NFL Life Cycle

After reading the product life cycle of bacon, I thought of other products that have similar product cycles. The first product that came to my mind was the product life cycle of the National Football League.


The National Football League began in the late 1800s. When the NFL was in the introductory phase, the most popular form of American football was in the collegiate level. It wasn’t until the 1950s when collegiate football stars began to play in the NFL that the NFL began to gain some relevance among American spectators. In the 1960s other football leagues popped up and rivaled the NFL. These other leagues almost ended the product cycle of the NFL prematurely but the NFL persevered.


In the 1980s the rise of the NFL was unprecedented. It became the United States most popular spectator sport above Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Although it was already at the top it was still only in its growth phase. Currently the NFL is still the most spectated sport with raging fanatics and no sign of stopping. The Super Bowl is the most watched event in the United States and the National Football League is looking to expand to eighteen games and adding an expansion team in London. NFL teams are on average worth more than a billion dollars. Depending on whom you ask some people still believe that the NFL is in the growth phase. With all the success surrounding the NFL it is hard to dispute that. Although the NFL is continuing to experience all this success and continuing to try and expand there are many obstacles that could ultimately lead to their decline.


Recently the NFL has been portrayed negatively in the news because of the waythey handled the Ray Rice domestic assault charges. Women make up a large portion of their fan base and the way they handled the situation can only negatively affect it. The NFL also faces criticism because of the way they handle player safety. They have received strong criticism for not having a stronger concussion protocol and because for a while they neglected to acknowledge the damaging effects of concussions. Many parents are worried that concussions can really negatively affect their child’s life and are not letting their kids play football anymore. The reason the NFL is so popular is because they have very talented athletically gifted players. A decrease of children playing football can negatively affect athlete pool available for NFL teams, which could make NFL games less exciting.


Although there are many criticisms once the NFL season starts those are pushed aside and all people care about is their teams’ chances of making the playoffs. Do you believe the NFL will lose popularity and enter its decline phase if they continue to face more of these criticisms? Do you think expanding is a good idea even though player safety is a very major concern and will that have any effect?

10 thoughts on “NFL Life Cycle

  1. After hearing about Ray Rice’s actions, I strongly believed that the NFL should of taken the action of stating he will no longer play in the NFL again, still to this day they still haven’t came out and said anything. Its digesting to see when they have full evidence of his actions. Those actions should not be held up under any circumstance. This is not even suppose to be an argument, after the state lawyer said, the NFL knew what was happening, in fact they were the first one’s to know.

    Great fact on the blog post, ” The Super Bowl is the most watched event in the United States and the National Football league is looking to eland to eighteen games and adding an expansion team in london.” That being said, its strong argument that players are watched all over the US and world and are role models to many young children and people all around the globe. This sets an example, Ray Rice should not be one of those examples.

    -Jay Patel

  2. This article caught my attention right away due to my interest in the NFL. I definitely have seen a lot of criticism in the NFL lately with all the concussions and domestic violence cases. I love football, but I wouldn’t want my child playing such a dangerous sport. However, the popularity for the NFL is not going away anytime soon. Football is a huge part of the American culture and spending entire Sundays watching football is embedded into every fan. To answer on whether or not the NFL will enter the decline phase, I would say that it will not enter the decline stage and continue to grow even more. Fantasy Football is something that makes the NFL a lot of money. When you go to, “Fantasy” is the first clickable link. Many people like myself participate in Fantasy Football and this has us watching games that are not involving our favorite team, just so that we can watch and cheer for the players we have on our Fantasy team in order to accumulate points and earn victory over our friends. There are Bears fans that will watch and cheer for Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay packers as long as he is on their Fantasy team, can you imagine that? I think that the NFL is genius to have Fantasy Football and I believe that as long as there is Fantasy Football, there will be growth for the NFL. Finally, I think expanding is a terrible idea for the players but a great one for the men wearing suits who are in charge of the league. More games will bring in more money and national television. However, players are getting worn out and injured constantly. Extending their season will only lead to more injuries and health concerns. I think the biggest problem with todays NFL, is the amount of flags being thrown in every game. The game is constantly stopping and it is frustrating for the fans. This is something that the NFL must account for in the near future.

  3. Great thought, and it is a point brought up a lot in recent years with former players, who had concussion issues, and a supposed link to mental health issues that have committed suicide. While I do think that maybe the pool of players may go down ever so slightly in the youth ranks, the NFL is a money-making machine. As long as there is millions, and even billions to be made, whether you’re a player, coach or front office executive, there will be a high influx of talent into the NFL pool, and likely an even greater demand from the consumer with the way technology is taking off the last decade or so. Whether it’s good news or bad news, people want it, and they want it now. I don’t think the negative headlines will affect the consumer demand for the NFL, or the player pool from which the NFL farms. Morally and ethically, it should, but from a pure entertainment and business standpoint, depending on which side you’re on, not enough people really care.

  4. To answer your question about the NFL potentially entering the decline phase, I do not think it will. I think criticisms will continue to be linked to the league and the sport, but I think this will force the upper levels to adapt, change, innovate, take your pick of actions. Like Jeff said above, the NFL is a money-making machine and the people who run it, know it. They are going to want continue to make money off a extremely successful product, so short-term the NFL might not grow. Maybe it will decline, but based off ratings for the new season I doubt there will be much of an impact if there is a decline. I think it is more likely it will be temporarily stagnant before launching some new initiative which will grow the sport again.

  5. I do not think the NFL will ever reach the decline phase. As you said the league is worth billions of dollars and the dedication of fans will probably never change. While there has been a lot of speculation about how issues were handled this year, I think football is still as popular as it was before the season. Football is a big part of American culture and people love to watch the sport at many levels of play. As long as people spend money on tickets and watch the games on Sunday, the NFL will never decline. While the pool of talented players may decrease as less kids play the sport, there will always be a demand for college athletes.

  6. Like many commenters said before me, I do not think the NFL will reach the decline stage anytime soon since it does have so much money tied into the league. While the effect of the concussions is being brought to like by suicides and retired players having problems, I do not think it will stop many parents from letting their child fall in love with the game. Also, if the NFL were to ever be cut down in size or be shut down entirely, that is a major blow to the economy. Many jobs would be lost and the cities with stadiums would lose the influx of income during football season.

  7. I agree with everyone else that the NFL is not declining but I can see it happening. The game has become over regulated and the style of play has changed to the point where it is a different game from when I first started watching. Even though that was only about 12 years ago it still has changed, imagine how much it has changed for your parents who watch the NFL! I also believe with the decline in youth football we will also see the decline in the quality of play. Bad football equals less viewers. This change can be argued as making it more appealing(favoring the offense) but if it continues and gets out of hand I can see myself not watching anymore. I think the NFL is also hypocritical when it comes to player safety. Expanding overseas will make players lose valuable recovery times in addition to the toll the body takes when flying internationally.

  8. Interesting article, especially since I am watching the Bears get thrashed by the Patriots. You bring up many great points about how the NFL could enter a decline phase. I’m not sure that will ever happen, but there needs to be changes in the NFL to prevent further reputation damage. Also, another article I read recently was about ‘cord cutting,’ which could influence revenue collection for the NFL. Also, I read an article how next season the NFL will be playing 5 games in London next season compared to 3 this season. The NFL definitely wants to expand to London ($$$), but as other individuals have mentioned I think it will be a hard sell to the Player’s Union due to player safety. Ultimately, I don’t think the NFL will enter the decline phase, but player safety and off field actions should be a bigger importance than revenue collection.

  9. Interesting post, and to answer your question, I believe the NFL is a unique product that makes in almost incomparable to other products better shaped for the product life-cycle. I believe that because football is embedded in the culture of many regions of America and offers people a chance to escape their day-to-day lives by basking in the unscripted drama of sports that although it may experience a slight dip in participation among youths,it will never be unpopular as a sport or unprofitable for NFL owners. With increased efforts to minimize concussions and toughen the rules in the NFL where already it looks a lot different, I believe the league will sustain a very high level of popularity at the peak of American sports for years to come.

  10. Sweet article! It makes you think of how much money is involved of the business. With football being so popular domestically and with the amount of opportunities it directly and indirectly offers, I do not think it will decline anytime soon. Online wagering platforms such as Fanduel or DraftKings, masked as a “skill activities” that are now legal in the US, have resulted in more people playing fantasy football, resulting in greater TV viewings. People will always love to escape from daily lives to eat, drink, and represent their hometown/favorite team, especially when involved with money.

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