The biggest reason why NFL players don't connect with fans

The National Football League can't connect with fans. NFL Executive Vice President Tim Ellis believes it's because they wear helmets.

"They don't connect with logos - in fact, they don't even connect with the league … They connect with their clubs, their teams and their players and they connect with people," he told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. "So we have a bit of a disadvantage at the NFL compared to other leagues because they have their helmets on, right? So our audiences actually don't see most of our players."

The NFL's TV ratings bounced back in 2018 after two consecutive seasons of decline.

Ellis, who previously served as the chief marketing executive for Activision Blizzard, joined the NFL during a tumultuous time, after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked debate during the 2016 season when he refused to stand for the national anthem to protest social injustice. After digging through data, Ellis found that the entire NFL ecosystem consists of about 750 million people, and he embarked upon a strategy to shed its negative image and "refocus and rejuvenate" the league by creating programs and content through the players.

"We really embarked upon a strategy to get helmets off and humanize and personalize these athletes because they have incredible stories to tell, they have wonderful lives, they're super-cool to younger people and we knew that we had a chance to really connect in a very, you know, authentic and passionate way."

Ellis said the NFL is using four pillars to draw a bigger and younger fan base.

"The more I dug into the data when I first started, the more I understood that there are basically three things that our fans really care about - it's music, fashion and video games," he said, adding "and to some degree the fourth was fitness … it just so happens our players care about the same things."


The 2019 NFL season kicks off on Sept. 5.


More Related News

Broncos kick off NFL training camps with Sanders on board
Broncos kick off NFL training camps with Sanders on board

The Denver Broncos are the first team in the NFL to kick off training camp Thursday, and they'll do it with Emmanuel Sanders on hand and also Drew Lock . Sanders won't be full-go as he continues his comeback from a torn Achilles tendon last December, but "Emmanuel looks good. Pro Bowl

Darius Leonard has big goals for 2019
Darius Leonard has big goals for 2019

Darius Leonard made 163 tackles and seven sacks, earning All-Pro and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors a year ago. This year, the Colts linebacker wants even more. "I want 200 tackles. I want 10 sacks. I want to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year," Leonard said on NFL Network on Tuesday.

DOJ supports the NFL in Oakland
DOJ supports the NFL in Oakland's lawsuit regarding the relocation of the Raiders

The administration of Donald J. Trump continues to antagonize many Americans and American institutions. It no longer is antagonizing the NFL. Instead, it's trying to help. Sheilla Dingus of has tracked down the newest filing in the antitrust lawsuit initiated by the

Ed Oliver feeling "no pressure" heading into rookie season
Ed Oliver feeling "no pressure" heading into rookie season

The Bills made defensive tackle Ed Oliver the ninth overall pick of this year's draft and any player selected that high enters the NFL with high expectations for what they'll be able to do on the field. That's the case under any circumstances, but the fact that Oliver joined the team months

2020 NFL Draft Stock - Quarterbacks
2020 NFL Draft Stock - Quarterbacks

Hayden Winks projects where the 2020 quarterbacks will be drafted. Plus notes on Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm and other prospects. (Getty Images)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Football

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.