Today on TODAY, the National Football League made what looks like its biggest attempt to date to address the ongoing struggle with the domestic violence in its ranks.
This is the first concrete evidence of work performed by the league’s recently created “social responsibility team,” which includes its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom has extensive experience dealing with domestic violence and sex crimes.
The clip stars some of the league’s most prominent players, beginning with Giants quarterback Eli Manning:
This PSA was created to promote NO MORE, an anti-DM advocacy group founded by Law and Order actress Mariska Hargitay (who directed along with fellow actors Tate Donovan and Blair Underwood). You may note that it’s a variation on a PSA released last year that starred various actors.
That one after the jump.
The video doesn’t mark the extent of the league’s efforts, however. The press release tells us that “For the past several weeks, the NFL has donated roughly $3 million a week in air time for PSAs from No More,” and this one is simply the first featuring football players. It will air during games and on a billboard in Times Square.
NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter also tells TODAY:
“…the NFL also has met with domestic-violence and sexual-assault experts; started to revise the league’s conduct policy; begun conducting mandatory education sessions for league owners, players and personnel; and explored programs to promote character development and healthy relationships among children and young adults who play football.”
As a reminder, the 5 PR experts we asked about the league’s anti-domestic violence efforts last month were skeptical.
Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks said she fears that the entire project is just “window dressing” while Sandra Fathi of Affect PR said “it’s literally a drop in the sea as to what they need to do to have an upstanding, moral organization across the board.”
So did the NFL fumble? Is the new campaign just another drop in that sea?
(On the credits front, Finn Partners did the PR on this PSA, which was developed pro bono by Rachel Howald with the help of staff at ad agency Y&R.)