The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Cost Cutting Cheer

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I'm a new parent and my only daughter is 15 months old. My wife and I have had endless discussions about our hopes and dreams for her. One mission of mine is that Daryn Kelly Maloni not grow up and be a cheerleader. Play a sport, pick up an instrument, dedicate yourself to art, but no one should be telling a child that cheerleading - essentially becoming an ornament for someone else - is a true activity.

NFL teams devote a substantial amount of money to the glitz and spectacle surrounding the football game. The money for cheerleaders, not to mention goofy mascots, fireworks, giant inflatable helmets and hideous oversized HD video screens all cost money. And that money comes from you and me in the form of exorbitant ticket prices.

Today, as many as eight teams are facing blackout dates because they can't sell out home games. Interest in football isn't waning but we are in a recession. Perhaps owners might consider doing away with some of the non-football frills and pass that savings onto fans in the form of reduced ticket prices.

For me, the defining NFL feature has never been a bunch of pneumatic Barbie dolls preening for the camera. It's a stadium full of screaming fans, outrageous costumes, witty handmade signs and smiling families who've come to watch America's greatest team sport.

If a few frills have to go so more people decide the price of admission is worth it, then so be it.

By Jason Maloni  |  September 2, 2009; 7:42 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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......smiling families......yeah, I'll trade the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for "the Duggars" any day.....

Posted by: andio76 | September 2, 2009 7:40 PM

Maybe Jason should take a math class. Dropping cheerleaders wouldn't make fan costs go down in any meaningful way.

They add much more in entertainment value than they cost.

Posted by: postfan1 | September 3, 2009 8:33 AM

Thanks Jason, this was the smartest response of all. Glad to read someone commenting from the perspective of wanting the best for the women in our lives. Any way you slice it, cheerleading is demeaning of women...and men.

Posted by: chicago64 | September 3, 2009 9:59 AM

Do you honestly believe that cutting cheerleaders' $50-per-game salaries and other related costs would save teams a noticable amount? Even if it did, you know full well the teams would NOT pass those savings on to fans.

If you want to cut costs, how about trimming the ridiculous size of the coaching & front office positions on most teams. Cut one "assistant junior coach of DBs" or "Vice President of Vice Presidential-ness" and you'll save as much as cutting a whole cheer squad. And I guarantee the cheerleaders do more for the teams in publicity (and charity) than anyone else in the vast front-office hierarchy.

Posted by: oc_ofb | September 3, 2009 10:46 AM

THANK YOU JASON! You are great.

Posted by: ssen | September 3, 2009 11:04 AM

haha Oh wow this blog makes me laugh. Only because it's completely out-of-touch and unresearched. You don't want your daughter to become a cheerleader? Well NFL cheerleaders aren't real cheerleaders. They are there to pump up the crowd, look good and DO CHARITY WORK, creating a positive image for the football program as a whole. They get paid minimally. Real cheerleaders, on the other hand (high school, college, all-star, etc), are athletic and wholly considered role models in their schools and communities. They do many philanthropies, compete at events, act as ambassadors to their schools and can earn full-ride scholarships to top universities across the country. So if your daughter decided she wanted to pursue such an activity, which above all else fosters community service and athleticism, offers competitive opportunities nationwide and worldwide, and promotes positive life lessons, you wouldn't support her???

Well... I just feel sorry for her then, and sorry for you. I'm shocked that such a ridiculous editorial is published in the Washington Post.

Posted by: leigh2 | September 3, 2009 11:05 AM

I'm seconding LEIGH2's comment. In fact, for all the talk of wanting the best for your daughter, your fixation on "Sideline" cheerleaders is such a "guy" response. When you decided that you would NEVER want your daughter to try cheerleading, did you even try to learn a little about All-Star or other competetive cheer? My daughter is in All-Star cheer, she is learning acro, tumbling, stunting, and teamwork. She parctices 12 hours a week. She competes against other teams. They do not stand on the sidelines and cheer other athletes. And yes, there are Full ride scholarships on Competitive Cheer.

Maybe you should check out a competition some time.

There's more to some cheerleading than waving pompoms around on the sideline. NFL Cheerleaders are dancers.

Posted by: martintomsal | September 3, 2009 12:04 PM

Maybe in luzer cities like Pittsburgh or Chicago cheerleaders are a bad idea, but here in Tampa we (heart) our Bucs cheerleaders, and the ones I've met do it because they love football and it gives them a chance to be right down on the sidelines.

We also have giant pirate cannons in the end zone and guys running around in appropriate costumes. Around here football is sanctioned craziness. It's not just just guys in helmets banging into each other, it's a social event not only at Raymond James Stadium but at bars and in living rooms all over 10 counties.

And those who want to watch "professional" female dancers, Tampa has a large selection of strip bars conveniently located within a few blocks of the stadium.

Right now we have a team in turmoil, down to the offensive coordinator getting canned just before the start of the season. So what? We still have cannons, guys in pirate costumes, cheerleaders in bikinis, and strip club girls in next to nothing -- not to mention great beaches, wonderful fishing, some of the most moronic Republican politicians in the country, friendly people, more homeless bums than almost anywhere, low-cost cocaine and marijuana, and either a Hooters or an Outback (both are headquartered here) on almost every corner that doesn't have a Walgreen or CVS drugstore. And... Yay! We have Scientologists. Scientologists are great fun to watch in action, as Tom Cruise (who owns a house here) has proved on Oprah.

All these attractions are why Tampa hosts the Super Bowl over and over. Around here, the game on the field is only a tiny part of the action.

Go Bucs! And go Bucs Cheerleaders!

Posted by: roblimo | September 5, 2009 3:43 PM

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