As we approach Day 40 into the NFL lockout, it is safe to say that the 2011-2012 football season could very well be in jeopardy. The events of the past 40 days have revealed the reality of the league being a business, and with any business, there are always kinks and obstacles that have to be overcome in order for the business to function properly. However, this particular business happens to be a multi-million dollar business, and the more money that is made, the more detailed business problems can become. Case in point: how much progress has really been made in reaching a deal? The players’ union can say one thing, the owners can say another, the commissioner can say another…but do we really know? Unless you sit in the mediation processes and/or the courtroom in which the antitrust lawsuit is taking place, the answer is no.
Another wrinkle is added into this ugly situation, one which many business do not have to consider: the fans. A business runs by the concept of supply and demand, and in this case, it is the league which supplies the fans with their demand for football. The problem here lies in the fact that the employees of said business (the players) are more or less on strike against their employers (the owners). If one were to break all of this down, this is nothing more than a union going on strike because they want better benefits. Justifiable? Perhaps, that all depends on where you stand on the matter. The only thing about this particular business is, the demand is extremely high, and the number of consumers of this product is quite high. Every team and every player can be looked at as a brand…each have their fans and followers, but the league as a whole has a worldwide audience, a worldwide following.
For 40 days now, the players and the owners have been at opposite ends, with demands being made by players and owners, and nobody wanting to yield to the other. Again, no one truly knows the details of these talks, or what each side’s agenda truly is, so who gets left out in the cold? The fans. The consumers. They are in an uproar, and the main issue with the fans is, “There may not be a season for the 2011-2012 year.” There’s more to it than that, if one were to look at the collective bargaining agreement.
Of course, there was no salary cap in the last year of the CBA, and there were some substantial reductions in player benefits. That seems to be an issue right now in the negotiation talks