NFL Sends Potential Draftees Sponsorship Warning for Draft Night

NFL Sends Potential Draftees Sponsorship Warning for Draft Night article feature image

Photo by NFL via Getty Images. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa

With the NFL Draft broadcasts coming into homes for a second straight year, the league has sent out rules to the players through their contract and marketing agents asking them not to compromise their 42 sponsors by having any competitors within the view of the camera when they are chosen.

To make it easier, the league has sent a welcome kit to prospective draftees with two sizes of hats for every team and food and beverages from league sponsors ranging from Pepsi products, including Aquafina, Bubly and Gatorade to Frito Lay snacks including Cheetos, Doritos, Lay's, Ruffles and Tostitos.

The kit also includes a Bose communication headset, with the league asking that the players don't use any other device.

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Since the players are not yet part of the NFL or the NFLPA, there's nothing contractually binding the players to rules, though the league has threatened to not show players should they make money by wearing competitive sponsors.

"We ask that you follow the sponsorship guidelines below to ensure you are best represented on air," the memo says. "The NFL partners are an important part of the overall NFL ecosystem."

In the memo, the league lists 42 sponsors that have exclusives in category including Align (teeth aligners), Bridgestone (tires), Castrol (motor oil) and Sleep Number (mattress), among others. 

The NFL also says that it prohibits athletes from wearing "racial, religious or ethnic slurs," obscene imagery, hate speech, political messages, alcohol and "derogatory statements regarding the NFL, its owners, employees, and/or NFL partners."

Last year, Tua Tagovailoa's parents wore shirts with the logo of Hulu, a non league sponsor that had paid their son. Draft broadcasters still showed the family on camera.

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