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15_NFL

FOR STOKING INSATIABLE, YEAR-ROUND DEMAND FOR PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

15_NFL
Photograph by Flickr user Redfishingboat

Despite a schedule with the fewest games in sports, the NFL has 180 million fans and record TV ratings. It makes up for a lack of on-field action by transforming everything from highlights to league meetings into events. The next experiment? A venture fund: Team owners will contribute up to $3 million a few times a year to invest in businesses that can further incite fan passion. “Companies like ESPN, EA, and DirecTV–we think we’ve been a big part of their growth,” says NFL VP Neil Glat. “Wouldn’t it have been interesting if we’d gotten equity?”

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug.

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