basis.”
“So whether you come from New York or Green Bay, irrespective of the size of your market, the size of your fan base or your TV audience, revenues are shared equally and equitably, which is fantastic.
Costs are controlled in a similar way, Mr Waller explains.
“There is a salary cap, everyone has the same salary cap so you can’t buy your way to the best players.”But not everyone thinks the NFL model is the right one.
The US Supreme Court is currently deciding on a case about whether the NFL is one organisation or 32 separate businesses.
The case could have big implications for holding the league accountable and will have ramifications for many other sports leagues, from tennis to basketball.