Paypal fraud and a lack of enforcement have put the NFL in the spotlight, but some of the biggest payers in the league are also among the biggest offenders.
While it’s clear the NFLPA has a history of abusing its power to take advantage of its members, we’re starting to see the potential for more transparency on the matter.
The NFLPA is now the subject of a new report that lays out the history of payers and their collusion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report, entitled “PayPal Fraud Report: PayPal Paid $3.5 Billion to Influence NFL,” was compiled by the AFL-CIO’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs David Cohen and the National Football League Players Association’s chief legal officer Michael McCann.
The league’s top five payers for advertising in the 2016 NFL season, according in the report:PayPal, which had been paying out between $300 million and $400 million to advertisers each year since 2015, saw its revenue fall $1.4 billion last year, according the report.
The league had previously reported it was paying $300 to $400 billion to advertisers, and its top five advertisers were:Target: $250 million in advertising revenueTarget: a $250-million contract with the NFL that includes an NFL logo Target: a contract with ESPN that includes a logo with a logo of the Dallas Cowboys Target: an agreement with the NBA that includes the logos of the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.
All of the payers were represented by a law firm representing the NFL.
The report says that a spokesman for the NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The NFLPA’s lobbying arm, the Players Coalition, had not responded to requests for comment on the report, but it did tweet the following statement:We are grateful to the NFL for the unprecedented collaboration to help combat this issue.
This report demonstrates the need for the industry to be transparent.
PayPal has long been the top payer for NFL ads, with over $100 million in revenue from 2016 through 2020, according data from Kantar Media, the company that tracks advertising revenue.
The company did not respond to requests to comment.
Last year, the NFL paid out $400 to $500 million to advertising agencies.
A number of other NFL advertisers have also paid the league, with one company that did so receiving a $100,000 payment from the NFL to advertise on its own channels.
The New York Times reported in May that the NFL spent $10 million on political advertising during the 2016 season, with another $10,000 on digital media ads during the regular season.
It also spent $2 million on advertising on the new NFL Network.
The AFL-ACIO’s report says there are more than 30 active campaigns for the league in which “at least 10 payers are engaged and that the league has been aware of at least six of them.”
It also says that “more than 60 NFL teams have been involved in political campaigns, and more than 60 players have been engaged.”
It’s not clear whether the league would be willing to make the payments again.
But the NFL has previously faced pressure from unions and other groups over how much it pays its top players, and the league is expected to announce plans in the coming weeks for a salary cap in 2017.
Follow David on Twitter: @davidvincenzow