Pete Rozelle was the Commissioner of the NFL for almost 30 years. He was an odd choice as when he took over in 1960, he was a 33 year old general manager with only 2 years experience but he proved to be a shrewd businessman and one who completely redefined pro football.
Rozelle began by changing the structure of the game. Under Rozelle, a football cartel was formed and for the first time revenue was shared equally. Every team in the league benefited. Before that, they were franchises, each run almost as a separate business. The individual teams would compete against each other to sell their broadcasting rights but Rozelle brought them together as a single entity and the rights were sold as one. The revenue went back into promoting the game and the broadcasters promoted the game too due to the larger costs they had to pay.
Throughout his time as Commissioner, Rozelle made the NFL one of the most successful sports leagues in the world. Pro football went from being the second most popular type of football to the most popular sport in America. This was largely down to the broadcasting deals he achieved with large stations and it became the most popular televised sport in the 1970s. Rozelle doubled the size of the league with the NFL/AFL merger and created Monday Night Football which is now the second longest running show on primetime TV in America. One of his greatest achievements was the Super Bowl. He sold the rights of the Super Bowl to two stations so they had to compete for viewers and created a marketing buzz around the game and it’s now one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world . By redefining pro football, he created a business model for professional sports that is still used today.#entrepreneur #peterozelle #superbowl #nfl #football