Run to Glory and Profits
The National Football League has long reigned as America&’s favorite professional sports league. In its early days, however, it was anything but a dominant sports industry, barely surviving World War II. Its rise began after the war, and the 1950s was a pivotal decade for the league. Run to Glory and Profits tells the economic story of how in one decade the NFL transformed from having a modest following in the Northeast to surpassing baseball as this country&’s most popular sport.To break from the margins of the sports landscape, pro football brought innovation, action, skill, and episodic suspense on &“any given Sunday.&” These factors in turn drove attendance and rising revenues. Team owners were quick to embrace television as a new medium to put the league in front of a national audience. Based on primary documents, David George Surdam provides an economic analysis in telling the business story behind the NFL&’s rise to popularity. Did the league&’s vaunted competitive balance in the decade result from its more generous revenue sharing and its reverse-order draft? How did the league combat rival leagues, such as the All-America Football Conference and the American Football League? Although strife between owners and players developed quickly, pro-football fans stayed loyal because the product itself remained so good.
- 2013 the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
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