Report: NFL to propose sponsorships

Updated: March 16, 2009, 1:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

In the last four years, first NASCAR and then the NBA enhanced their revenue portfolios by ending a ban on allowing liquor marketing within their sports. The NFL could be next in line to consider whether the opportunity makes sense for America's most popular sports league.

As the recession sinks its teeth into leagues and sports properties struggling to generate new sources of revenue, a proposal to change its regulations and permit both liquor and lottery sponsorships is expected to be on the agenda for the upcoming NFL owners meeting, Sports Business Journal reported Monday.

The annual meeting runs Sunday to next Wednesday in Dana Point, Calif.

According to Sports Business Journal, the plan to allow such marketing was approved by the NFL business ventures committee earlier this month.

"There's definitely opportunity," Kevin Rochlitz, vice president of national sales and partnerships for the Baltimore Ravens, told SBJ. "Using [team] marks at retail to drive sales would be a whole different piece of real estate for us, if we can get it."

NASCAR's ban on liquor advertising ended in 2005 when it made deals with Crown Royal and other spirits brands. The NBA recently permitted its teams to carry spirit brands at retail outlets, in advertising and on camera-visible signage.

Other major United States sports leagues, by comparison to liquor sponsorships, allow both the leagues and teams to market on lottery tickets.

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