- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As the National Football League celebrates breast cancer awareness during October by featuring players, coaches and referees in pink game apparel, a report by Business Insider reveals that only 8.01 percent of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research.

The NFL’s campaign, “A Crucial Catch,” in partnership with the American Cancer Society, “is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older,” the campaign website says. “All apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program.”


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But according to data obtained from the NFL by Darren Rovell of ESPN, the NFL “takes a 25% royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90% of royalty to American Cancer Society.”

So for every $100 in pink merchandise sold, “25% royalty from the wholesale price,” or $12.50, goes to the NFL. Ninety percent of that ($11.25) goes to the American Cancer Society, and the NFL keeps the remaining.


“Then consider that only 71.2% of money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs,” Business Insider reported. “In the end, after everybody has taken their cut, only 8.01% of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research.”

According to the NFL, any money taken in that is not donated to the American Cancer Society is used to cover the costs of the campaign.

Sports Illustrated notes that many of the NFL’s sales go through its online store, which means the NFL or the individual teams act as the retailer and would receive a portion of the 50 percent that goes toward the “retailer.”