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Marketing Research: Minnesota Vikings
Caleb Belknap, Cydnie Scott, Alex Gelle, Blake Cardinal, Andrew Latterner
Table of Contents
Research Objectives…………………………………………...
NFL players in 2014 alone. Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, has treated scandals
unfairly and it has been reported that ...
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  1. 1. 1 Marketing Research: Minnesota Vikings Caleb Belknap, Cydnie Scott, Alex Gelle, Blake Cardinal, Andrew Latterner University of Minnesota-Duluth
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………...…………………………………………..3 Research Objectives…………………………………………………………………………..………………………………….......6 Target Market (Demographics)........................................................................................................................................7 Market Factors Influencing Sales..……………………………………………...………………………………….….…....10 Qualitative Research Report…………………………………………..……………..…………………………………………14 Exploratory Research Findings………………………………………………....………..…………………………………...30 Past NFL Crises………………………………………………………...…….…………………………………………….30 Findings and Recommendations………………………………………………....………………………………37 Conclusive Research………………………………………..………………………………………………………………………40 Section 1: Research Questions……………………………………….……...…………….……………………..41 Section 2: Research Methodology………………………………………...…………………………………...42 Section 3: Research Instrument………………………………………………...……….………………………45 Section 4: Hypothesis Testing……………………………………………......……………………………………48 Bibliography……………………………………………………………….……………………………………………………………...55 Appendix/Transcriptions…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..58 Introduction Within the NFL Organization from 2000 there has been 85 arrests out of 770 total arrests of NFL players that were related to domestic violence. Within those 85 arrests USA Today database mentions that there have been 19 arrests (21 including warrants) of
  3. 3. 3 NFL players in 2014 alone. Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, has treated scandals unfairly and it has been reported that 56 NFL arrests have happened during his eight and half year time as commissioner and totally only 13 games where players were suspended from. This past September, 2014 something drastic happened to the Minnesota Vikings, as their team was becoming one and winning their preseason games, a scandal broke out. Adrian Peterson, the running back for the Minnesota Vikings, had information released about him regarding the abuse he inflicted upon his son. This isn’t the first incident that broke out involving Adrian and his son. The first happened in June 2013 where he allegedly gave his son a spanking in the vehicle after his son was cussing towards another sibling. During the spanking the sons head slammed into his car seat where a scar was left behind. This year, however, the grand jury indicted charges against Adrian Peterson on the account of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He could face up to 2 years in prison including a $10,000 fine. These charges came about when information was released and photos were leaked about Adrian Peterson punishing his child by having his son pick the “switch” that he would get a “whopping” with. The punishment occurred in May 2014 right after his son allegedly pushed one of Adrian’s other sons over a videogame. Adrian Peterson spanked him to the point that the switch left marks to his back, buttocks, ankles and legs. Just last year (2013), Adrian found out he had another son in South Dakota two months before his son was beat by the mother’s boyfriend who was charged with murder and manslaughter due to the sons death. With having such a recent incident occur and information coming about regarding abusing his own child, Adrian Peterson was taken out
  4. 4. 4 of the Minnesota Vikings second game until more information was figured out in the court systems. With a warrant out for his arrest in Texas, Adrian Peterson turned himself into the Montgomery county jail on September 13th, where bond was set at $15,000. Once files were sifted through and conversations occurred with Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings reinstated Peterson and was supposed to play against New Orleans in week 3. Right after the incident, Radisson Hotels pulled their sponsorship with the Vikings due to the press conference Rick Spielman had in which their company’s logo was prominently featured in the background while announcing the reinstatement. Epoch Times mentions that Nike and Mylan Inc. have ended ties with Adrian Peterson due to the scandal and are watching the scandal closely before putting merchandise back on the shelves. Mylan has drawn away from Peterson’s EpiPen that helps treat allergic reactions, but notes that they still will stay committed to working with life-threatening allergies and will continue their own awareness of anaphylaxis. Besides Nike and Mylan Inc, US Bank which is supposedly in the running for the naming rights of the new Vikings stadium is keeping a close eye on the scandal before making any drastic decisions. With Adrian Peterson in the Public eye, Mark Dayton, Minnesota Governor, mentioned that he should be suspended due to being in the public eye because it’s bad publicity for the Vikings as well as its horrible image for Minnesota as a whole. With the Minnesota being part of the NFL scandals we believe there are many recommendations that can help the Vikings with their public relations crisis, provide insights on how to prevent future issues, while also finding a way to increase the ticket sales and sponsorships for the Vikings, as well as strengthen relationships with fans.
  5. 5. 5 Research Objectives To better serve the Minnesota Vikings, we established the three following objectives; to gauge consumers perceptions regarding Adrian Peterson, gauge consumers perceptions regarding the Minnesota Vikings, and analyze other NFL crisis and their impact. When wanting to gauge the consumers perceptions regarding Adrian Peterson we want to know their beliefs and standpoints of what happened with his son, and how it has changed their perceptions of Adrian. Since Adrian Peterson’s scandal is related to child abuse we also want to know the views our consumers have towards child abuse, what is too far for punishment, what punishment tactics are more ideal, etc. After learning how fans of the Vikings feel about what Adrian Peterson did, the Vikings organization can act accordingly in terms of a marketing strategy or ultimately choosing to cut him. Besides gauging the consumers about Adrian Peterson, we want to know the consumers thoughts revolving the Minnesota Vikings for how well they handled the situation, and what they could be doing better as a whole. This objective is important because it is crucial to understand what, if anything, the Vikings organization did that upset, or pleased, fans. This information can then be used to make any organizational moves, such as firing an employee, or marketing strategies. Our third objective is to analyze past NFL crises. This objective is very important because the Vikings will need to know how other teams handle their respective scandal. Perhaps there were things some organizations did that worked very well and were received with great praise by the public. If that is the case, the Vikings should be try to emulate that organizations strategy. On the other hand, if the team fumbled the situation and were heavily criticized for how they handled the situation, the Vikings should avoid those actions.
  6. 6. 6 Target Market (Demographics) The National Football League has perhaps the most geographically distinct fan base of the four major professional sports leagues. Before the 2014 season kicked off, Facebook created a county-by-county visual by counting the number of “Like” clicks for all 32 NFL teams. Each county was then colored with the team that received the most “Likes” in that region. The complete map is shown below: As shown in the visual above, the Viking’s fan base includes every county in Minnesota, essentially all of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, and northern Iowa. Being the “Minnesota” Vikings, the team’s primary focus should be on what the demographics of Minnesota residents are but should also be aware of North and South Dakota as well as Iowa. Minnesota has the highest population of the four states mentioned with approximately 5.4 million residents, which is up about 2.2% from 2010. Population for all of Minnesota’s counties are expected to grow or remain steady through 2030. According
  7. 7. 7 to 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.2% of Minnesota’s residents are female. Minnesota residents are also considered to be well-educated when compared to national averages. Nearly 92% of Minnesota’s residents have at least a high school diploma and about 32.2% have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is compared to the national averages of 85.7% and 28.5%, respectively. Annual household income has a median value of $59,126 with the 13 counties making up the Twin Cities metro earning $66,282. As far as race, Minnesota is primarily Caucasian with 86.2% of residents being white, versus a national average of 77.7%. Consequently, Minnesota is below the national average of 13.2% African American residents with only 5.7%. That being said, Minnesota is becoming far more diverse. Back in 1960, only 1% of the state’s residents were of color. It is interesting to note that the Minnesota Timberwolves were recently criticized for fielding a basketball team that was “Whitest since the Larry Bird-Era Celtics” according to the Star Tribune. At the start of the 2012 season, only 5 of the 15 roster spots were held by African American players. Given approximately 75% of the players in the NBA are black, there is less than a 0.1% chance that an NBA roster consists of 5 or less black players (Zgoda). The Vikings do not have to worry about this type of criticism. Since Vikings have a large presence of fans in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa, it is important to understand what those demographics are as well. Iowa is the next largest state with a population of 3.09 million. North and South Dakota have less than a fifth the population of Minnesota with 0.72 million and .084 million, respectively. In terms of gender, the majority the Dakota’s residents are male whereas, like Minnesota, the majority of Iowa’s residents are female. High school graduation rates and the percentage of the residents with at least a bachelor’s degree are both lower than Minnesota’s but they
  8. 8. 8 are both above the national averages. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa have high school graduation rates of 90.5%, 90.1%, and 90.7%, and the percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree is 27.1%, 26.0%, and 25.3%, respectively. Median household incomes for North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are $49,091, $51,641, and $51,129, respectively. Perhaps the most important demographic is that North and South Dakota have a heavy presence of Native American residents at 5.4% and 8.9%, respectively. These demographics are important to understand when creating marketing strategies or when making organizational decisions. Not only is it important to understand the demographics of the residents geographically near Minnesota but it also important to understand the demographics of those who actually consider themselves to be fans of football. Based on Simmons OneView data from a 2011 12-month study, fans that identified themselves as “Very Interested” in the NFL had very different demographics than those who identified themselves as “Not At All Interested.” The median household income for fans of the NFL is about $20,000 higher than those who are not fans. An individual’s age and ethnicity are about the same between the two groups. Most importantly, fans of the NFL are over two thirds male (67.7% male, 32.3% female). Whereas those who are not fans is basically the complete opposite (32.0% male, 68% female). That being said, the female fan base has been growing at a higher rate than males which is discussed in the “Market Factors Influencing Sales” section of the report. Market Factors Influencing Sales The National Football League (NFL) has grown to over just over $9 billion in annual revenue with the total valuation of all NFL teams is estimated by Forbes at over
  9. 9. 9 $45 billion. The Vikings recently received a Forbes valuation of $1.15 billion, which is slightly below the NFL average of $1.43 billion. For comparison, the Dallas Cowboys have the highest valuation at $3 billion and the St. Louis Rams have the lowest valuation at $930 million. There is a wide range of variables, from media contracts to the stadium the team plays in, that factor into the sales that drive the Vikings’ valuation. According to Plunkett Research, the Vikings earned $234 million in revenue during 2013. This majority of this revenue came from the Vikings’ portion of the NFL national television contracts and jersey sales, which is split evenly between all 32 NFL teams. The NFL recently renegotiated contracts with CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN. Each of these channels will be paying the NFL over $1 billion annually, from 2014-2022, for the rights to air their games. CBS receives the rights to air afternoon American Football Conference (AFC) games, FOX receives the rights for afternoon National Football Conference (NFC) games, NBC receives Sunday night games, and ESPN, who will be paying $1.9 billion per year, receives the right to air Monday night games. Additionally, the NFL reached a deal with DirectV to create their “Sunday Ticket” package which allows them to air out of market games to subscribers, which will also cost them over $1 billion a year. To go along with massive television deals, the NFL also has radio contracts as well as an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts (EA Sports) worth over $350 million annually for the rights to continue creating the popular Madden NFL video games. Again, all of this revenue is then split up evenly to all 32 NFL teams. Any additional revenue a team earns comes from ticket sales as well as sponsorships. According to Plunkett’s Sports Almanac, the Vikings revenue has steadily increased over the past six year, starting at $195 million in 2008 and growing to the $234 million earned in 2013 (Plunkett).
  10. 10. 10 As mentioned above, the NFL’s TV contracts is the Vikings’ largest stream of revenue. Despite the numerous negative headlines and outrage over the actions of Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, NFL viewership remains strong. There has been no significant drop off in viewership from last year (midway through the season). ESPN’s Monday Night Football is actually up 7 percent, NBC’s Sunday Night Football and FOX viewership has been about the same, and CBS viewership is only slightly down from this point last year. Amanda Lotz, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, explains that “we might think of people as NFL fans, but they are really fans of a team, not the League. There may be real discontent with the actions of the league or the actions of a player, but it is a difficult move to deny fanship of a team as a result…Though we may have fondness for particular players, that’s not what draws us in the case of the NFL either.” For many people, football is an ingrained part of life so the actions of one player generally will not make them stop cheering for and watching that team. Female consumers is widely considered the largest area for growth for the NFL, and thus the Minnesota Vikings. According to Eric Chemi of Bloomberg Businessweek, the league’s future depends on female fans. The Adrian Peterson crisis will most likely not have the impact on the female fan base as Ray Rice’s incident did when he struck his then finance rendering her unconscious. Over the past couple years female NFL viewership overall is up 26 percent, compared to only an 18 percent rise for men. Also, for the 2013 Super Bowl, female viewership rose 15 percent, compared to a rise of 10 percent for men. In terms of primetime Sunday Night Football ratings, there has been a 25 percent increase in viewership by women, compared to 10 percent for men. If not for
  11. 11. 11 women the NFL would have seen a decline in ratings from 2012 to 2013. However when it comes to female fans, it is not just viewership that is growing. Fantasy football participation among women has also grown 10 percent. P.J. Leary, Ebiquity’s chairman of North America believes that this set of numbers ”illustrates how much the league has to lose if it doesn’t right the ship in how it handles this serious PR debacle, in light of recent serious issues surrounding the league” (Chemi). Since the Vikings have moved to TCF Bank Stadium for the next two seasons, there is going to be an adverse effect on ticket sales. As a result, it is tough to gauge how much of an impact the Adrian Peterson crisis has had on ticket sales. Season tickets for the Minnesota Vikings range from $250 to $1,230 and single game tickets range from $15 to $143. Up until 2012, the Vikings had sold out every home game for 14 seasons. In 2011, the Vikings averaged approximately 62,816. That number dipped to 60,725 in 2012, and bounced back to an average of 64,019 fans during the 2013 season, their last at the Metrodome. As mentioned earlier, switching to TCF Bank Stadium was going to affect ticket sales. After upgrades to TCF Bank Stadium, paid for by the Vikings, the seating capacity was raised to 52,525. TCF Bank Stadium is currently the smallest stadium in the NFL by far in terms of seating capacity which has resulted in about 10,000 less tickets being sold. According to ESPN.com, Viking’s home game attendance for 2014 has averaged 52,247 (as of 11/19/14, or four home games). In an attempt to boost sales at TCF Bank Stadium, in order to receive season tickets in the new Vikings Stadium, fans are required to purchase season tickets at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson says “obviously, what we think we’re seeing is a lot of people buying their tickets at the university because they get priority at the new stadium.” About 85% of
  12. 12. 12 season ticket holder renewed for the 2014 season at TCF bank stadium and the Vikings have approximately 50,000 season ticket holders (Vikings). Perhaps the most important factor influencing sales for the Minnesota Vikings is the performance of the team. When Elliott Anderson was asked how the Vikings should fix their crisis he answered “just win baby,” quoting the late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. Being the NFL is a professional sports industry, at the end of the day if the team is successful and winning games the Vikings will make money. Qualitative Research Report In order to conduct primary research, our method consisted of interviews as a form of exploratory qualitative research. Each of us conducted interviews with two individuals we saw fit for our research criteria. The criteria we considered consisted of but were not limited to: Sex, age, whether or not they had children, occupation, residence, and whether or not they were a Vikings fan. We chose this criterion hoping to target residents in Minnesota that were either football fans, or knew of the situation going on regarding Adrian Peterson. We then performed an in-depth interview in order to find out their perceptions of Adrian Peterson, as well as the Vikings organization and the effects of past
  13. 13. 13 NFL athletes who broke the law. The following page contains a table representing the demographic information we gathered from our interviews. Interviewee Criteria Interviewee Sex Age Children Occupation Residence Vikings Fan? Ryan Goei M 40 4 Communications Professor at UMD Duluth, MN No Nicole Brush F 25 0 UMD Marketing and Events Intern Duluth, MN Yes Elliott Anderson M 50 4 Underwriter for Prudential Elk River, MN Yes Dan Cole M 55 2 Radio host for KFAN Woodbury, MN Yes Jenna Martinson F 19 0 UMD Student Duluth, MN Yes Cassie Gazzola F 22 0 Sports Marketing Intern Wausau, WI No Derek Alford M 22 0 UMD Student Duluth, MN Yes Taylor Glynn F 22 0 State Farm Insurance agent Duluth, MN No Brandon Cardinal M 44 3 Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Norvell St. Cloud, MN Yes
  14. 14. 14 Bruce Cardinal M 63 5 Retired Business Owner Andover, MN Yes In order to find the information we were looking for in our research, we collaborated as a group and came up with the following Interview question frame. We chose each question carefully and grouped them into separate sections in order to provide an organized structure to our interview. We closely followed this framework as we interviewed each participant. Interview Question Guide ● Gauge consumer perceptions on Adrian Peterson. ○ What are your feelings on the multiple reports of child abuse? ○ Do you have issues with the number of children he has had with several different women? Why or why not? ○ How did your perceptions change when one of his sons died last year? ○ In your opinion, how much support does Adrian still have from the fans, coaches, and owners? ○ How would you respond if someone were to treat your child this way? ○ What is your response to the texts that he sent out? ○ Adrian Peterson’s mother’s reaction was that she disciplined Adrian in the same manner growing up. Does this change the way you view how he disciplined his child? ○ Do you view him as a good person and a role model? ● Gauge consumer perceptions of NFL crises (athletes who break the law). ○ Should he be allowed to play? ○ What are your thoughts on child abuse? What is considered too far?
  15. 15. 15 ○ What are your thoughts on Adrian apparently smoking marijuana before his drug test, therefor breaking his original bond agreement? ○ Do you think it’s right that he is still collecting his entire salary? ○ No suspension, half-season or full season suspension, banned from NFL forever? ○ What is your reaction to USA today reporting the Vikings have the most NFL arrests since 2000 (39) and other scandals such as love-boat? ● Gauge consumer perceptions on the Minnesota Vikings. ○ How do you feel about the way the Vikings have handled Adrian Peterson? ○ What is your reaction to Rick Spielman’s (general manager) initial press conference where he told the media A.P. would practice and play? ○ How has this issue changed your perceptions of Zygi Wilf’s (owner), Mike Zimmer (head football coach), and Rick Spielman? ○ How do you recommend the Vikings fix this situation? What we looked for Below are the explanations of why we chose to ask the questions we did and the basis behind them. We carefully analyzed the types of responses we were intending to receive that would guide our research. We geared them all towards relating back to our three main research objectives: consumer’s perceptions of Adrian Peterson, consumer’s perceptions of effects of NFL crises (athletes who break the law), and consumer’s perceptions of the Vikings organization. We made sure we included underlying themes in our questions while also avoiding
  16. 16. 16 repetitiveness in order to gain the purest viewpoints from our target market as possible. ● Gauge consumer perceptions on Adrian Peterson. ○ What are your feelings on the multiple reports of child abuse? We asked this question to generally gauge our interviewee’s perception on Adrian Peterson’s multiple reports of child abuse. This question will help us gear our interview based off of their feelings of child abuse and whether they are an Adrian Peterson fan or not. ○ Do you have issues with the number of children he has had with several different women? Why or why not? This question was geared towards finding out how much the interviewee knew about Adrian Peterson and whether or not this information would change their view of him. We looked for their view on if they considered him a role model or not. ○ How did your perceptions change when one of his sons died last year? We were especially interested in the response to this question because it would show us how viewers would have responded to their child passing away and how they would respond to future relationships with their children because of it. Do they consider this a valid reason for him to act the way he did? Does he get an “out” because of it regarding the courts? ○ In your opinion, how much support does Adrian still have from the fans, coaches, owners? This was a generalized question aimed to show how they felt this situation has affected Adrian. This question also helped us start to develop a sense of how
  17. 17. 17 consumers believe Adrian’s actions have affected his support level of those around him. Do the fans still support him as an athlete or father? Are the coaches on his side? Do the owners still want him as part of their team? ○ How would you respond if someone were to treat your child this way? This question helped us gauge interviewee’s stance on child abuse and how they would feel given putting themselves in the situation of harm being inflicted on their child. It guided us towards their thoughts on Adrian Peterson as a parent, again relating back to being a role model and their perceptions of him as such. ○ What is your response to the texts that he sent out? We are looking to hear if Vikings fans agree or disagree with how Adrian immediately handled the situation before word got to the press, and how that affected their feelings toward him. This question refers to the texts that were sent back and forth between him and his mother. ○ Adrian Peterson’s mother’s reaction was that she disciplined Adrian in the same manner growing up. Does this change the way you view how he disciplined his child? Here we were looking to see if consumers feel a certain way about disciplining children based off of the way that they were raised. Does that deem the way Adrian went about it ok? ○ Do you view him as a good person and a role model? This questions purpose was specifically aimed to address consumer’s perception of Adrian Peterson regarding this whole situation. This was the basis of our research objective of gauge consumer’s perceptions of Adrian Peterson.
  18. 18. 18 ● Gauge consumer perceptions of NFL crises (athletes who break the law). ○ Should he be allowed to play? This question gave us a better idea of how consumers felt his actions should affect his playing time. We were looking for responses touching on their sense of morality and the sense of morality the team should have in deciding if he should be allowed back on the field and when. Here we want consumers to consider past NFL crises and the effects and actions the athletes involved took throughout the situation and the consequences because of them. ○ What are your thoughts on child abuse? What is considered too far? This question addresses exactly what we are looking for on the opinions of child abuse of our target market. This helps us understand the general consensus of what is deemed unacceptable or not from within our target market when it comes to child abuse. ○ What are your thoughts on Adrian apparently smoking marijuana before his drug test, therefor breaking his original bond agreement? We asked this question to better understand if Adrian Peterson fans still supported him regardless of his decision to smoke, not whether they agree with smoking or not. This will help us gauge whether or not he is still supported throughout this process. This question also was meant to refer back to past athletes who have gotten caught smoking and the punishments that they received because of it. ○ Do you think it’s right that he is still collecting his entire salary? We are looking for the opinion of whether or not he still deserves the amount of money he is signed to receive. This question will show us consumers perception of
  19. 19. 19 Adrian and whether his actions deem his receipt of payment acceptable. We will refer to past instances of athletes breaking the law and whether they collected payment during the trial period as well. ○ No suspension, half-season or full season suspension, banned from NFL forever? This question was geared to tell us how consumers felt about the discipline he should receive. This will indicate how much they support his decision to discipline his child the way that he did, therefor showing us their perception of him as an athlete, employee, and father. This will also give us a better idea of how he should be punished based off of past crises involving NFL athletes and their suspensions or bans. ○ What is your reaction to USA today reporting the Vikings have the most NFL arrests since 2000 (39), and other Vikings scandals such as love-boat? We aimed for responses indicating whether or not consumers thought of Adrian Petersons actions as “the last straw” when it came to supporting the Vikings and /or Adrian Peterson. This question was the final indication of how consumer’s felt about NFL crises and athletes who had broken the law. ● Gauge consumer perceptions on the Minnesota Vikings. ○ How do you feel about the way the Vikings have handled Adrian Peterson? In order to understand our target markets perceptions on the Vikings, we asked this question with the intent to find out how they felt specifically about the way they handled it, and what they would have done differently. We are looking to see if
  20. 20. 20 consumers have they lost respect or support for the organization because of their actions throughout the Adrian Peterson crisis. ○ What is your reaction to Rick Spielman’s (general manager) initial press conference where he told the media A.P. would practice and play? We asked this question with the goal of understanding consumer’s reaction to the immediate response of the Vikings to Adrian Peterson’s situation. Did they support the Vikings decision to allow him to practice and play? Has this changed their view of the organization at all? ○ How has this issue changed your perceptions of Zygy Wilf’s (owner), Mike Zimmer (head football coach), and Rick Spielman? Here we looked for responses indicating consumer’s support of essentially the Vikings organization heads and whether or not their perception changed regarding the way they went about handling the situation. Essentially, this question gave respondents a different form of the same theme of their perception of the Vikings program. ○ How do you recommend the Vikings fix this situation? This final question was geared to put our consumers in the Viking organizations shoes and how they would go about fixing the situation and what they would decide to do with Adrian Peterson. We looked for depth of this question and will use the information in our exploratory research report. What we learned Throughout our interviewing process, we learned a lot about how our target market felt regarding our marketing objectives. When asked overall about
  21. 21. 21 consumer’s feelings towards each question, opinions varied. We did however; see some obvious trends and correlations that appeared throughout our questioning. Here is a short summary of the responses we received. ● Gauge consumer perceptions on Adrian Peterson. ○ What are your feelings on the multiple reports of child abuse? Here we discovered an overwhelming response of negativity. Adrian’s actions were deemed unacceptable by all interviewees; however Ryan Goei stated that he could understand the cultural difference that could have possibly played an important role in what is accepted as fair punishment. From the information we gathered, Adrian has been making questionable parenting choices and they do not reflect the way any of our interviewees would have acted towards their children. They do not support his decision to discipline his child the way that he saw fit. ○ Do you have issues with the number of children he has had with several different women? Why or why not? Most responses indicated that it wasn’t the interviewees place to say. They pointed out that having children with multiple women is more common now-a-days. However, as far as discipline goes, he should have come upon an agreement with the mother as to how to go about it. Typically, role models you want your children looking up to don’t go around sleeping with multiple women. ○ How did your perceptions change when one of his sons died last year? The situation is very unfortunate and not at all Adrian’s fault however overall, it raised the question as to why he chose to be so harsh on his child. The typical response to this question was, “I feel like going through the loss of a child would
  22. 22. 22 make you cherish your time with them more and be less harsh on the other children.” - Jenna Martinson ○ In your opinion, how much support does Adrian still have from the fans, coaches, owners? Here we discovered that generally the “die hard” fans will always be support Adrian because of his athletic ability but generally, it is believed that his fan base decreased because of his actions off the field in this situation. This response is different when concerning the coaches. It is believed that the coaches would not care the decision of the courts because their main focus is to win. Therefore, they would support him and accept him back on the team. The owners may be upset with his actions because it is believed it hurt their revenue, but with an athlete like Adrian Peterson, they would disregard their morals and still allow him to be a part of their program because in the long run, this would only be viewed as a hiccup. ○ How would you respond if someone were to treat your child this way? Is this considered bad parenting? Both Ryan Goei and Elliot Anderson touched on how being brought up a certain way reflects how you decide to discipline your child. Responses emphasized how if it were someone else they would be livid. All responses deemed it as excessive, and that there are other non-violent ways to discipline your child. Many interviewees pointed out that they would not consider it bad parenting but merely a poor decision. ○ What is your response to the texts that he sent out?
  23. 23. 23 A few were disappointed in the fact that he stated he would have stopped if he (his son) would have cried. Responses varied with statements such as cruel, not taking it seriously, and making fun of the situation. Some interviewees however, believed that it helped his case because it explained why he did what he did. Giving a heads up they thought, helped his situation. ○ Adrian Peterson’s mother’s reaction was that she disciplined Adrian in the same manner growing up. Does this change the way you view how he disciplined his child? Respondents all seemed to agree that the manner in which you are disciplined growing up strongly affects how you choose to discipline your children whether you agree with the way you were disciplined or not. As we looked at this response, it seemed as though none of our respondents felt they had been disciplined the same way growing up that Adrian must have, seeing as none agreed with his way of discipline. ○ Do you view him as a good person and a role model? Here we had mixed responses. Essentially as an athlete he was deemed as a fantastic role model, someone who most football players aspired to be because of their work ethic. However off the field, even though it was mentioned he donates to charities and such, in the public eye they would not call him a great role model. “Just because a player runs for 200 yards doesn’t make them a good role model.” - Elliot Anderson ● Gauge consumer’s perceptions of NFL crises (athletes who break the law). ○ Should he be allowed to play?
  24. 24. 24 We received mixed responses with this question as well. Opinions of suspension durations varied along with the thought of community service. Overall, our interviews stated that he should not be allowed to play however Elliot Anderson mentioned that Adrian is an employee of the Vikings and that the whole situation was blown out of proportion and he shouldn’t lose playing time over it. ○ What are your thoughts on child abuse? What is considered too far? All responses deemed child abuse as wrong. Where they would drawn the line was a gray area. Responses ranged from breaking of the skin, use of a weapon, and hitting more than once. ○ What are your thoughts on Adrian apparently smoking marijuana before his drug test, therefor breaking his original bond agreement? Responses indicated that he knew smoking was wrong and was a poor decision by him to smoke. Views of marijuana smoking varied but since it is still illegal, and could jeopardize his drug test, especially since he is in the scope of the public eye, it was not a great decision on his part. ○ Do you think it’s right that he is still collecting his entire salary? Responses varied fairly evenly between whether he should be allowed to collect paychecks while suspended or not. “...the rest of them (team) are going to practice, playing games, and putting themselves through these grueling schedules and he abused his kid and is going through the court system but is still getting his money.” Others believed that since he signed a contract, that they should stick to it regardless and still pay him what he deserves.
  25. 25. 25 ○ No suspension, half-season or full season suspension, banned from NFL forever? Responses varied between 6 to 8 game suspensions and a single season, or two season suspension but not banned. Most seemed un-opinionated and would rather let the courts decide what to do with Adrian Peterson. This surprised us because it seemed our target market consisted of people who really didn’t care as much, they would rather let the court figure it out. This gave us the idea that yes, child abuse is looked down upon, but the severity in Adrian’s case, wasn’t enough for fans to absolutely throw an outrage. ○ What is your reaction to USA today reporting the Vikings have the most NFL arrests since 2000 (39) and other Vikings scandals such as love-boat? The overall response is that it is the player’s decision making and the Vikings organization just has to deal with it. This was just another situation where a player made a poor decision. It is embarrassing for the players and humiliating for the organization and policies should be tightened. Harsher penalties should be given from the team and organization despite what the court decides. ● Gauge consumer perceptions on the Minnesota Vikings ○ How do you feel about the way the Vikings have handled Adrian Peterson? Responses mainly indicated that it was a mistake to try and reinstate him so quickly. It was pointed out that the way they dealt with public relations was very poor. Responses however, agreed with suspending him throughout the remainder of the season, feeling that the Vikings did go about it in the right way. The overall
  26. 26. 26 consensus was that the Vikings were just doing what they had to do and did not promote misconduct by any means so support is still there from the fan base. ○ What is your reaction to Rick Spielman’s (general manager) initial press conference where he told the media that he would practice and play? Some vouched for him as he did not know the exact implications of what had happened regarding A.P. It was indicated that he was put in a tough situation and you cannot make everyone (the fans) happy, if he does or does not play. Elliot Anderson believed Spielman was the “dummy” in the situation and was just saying and doing what he was being told. However other interviews stated that it would have been a mistake to allow him to play right away. ○ How has this issue changed your perceptions of the Zygy Wilf’s (owner) , Mike Zimmer (head football coach), and Rick Spielman? It has not changed perceptions about the Vikings staff. The NFL is a business and they were all just responding the way they saw fit for the situation. It was not their fault that the situation occurred. “The owners I don’t think should be blamed for this at all they did put their expectations out there and they warned players.” - Jenna Martinson ○ How do you recommend the Vikings fix this situation? Tighten up policies and emphasize positives from here on out such as Go Play campaigns and donations to charities that the team is doing. Consumers responses were scattered and it did not seem as though they felt strongly one way or another as to what to do with A.P. This response indicated that overall, the
  27. 27. 27 perception of the Vikings from our target market has not changed due to A.P.’s case. Exploratory Research Findings Past NFL Crises When trying to solve any problem it is always helpful to look to the past for answers. Since the NFL began in 1920 there has been many scandals involving various people. In trying to help the Minnesota Vikings Public Relation staff in better controlling future scandals, we will delve into many of these past cases. “On July 17, 2007, Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick was indicted by the federal government in connection with a dogfighting operation that was allegedly headquartered on property he owned in Surry County, Virginia” (ESPN 2007). Vick and three of his friends were charged with, “conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture” (ESPN 2007). This crime was punishable by up to six years in prison and $28 million in fines. When this news surfaced his sponsors and team were devastated. Airtran Airways immediately dropped him as a spokesperson and Nike even suspended the release of his shoe. “Vick was also suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals” (ESPN 2007). “The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, ordered Vick to stay away from the Falcons’ training camp until the league had the opportunity to look further into the dog fighting allegations” (ESPN 2007). Vick originally pled not guilty but after a month passed and the case furthered, he decided to plead guilty. Vick ultimately served 19 months at a prison in Leavensworth, Kansas followed by two months of house arrest. Following the
  28. 28. 28 court decision, the Atlanta Falcons dropped Vick immediately. Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, said the following, “This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard” (ESPN 2007). However, after this statement was made he also noted that there was still a possibility that Vick would return to the Falcons. He said, If the question is whether I can see a set of circumstances in which Michael [comes back to the team], the answer is yes," Blank said. "That being the case, we're moving forward as if he will not be back. I have learned you never say never but we're planning as if he will not be here. We are resolved to get this franchise on the rebound and become one of the most successful in the NFL” (ESPN 2007). When Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner was asked a similar question he responded, “That's a determination we'll make later on," he told The Associated Press from a legislative hearing in Austin, Texas, involving the NFL Network. "As I said earlier when we suspended him indefinitely, we would evaluate that when the legal process was closed” (ESPN 2007). Other than these press releases, the Atlanta Falcons Organization did little to fix the crisis. In 2009, Goodell reinstated Vick into the NFL under conditions. “Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games -- if he can find a team that will sign him” (ESPN 2009). “He went on to say, “Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 at the latest” (ESPN 2009). Micheal Vick was eventually
  29. 29. 29 fully reinstated and is now playing for the New York Jets on a one year, $5 million contract. On February 15th 2014, Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice and his Fiancé Janay Palmer were arrested in an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino and charged for simple assault. The two were allegedly hitting each other with their hands and refusing medical attention. Just four days later, TMZ releases a video of Ray Rice dragging his fiancé out of an elevator. Immediately after seeing this video, Raven coach, John Harbaugh, wanted Rice to be cut from the team. “But Harbaugh's recommendation to cut the six-year veteran running back was quickly rejected by Ravens management: owner Bisciotti, team president Cass and GM Newsome” (ESPN 2014). On May 1st, 2014, “Rice plead not guilty to aggravated assault and applies for a program for first-time offenders that could clear him of charges in one year” (CNN 2014). By providing the court with letters of good character from past colleagues, on May 20th, Rice and his lawyer were able to convince the court that he should be allowed into the diversionary program. Prosecutor McClain said, “The decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice's application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation” (ESPN 2014). On July 24th, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, announced that Rice would have to serve a two game suspension. "There are consequences when you make a mistake like that," Harbaugh said when asked for his opinion of Rice's suspension. "I stand behind Ray. He's a heck of a guy. He's done everything right since. He makes a mistake, all right? He's going to have to pay a consequence. I think that's good for kids to understand it works that way. That's how it works, that's how it should be” (ESPN 2014). Many people criticized the commissioners decision about the suspension, thinking that it should have
  30. 30. 30 been much longer. Included in this was “Betsey Locke, M&T Bank's group vice president for advertising, promotions and sponsorships, announced that Harbaugh would become the new face of the bank's marketing campaign. Rice would no longer be featured” (ESPN 2014). Things intensified even further on September 8th when TMZ released another video from inside the elevator showing Rice punching his fiancé in the face, knocking her unconscious. After seeing the video coach Harbough said, “It's something we saw for the first time today. It changed things, of course. And it made things a little bit different” (CNN 2014). The Baltimore Ravens went on to release Rice later that day and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. Efforts have been made by both the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens organization to help pacify the situation. “Since Rice's suspension, Goodell announced sweeping changes to the personal conduct policy concerning domestic violence cases. Violations regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force "will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense." A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL for at least one year” (NFL 2014). Goodell also said that he felt regret about how the league handled the situation and went on to say, “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will” (NFL 2014). Since then the Baltimore Ravens have offered their fans the opportunity to trade in their Ray Rice jersey for another player on the team. “The Ravens handed out 5,595 new jerseys before running out before midday Saturday, then issued more than 2,400 vouchers for fans to pick up
  31. 31. 31 their jerseys once new shipments arrive in October” (USATODAY 2014). The Ravens spokesman, Kevin Bryne, commented on this saying, “We anticipated over the two days getting about 5,000 people, so we got about 2,000 more. We just felt it was the right thing to do, and that's why we did it” (USATODAY 2014). The Baltimore Ravens spent over $100000 just in this even to help ease the situation. “On the night of Nov. 28, 2008, Plaxico Burress accidentally suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Manhattan nightclub. As his Glock pistol, nestled in the waistband of his sweatpants, began to slip, Burress reached for it and the gun went off” (FOX 2008). Burress, who was the star receiver for the New York Giants, was arrested for charges of two felonies for possessions of weapons in the second degree and was released on a $100000 bond. ‘Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Felicia Mennin ordered Burress to return March 31” (ESPN 2008). Immediately after being released, the NY Giants suspended Burress for four games, which was the rest of the regular season. “The team also placed him on the reserve non-football injury list, which means the wide receiver couldn't come back for the playoffs, either” (ESPN 2008). When asked about the situation, Giants President, John Mara said, “As we have said, our concern is for Plaxico’s health and well- being. This is an important time for him to take care of his body and heal up and also deal with the very serious legal consequences and other issues in his life” (ESPN 2008). In the midst of this court case Giants general manager Jerry Reese made the decision to release Plaxico Burress. On March 31st when Burress returned to court he plead guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession and ended up serving two years in a New York prison. The New York Giants did very little to ease the tension of the situation other than the suspension and ultimate release.
  32. 32. 32 New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez was arrested on June 26th 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was murdered on June 16th after a dispute with Hernandez at a nightclub. “Hernandez was taken from his home in handcuffs Wednesday morning, more than a week after Boston semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's home. Soon after his arrest, the Patriots announced they had cut Hernandez from the team” (CBS 2013). The New England Patriots issued the following statement: “A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do” (Patriots 2013). In addition to this message the Patriots also offered a jersey trade in for their fans. When asked about the jersey trade in New England Patriots spokesperson, Stacey James, said, “We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore. We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents” (Patriots 2013). Team owner Robert Kraft, “who believes the team was "duped" by the tight end, said cutting Hernandez -- and all the Patriots decisions in this matter -- are not about money, but rather principle” (CBS 2013). He went on to say that the Patriots plan on grinding up the traded in jerseys and donating the material for recycling purposes. “Say whatever you want about how much $250,000 actually matters
  33. 33. 33 to the Patriots, clearly the team is interested in cutting ties to Hernandez, regardless of the financial cost” (CBS 2013). In the summer of 2005, 17 of the Minnesota Vikings players attended an alleged “sex party” on a Lake Minnetonka, MN houseboat. “Crew members complained that some people took off their clothes and engaged in public sex acts during the cruise” (USATODAY 2005). Dante Culpepper, the teams quarterback at the time, along with three other team members, “were charged with three counts — indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct” (USATODAY 2005). “If convicted, each player faces up to a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on each count” (USATODAY 2005). When head coach Mike Tice was asked about the scandal he said, "According to NFL rules and union contracts, there is a large difference between allegations and charges and convictions. So until at any point there is a conviction of some type, if there is, I have no action to take and nothing to say” (USATODAY 2005). The Vikings owner, Zygi Wilf, did not make any comments on the subject. Team attorney, Kevin Warren, said about him, “He will do the right and ethical and honorable thing ... if that's two weeks from now or six months from now" (USATODAY 2015). Other than these brief statements the Minnesota Vikings organization did little to ease viewers apprehensions about the scandal. Findings and Recommendations When moving forward to help the Minnesota Vikings public relation’s handle current and future scandals, this information will be very helpful in making decisions. Through conducting our primary research, we gathered pertinent information regarding consumer’s perceptions of Adrian Peterson, NFL crises, and the Minnesota Vikings. We
  34. 34. 34 gained the adequate information we were looking for regarding our three marketing objectives. Below is a summary of the information we gathered, and advice we intend for the Minnesota Vikings to take as to how to respond to the situation based off of the new marketing objectives we have formulated. ● Gauge consumer’s perceptions on Adrian Peterson. Perceptions regarding Adrian Peterson have not changed due to him disciplining his child. He was and still is considered a role model as an athlete on the field however consumers do not believe he should be considered a role model whom they would want their children to look up to. As a parent, consumers believe he went too far by disciplining his child the way he chose however, consider it a poor decision and would hope, especially after all the media outbreak because of it, that he would not do it again. Consumers disagree with physicality when it comes to disciplining your child and frown upon A.P. for doing it, but this does not change their view of him as a person. Adrian Peterson was and still is viewed as a phenomenal athlete, this has not changed. His way of parenting has raised some eyebrows but has not necessarily waved fans from not supporting him anymore, they are just disappointed. Now that we know consumer’s perceptions on Adrian Peterson, the next question that comes up is what football decision should the Vikings make? Should they let him play? Cut him? Trade him? Through our research, both qualitative and quantitative, we have found that ultimately this crisis has not created a heavy decline in sales nor fan base for the Minnesota Vikings. Fans want to see their team win, regardless whether the athletes are positive role models or not. After the
  35. 35. 35 completion of the our conclusive study, we will be able to answer exactly which football decision the Vikings will make. ● Gauge consumer’s perceptions on NFL crises (athletes who break the law.) It is obvious that almost no fans of the NFL enjoy seeing a crisis envelope. It plagues teams with bad media coverage and often takes players off of their roster. That being said, there has been actions that teams have taken in the past that consumers have perceived better than others. When looking at past cases, it seems that a heartfelt message released from the team going out to the fans specifically has been received well. Since the Ray Rice case, the NFL commissioner has made drastic changes to the personal conduct policy, which increased punishments for abuse cases. Fans of the NFL reacted very well to this. Finally, when teams allow their fans to trade in their jersey of the person at the head of the scandal for another member of the team, it is perceived very well. It costs an organization a lot of money to hold this event but can help greatly ease the tension between consumers. The next step with this objective is to find out if there is a preferred marketing strategy. This will likely entail creating a series of questions for our conclusive survey to establish a preferred strategy. This could be anything from an Adrian Peterson jersey exchange to the Vikings becoming public advocates against child abuse. The series of questions will be created based off what was found in the “Past NFL Crises” section of the report. ● Gauge consumer’s perceptions on the Minnesota Vikings.
  36. 36. 36 Perceptions of the Minnesota Vikings have not changed. Responses regarding consumer perceptions of the Minnesota Vikings were that they were simply attempting to handle the situation the best they could. Opinions varied on whether or not they should have paid Adrian throughout the trial period. Though the Vikings have had a history of the most arrests since 2000. Since most people’s perceptions of the Minnesota Vikings have not changed, we do not recommend any action based on the information gathered through this object. Management should, however, always be conscious of how they present themselves because without fans there would not be the Minnesota Vikings franchise. Proposal for Conclusive Research The need for additional research is evident after looking at our findings from our primary research (interviews) and our secondary exploratory research. We find that with Adrian Peterson being suspended for the remainder of the season and him having the opportunity to appeal this decision, that there’s doubt on whether or not the punishment is suitable for his crime. This being said, we believe that the bad perceptions of the Minnesota Vikings decision making skills and regulations for players are still evident. When evaluating our primary research findings we can conclude that the Minnesota Vikings need to further help Adrian Peterson in the sense of emotional stability. This may be counseling, charity events, parenting assistance, additional discipline, community service, or a combination of them. In addition to the Vikings helping Adrian Peterson with his personal life, they are in need to expand their disciplinary actions for all players,
  37. 37. 37 enhance their public services, and to contribute to the society, for the team as a whole to result in a better reputation. Suggestions for such an outcome were, developing stricter policies for players, income penalties if such policies are not followed, more charity work and community services, and more effective role model images. Our secondary research followed many other scandals throughout the NFL and concludes that a quicker reinstatement may have a negative effect on fans supporting the decision. Longer disciplinary actions allow for time to pass and the fans to slowly disregard the incident that took place which leads to a more effective end result. With The NFL following these player incidents closely they have begun implementing stronger policies for the players, but is it enough? Section 1: Research Questions Specific Objectives: ● What football decision should the Vikings make on Adrian Peterson? ● Should the Minnesota Vikings change the face of the franchise? ● Is there a preferred solution to the Vikings marketing strategy? Hypotheses: ● The Minnesota Vikings should hold onto Adrian Peterson but should hold off on playing him until next season. ● Vikings fans will want a new face to the franchise. ● There will exist an preferred marketing solution for the Minnesota Vikings. Section 2: Research Methodology Research Method:
  38. 38. 38 We will be conducting a web survey to gather the information needed for our research. We chose web survey in order to save on costs, to keep the method as easy and simple as possible for participants, and to ensure we are reaching our target market. By choosing an online survey we can easily require needed demographics and target the participants needed for our research. In contemplating the most effective research method, we considered administering a survey after a game. We decided against this method because it would cost much more than a web survey, it would be more time consuming, and also we could be receiving biased answers. For example if the Minnesota Vikings perform badly in a game and lose, the fans may be more willing to consider the reinstatement of Adrian Peterson quicker. Facilitation of the study: The web survey will be conducted by an eight question survey to keep things simple and to the point. This is enough information to give us what we need to further our research, while keeping the participant engaged. Sample: The Minnesota Vikings main concern is ticket sales to each game throughout the season. With this in mind, our target audience would be any person who is willing to buy a game ticket. In order to focus our study on this target audience we will have in order certain demographics to be met. We will have in order an age limitation to satisfy the requirements of purchasing a game day ticket. Our sample population will be 1,000 participants that meet all previously mentioned requirements to take the survey. As cited in advance two thirds of fans are male and 1/3 are female. In order to weigh are results
  39. 39. 39 we will keep track of gender within our participants. Since we are weighing our results, we will save time and effort by doing a simple random sample versus a stratified random sample. A stratified random sample would ensure our sample was 67% male and 33% female, but this would not be needed because we are weighing our results. Next, state of residency is a concern to the Vikings with how far their fans are willing to drive for a game. Referring to the map previously shown, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are where most of the fans are located. Considering distance and where our fans are based out of, we will only accept participants with residency from one of these four states. By requiring these demographics we are ensuring we get the participants that will be the most beneficial to our research. Quality Control: When conducting research with our online survey, it is necessary to include precautions to avoid mistakes. We need to ensure to keep validity with participants and throughout our research. In order to do this we will make sure to consider four main points as follows: 1. Response Category Sequence ● We will organize our questions in a way that doesn’t sway our participant’s opinions and responses. 2. Double Barreled ● Each question will only pertain to one issue so there is no confusion for our participants on how to respond. 3. Loaded Questions
  40. 40. 40 ● Questions will not lead participants to answer in a certain way to support our hypotheses. 4. Validation Questions ● We will ask a question multiple times in different word structure for answer reassurance. Section 3: Research Instrument: Basic Demographic Information 1) Age: ⇫ Under 18 ⇫ 18 or older 2) Gender: ⇫ Male ⇫ Female 3) State of Residence: ⇫ Minnesota ⇫ North Dakota ⇫ South Dakota ⇫ Iowa ⇫ Other: __________________________ 4) Do you consider yourself a Vikings fan? ⇫ Yes ⇫ No
  41. 41. 41 Official Questionnaire 1) On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings this year? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2) On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings next year? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3) On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played in the NFL ever again? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4) Who would you like to see as the face of the Vikings’ franchise? ⇫ Adrian Peterson ⇫ Teddy Bridgewater ⇫ Cordarrelle Patterson ⇫ Anthony Barr ⇫ Other: __________________________ 5) How likely are you to participate in an Adrian Peterson jersey exchange? Not Likely Maybe Very Likely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6) Do you believe Adrian Peterson should be a public advocate against child abuse?
  42. 42. 42 ⇫ Yes ⇫ No ⇫ No opinion 7) Do you believe the Minnesota Vikings should be a public advocate against child abuse? ⇫ Yes ⇫ No ⇫ No opinion 8) Should the Minnesota Vikings follow a more strict discipline policy than the NFL? ⇫ Yes ⇫ No ⇫ No opinion Example of quality control question: 1) On a scale of 1 to 7, if Adrian Peterson played football again, how would you feel? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Section 4: SPSS Analysis: Objective looking to answer: What football decision should the Vikings make on Adrian Peterson? Question: On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings this year?
  43. 43. 43 Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Test: One Sample t-test Criterion: Mean value (μ) generated from question listed above Hypotheses: Ho: μ ≥ 4 → People would either be happy or have no feelings HA: μ < 4 → People would be upset Decision Result: If Ho is accepted, that would mean fans would either be happy or have no feelings if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings this year. If this was the statistical outcome, the Vikings can feel confident letting Adrian Peterson practice and play immediately without any major public outcry. On the other hand, if Ho is rejected, that would mean fans would be upset if Adrian Peterson played this year so the Vikings should act based on the analysis of the next question. Question: On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings next year? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Test: One Sample t-test Criterion: Mean value (μ) generated from question listed above Hypotheses: Ho: μ ≥ 3 → People would: feel happy, have no feelings, or be slightly upset HA: μ < 3 → People would be somewhat or very upset
  44. 44. 44 Seeing as Adrian Peterson is one of the greatest players of all time, the Vikings should only act if there are strong negative feelings. This is illustrated in the alternative hypothesis. Decision Result: If Ho is accepted, the Vikings should hold on to Adrian Peterson because that means fans would either be: happy, only slightly upset, or have no feelings at all if he plays next year. On the other hand, if Ho is rejected, this would mean that Vikings fans would be somewhat or very upset if Adrian Peterson played for the Vikings next year. For that reason, we would recommend the Vikings cut ties with Adrian Peterson by either trading or releasing him. The decision on whether to trade or release Adrian Peterson should be based on the analysis of the next question. Question: On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you feel if Adrian Peterson played in the NFL ever again? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Test: One Sample t-test Criterion: Mean value (μ) generated from question listed above Hypotheses: Ho: μ ≥ 4 → People would either be happy or have no feelings HA: μ < 4 → People would be upset Decision Result:
  45. 45. 45 If Ho is rejected, this would mean Vikings fans would be upset if Adrian Peterson played in the NFL ever again. For that reason, to please fans, the Vikings should release Adrian Peterson. On the other hand, if Ho is accepted, this would mean that people would be happy to see him play so the Vikings should try to trade Adrian Peterson. This would be the ideal situation if it came to this decision. Objective looking to answer: Should the Minnesota Vikings change the face of the franchise? Question: Who would you like to see as the face of the Vikings’ franchise? (Options are: Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater, Cordarrelle Patterson, Anthony Barr, Other) Test: Descriptive Statistics Criterion: Percentage of fans who chose each player. Output could look something like this: Decision Result: If any one player received 50% or more of the responses, which would guarantee they were the most popular choice, the Vikings should make that player the face of the franchise and plan their marketing strategies accordingly. If no player receives over 50% of the responses, we recommend the Vikings take a “team-first” approach for their marketing strategy.
  46. 46. 46 Objective looking to answer: Is there a preferred solution to the Vikings marketing strategy? Question: How likely are you to participate in an Adrian Peterson jersey exchange? Very Upset No feelings Very Happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Test: One Sample t-test Criterion: Mean value (μ) generated from question listed above Hypotheses: Ho: μ ≥ 4 → People would be likely to participate in the jersey exchange HA: μ < 4 → People would be unlikely to participate in the jersey exchange Decision Result: If Ho is rejected, people would most likely not participate in a jersey exchange for Adrian Peterson so the Vikings should not hold one. On the other hand, if Ho is accepted, Vikings fans would be likely to participate in a jersey exchange so the Vikings should hold one. Question: Do you believe Adrian Peterson should be a public advocate against child abuse? (Options are: Yes, No, No Opinion) Test: Descriptive Statistics Criterion: Percentage of fans who answer YES Output could look something like this:
  47. 47. 47 Decision Result: If the majority of fans answer YES, the Vikings should urge Adrian Peterson to become a public advocate against child abuse. If the majority of fans do not answer YES, then the Vikings should let Adrian Peterson make his own decision on whether he wants to be a public advocate or not. Question: Do you believe the Minnesota Vikings should be a public advocate against child abuse? (Options are: Yes, No, No Opinion) Test: Descriptive Statistics Criterion: Percentage of fans who answer YES Output could look something like this: Decision Result: If the majority of fans answer YES, the Vikings organization as a whole should become a public advocate against child abuse create a series of marketing activities to show their stance. If the majority of fans do not answer YES, there is no need for the Vikings to advocate child abuse and should focus marketing efforts on other issues. Question: Should the Minnesota Vikings follow a more strict discipline policy than the NFL? (Options are: Yes, No, No Opinion) Test: Descriptive Statistics Criterion: Percentage of fans who answer YES
  48. 48. 48 Output could look something like this: Decision Result: If the majority of fans answer YES, the Vikings should impose a disciplinary policy that is stricter than the current NFL policy. Additionally, this would likely decrease the number of arrests players have if they know the policy is harsher. Conversely, if the majority of fans do not answer YES, the Vikings can continue to follow the NFL disciplinary policy.
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  50. 50. 50 Trends and Leading Companies. "Rice Case: Purposeful Misdirection by Team, Scant Investigation By NFL." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. "Ray Rice Released by Ravens, Indefinitely Suspended." NFL.com. NFL.com, 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. Rovell, Darren, and Ben Goessling. "Adrian Peterson Booked, released." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 14 Sept. 2014. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. Simmons OneView. Experian Marketing Services, Summer 2011 NHCS Adult Study 12-month Stieber, Zachary. "Adrian Peterson Number of Kids: How Many Sons and Daughters Does AP Have? Allegedly At Least 7 Children." The Epoch Times. Epoch Times, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. "USATODAY.com - Culpepper, Three Other Vikings Charged in Boat-party Scandal." USATODAY.com - Culpepper, Three Other Vikings Charged in Boat-party Scandal. UsaTODAY.com, 18 Dec. 2005. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. "Vick Gets 23-month Jail Term." ESPN.com. ESPN.com, 11 Dec. 2007. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. "Vikings Pleased With Seat License Sales." Sports Business Research Network, 8 May 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. Zgoda, Jerry. "Timberwolves: Pale in Comparison to the Rest of the NBA." StarTribune.com: News, Weather, Sports from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Minnesota. Star Tribune, 28 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. ZIRIN, DAVE. "The NFL Fumbles." Nation 299.15 (2014): 4-6. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web.
  51. 51. 51 4 Dec. 2014. Appendix/Transcriptions Interviewer: Blake Cardinal Time and Date: 10/16/2014 at 3:30 PM Age: 44 Sex: Male Address: Weston, FL Telephone Number: 615-788-4383 Interviewee: Brandon Cardinal Description: Brandon is a 44 year old father of three. He is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Norvell. BLAKE: Hey Brandon, thanks for taking the time to sit down for an interview with me. We’ll start with a little background information about yourself. BRANDON: No problem. Ah, Brandon Cardinal, I’m age forty. I live in south Florida - west and south Florida. Married to wife Tennille, we have three children, Chase Cardinal who is sixteen, Marco is twelve, and Jackson is nine. BLAKE: And what do you do for a living? BRANDON: Ah senior vice president of sales and marketing for Norvell Sunless Skin Solutions. BLAKE: And what’s that profession entail? BRANDON: Um, at Norvell we are manufacturers of cosmetic goods, mostly sunless products, ah retail products, products and automatic spray units that you find at salons
  52. 52. 52 and day spas, along with the products that a lot of the celebrities are sprayed with on TV. Um, and what we do is we deal with distributors who sell to consumers and we do that in h near sixty-two countries right now. BLAKE: Great, does that entail a lot of traveling and you’ve got to experience a lot of - BRANDON: A lot of traveling, actually traveling right now, headed to a function where we do a lot of speaking and training. Um, owners and operators and business owners alike, how to better their business and how to sell more product, and educate them as well on our products. BLAKE: Great! Have you heard much about latest with Adrian Peterson and the whole Vikings scandal? BRANDON: Yes I have. I’ve been following on the news and ah on the Internet. Of course, a Vikings fan coming from Minnesota, now living in south Florida we don’t get quite, quite as much local news about it but you just see it all over. BLAKE: Awesome. What are your feelings on the reports of child abuse considering Adrian Peterson? BRANDON: It’s sad. It’s sad you know when any child succumbs to any, you know, violence and to the degree that ah his father took it. It’s sad. BLAKE: And does the fact that he’s got multiple children with different women affect any of your answers? BRANDON: Um, different children with different women, I mean nowadays that seems to more and more common. With sports stars it seems like they have children in every major city. I’m not sure exactly how many women he’s had different children um from, but it is, I feel like it does add to the situation.
  53. 53. 53 BLAKE: Yeah, and do you feel he has the right to discipline one child over another depending on how often he sees them and what the family situation is? BRANDON: I definitely feel that has something to do with it. Um, disciplining the child that you’re around more makes them easier than a child that you’re not around as much. But ah a lot of it that comes into play is, you know, your emotional connection with that child and the child’s mother and how to discipline that child. Um, I think if you have a better bond and a different relationship, I think a lot of things can be talked through. I do believe in, you know, still spanking a child, I believe in, you know, grounding, taking things away from a child. All of this is very important to the life skills that a child needs to learn as they grow up. Um, I saw reports in Philadelphia lately that they closed three schools but they’re opening eight jails and I don’t think that’s right. I think that has a lot to do with society and letting people do what they want and trying not to hurt peoples feelings and making sure we don’t hurt our children’s feelings, and being their friends as opposed to being their parents and trying to steer them in the right direction at life. BLAKE: Definitely and have your perceptions changed since his son died last year? BRANDON: Yeah, I mean when you have a child, and I haven’t experienced this, and you know god willing I never will, but if you have a child that you lose and that passes away, disciplining, I wouldn’t even first of all even know how to react or even how to live, but disciplining a child in the manner he did just less than a year after he lost a child, um its very difficult to judge because you don’t know the situation. Where the parent was mentally, um anger or aggressive natures but ah I would assume that it would be difficult to do any disciplining of another child if that had happened. Um, most people I would think would be more nurturing after something like that as opposed to aggressive.
  54. 54. 54 BLAKE: And in your opinion how much support does Adrian Peterson still have from his fans, coaches, and the owners of the Vikings? BRANDON: Um, I think he still has – his support is different. I’ll put it that way. I think his support is to get better, and I think his support is that he um, we always want to cure people of their problems so I think his support is to be cured of any mental aggression or problems he may have internally with his family and communication with his kids but I think the support as a football star he’s lost. I don’t think people could care less now as to how many yards or what records he breaks after something like this breaks the news. Um, I know I have his jersey and I was talking to Tennille the other day and I was kind of torn as to what to do. You know without a ton of words, but torn as to keep it, if I’d ever wear it again, or if you know if he’ll ever grace, you know, the Vikings colors again. But I know my standpoint as a fan has changed dramatically. I have him on my fantasy team, of course he can’t play for fantasy anymore, and I picked him up because I thought he was one of the best players. BLAKE: So you would not feel comfortable wearing his jersey out in public? BRANDON: No, I wouldn’t wear his jersey out in public its, right now especially since he hasn’t gone through the court system, its almost as a celebration of what he accomplishes on the field and a celebration of somebody that’s done something, you know, a little bit over board. BLAKE: Definitely, and in your own words can you describe to me what a role model or what a good person would be? BRANDON: Ah, in my own words what a role model or what a good person would be? Um, I think somebody that from day to day does more right than wrong. I think that has a
  55. 55. 55 lot to do with somebody that inspires and inspires youth to do better and to become something bigger than they are. I think that’s what a role model is. BLAKE: And would you ever – BRANDON: And support religion or whatever direction, I think inspiration has a lot to do with it. BLAKE: And would you see Adrian Peterson as a good person or a role model? BRANDON: Um, you know it’s difficult to judge people. I think right now in the pubic eyes he is not a good role model or a person that you would want your children to follow. Um, I do believe though a lot of people have made him to be this big monster because he, you know, disciplined his child what he was used to, what he experienced when he was younger. Um, like I said I do believe and I know a lot of people that I know believe spanking a child is still acceptable but a majority of parents in society now I think have turned a corner where they now think that that is something that’s evil. Ah I don’t believe that. I think he took the situation too far for a four year old but I still think that you have to be in the situation. You had to have been there, you have to know what happened in order to really make a judgment call and that’s why it will go to court and ah be judged there by his peers or by a judge to find out what was overboard and what was extreme. BLAKE: And in your own opinion do you think he should be allowed to play? BRANDON: Um, now? BLAKE: Yeah. BRANDON: No, I don’t think he should be allowed to play. Um, he needs to, you know, he needs to go through the course that with any person in the United States would have to go through a similar situation. He can’t be given, you know, tokens and passes because
  56. 56. 56 you play football or because you make all this money being a sports hero. I think that’s one of the problems with, with ah players now, is there given too many chances. BLAKE: So if someone were to treat one of your children this way how would you respond? BRANDON: If somebody was to whip my child with a stick till their legs and their testicles bled, they wouldn’t be around anymore, if somebody did that to one of our kids. There’s just no way. BLAKE: And what, what exactly are your thoughts on child discipline? Where exactly do you draw the line and when does it become like child abuse? BRANDON: Um, I think child abuse can come without a lot of physical. I think people have it wrong. I think they think the physical end of it is - leads to child abuse; I know there’s mental child abuse. You know, playing mental games can be far more severe and life threatening, and alter the life course of who they are than physical. I think people just see that because it’s an immediate response and a knee jerk reaction. Um, oh you shouldn’t slap that child or you shouldn’t put soap in their mouth or you shouldn’t spank them, you need to talk to them. Well, in some cases, we have kids where talking to them does not work. Ah, sometimes each child in each situation has to be handled differently and scrutinize if I may, you have to be in the position to do it. You can’t point the finger as to how somebody cares for their children and how they punish them unless it’s an extreme, where the child doesn’t even understand what’s going on. And that to me is where the abuse comes in. you haven’t explained why the child is being spanked or being grounded or mentally it’s, you know, talked to. If you don’t explain that, and you’re not doing that in a loving nature for the child to learn, to me that is when the child abuse
  57. 57. 57 happens. It doesn’t need to be physical for child abuse. I think if you’re not doing it right, it’s because you’re not talking with the child and explaining why this is happening or what they’ve done wrong. BLAKE: And while this is all being waited upon for court, do you think its right that he’s still collecting his salary, 11.75 million dollars? BRANDON: Ah well, contract was made between him and the Vikings for him to get paid. The problem with that generically is anybody in a real job, you take off a few weeks, you’re out of time off, you’re out of days, sick leave or personal days, and then you don’t get paid. The problems with those contracts are they’re, they’re not based on performances; it’s the performance before the contract got signed. It doesn’t have anything to do with game-to-game. It has to do with how they achieved that prior to the contract. So I mean, it's kind of a double end sword. Yeah, he earned that at one time, um he has lost all of his sponsors at this point so he’s not collecting money there, but he’s getting paid a lot of money regardless. So I mean that’s a whole other conversation itself as to why sports stars get paid what they do. BLAKE: Definitely. And since this has all been brought out to the table, there’s been numerous texts messages that have come out along with it, and Adrian’s text messages to the mother of his child is “toughest of the bunch, he got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear, so that was another indicator I’ll have to try another system with him. Shaking my head, he’s tough as nails.” The mother replied “well you can’t hit him until he cries, that’s just mean. He’s trying to be strong for you. He’s afraid of you. He’s four years old, he’s not playing mind games with you.” What are you feelings to those text message?
  58. 58. 58 BRANDON: Well, first of all, I feel like it um was a little bit of a male machismo with him saying that about his son, ‘he’s tough as nails, I whipped him harder than usual and more times because he wasn’t shedding a tear’. He was trying to prove a point and you don’t always need to prove a point, you need to make sure that the child understands. And trying to whip the kid till he bleeds, but further that till he’s crying, I know sometimes you get carried away because you want to make sure that the child understands but its more than that. Whipping a child until he bleeds um and then telling the mom he’s tough as nails and he didn’t even cry, in manner that kind of said ‘he’s a chip of the old block’ sort of thing. It’s a little, kind of makes me squirm a little bit, that he would sit there and beat the kid and then send a text message like that. And then for the mother, she seems not to ask too many questions as to you know why, what happened. It was just that he’s scared of you because he’s four. Well he’s gonna be, his father’s like 6 foot 3 and 240 pounds. You’ve got to get to your child a little differently than physical punishment, just because you take punishment on the field doesn’t mean you gotta try to, try to do it at home. BLAKE: Definitely. And taking a look at how were raised and how we grow up, Adrian Peterson’s mother was interviewed and her reactions was that she disciplined Adrian in the same matter growing up. And how’s this change your view on how he disciplined his child, if it does at all? BRANDON: It doesn’t change my view. I mean, you can’t make excuses for your past and how your, you can't just throw your hands up and be like ‘the only reason I did it is cause that’s what my momma did to me’. I mean I don’t discipline my children near what my father disciplined me. I don’t do it because I thought it was wrong, I didn’t like that. I try different methods and you know the physical side of children and punishment has
  59. 59. 59 changed from generation to generation, but you can’t use that as an excuse I mean, pick up a book and read a book or something. Its not ‘oh I didn’t know any better, you know I got all these kids all over the place. I didn’t know how to stop having kids and you know I didn’t know how to stop beating them either, with a stick’. That doesn’t make sense to me, I mean you have to have your own boundaries and be a parent on your own account not because somebody else did. ‘And the neighbor across the street beat their kid, I thought it was okay’. BLAKE: And resulting in all of this how do you think Adrian Peterson should be punished for this? Would you suggest no suspension, half season, full season? Should he ever be allowed to play in the NFL again? BRANDON: Ah well we always want, like I said before, we always want to fix people or we want people to get repaired. Its like even in Hollywood, you know when someone comes out of rehab its like a big party, oh they’re better! No, they’ve got a life long journey. We shouldn’t celebrate when someone makes a mistake and then two weeks later they’re fixed and they’re all better. It takes time. And I think its gonna need to take time, before he can get back out on the field. He’s going to need to do some counseling, um he’s gonna need to do a lot of repair for not only his image but his image between him and his family. His image between him and the public, ah that’s probably going to be precedents for him because he’s gonna want those paychecks back and it should really be, it should really be between him and his children and his family before that. So, I don’t think he should play for a while. I know no one else would be able to in a real life circumstance. BLAKE: So where do you draw the line on when he, when he could come back?
  60. 60. 60 BRANDON: Um, I mean when he’s found safer, when he seems like he’s turned around and he’s ah repaired what’s been damaged between him and his family and he um you know gets counseling and its gonna take time, I would say at least 24 months before he gets to come back. BLAKE: And I know you mentioned counseling, is there anything else that could play into how he could better himself as a parent and better his image? BRANDON: Work with his kids a little bit more. I mean he’s got kids all over the place, maybe bring them all together. Do things with them. BLAKE: Definitely. BRANDON: Communicate with them. BLAKE: Definitely. Now we'll take a look at the Vikings more as a whole perspective and how do you feel the Vikings have handled this situation? BRANDON: Well, um they handled it a little bit better than the Ray Rice scandal because when this happened they were quicker to react but they should have been a lot quicker. I know he was going to play for the saints and then they had him play and they he didn’t play and then they pulled him off. I think they handled it poorly because they were waiting for the NFL to come in and tell them what they should and shouldn’t do as opposed to saying you know what you’ve done this, until we find out more information about it um were going to have you sit on the sidelines and you can't play a game like that and be fully vested in the game and with your team and with your brethren and your teammates, when you’ve got that going on. You just can’t. BLAKE: So when Rick Spielman came out in the initial press conference and told the media that Adrian Peterson would practice and play with the team, do you believe that
  61. 61. 61 was just kind of just a waiting technique for the NFL to step in or do you think that was coming from the owners or himself? BRANDON: He said that, he said that he was going to play? BLAKE: Yes, before he became put on the exempt list he came out at the press conference and said he was going to practice and play and then the following morning he stepped up and said I made a mistake he will be on the exempt list. But it was a big controversy that he came out and said that Adrian would practice and play. BRANDON: Well I think somebody said something definitely incorrectly and it got beat out and someone had to come back and say it. So yeah, there was definitely a mistake made and they tried to counter it real quick. Instead of saying, you know what you may have heard we're going to get to the bottom of this at this point its uncertain to whether he’s going to play or not um until more evidence and more details are found, were going to hold off and ah see until more things come into the light. So they should’ve just refrained from making any announcement until more information was gathered. BLAKE: They also stated that they would stand behind Adrian Peterson until he was proven guilty in court although he came forward and did not deny the charges. What do you think of that? BRANDON: Well he’s admitted guilt. You know he hasn’t pleaded not guilty. I think everyone know that he’s guilty to what had happened. I think the Vikings knew that and I think this was an opportunity for the Vikings to separate themselves from Adrian Peterson. So I don’t think he'll ever, unfortunately, um ever wear purple and gold again. I don’t think he'll ever be a Minnesota Vikings again. I think after it’s done he will play for another team.
  62. 62. 62 BLAKE: And do you believe this issue – BRANDON: And the publics’ core of exception is brought him back and said he’s okay to play again and he’ll play for a different team. BLAKE: And do you believe the issues changed perceptions of Zygi Wilf, Mike Zimmer, and Rick Spielman? BRANDON: Ah, one more time? BLAKE: Do you believe the whole issue with the press conference and how they’ve handled it has affected the perceptions of them by the fans and the public on how they see Zygi Wilf, the owner, Mike Zimmer, the coach, and Rick Spielman? BRANDON: Ah for a split second of time they have but people forget all of that, you know, of those mistakes. It’s like politics really. You know, they call it flip-flopping when you know politicians change on issues and people seem to forgive and forget really quick on that so, you know, fool me once shame on me. So if they do it again, you know, public I don’t think will be as forgiving. BLAKE: So you don’t believe the fans blame the owners or staff of the Vikings? BRANDON: No, they, to an extent they do but you know for the overall thing the only one they can blame is Adrian Peterson. BLAKE: And then USA Today has reported that the Vikings have the most NFL arrests since 2000, which is 39. What’s your reaction to this and thoughts on it? BRANDON: Um, it’s been that way for a long time. I know the culture of that state because its cold a lot of the times, are for people to, to drink. But these guys are making so much money, um they need to start putting it in their contracts ah if they get pulled over or if they do wrong doings, that they’re not only suspended but suspended from
  63. 63. 63 dollars as well. I think you’ll see a huge change in the way people conduct themselves outside of the field. Because now when you sign a contract um you’re pretty much on that. They need to tighten up the policy as well. BLAKE: In which ways how would you recommend them in tightening their policies? BRANDON: I would say, you know, it would have to be similar to if you were to receive a DWI or a DUI. In real life that’s suspension. Um or your license and all of that should be suspended almost similar to game time. And that’s from money and endorsements, everything. You’ll see a change right away. BLAKE: And that’s a definite way of taking a look at the arrests. How else would you recommend that the Vikings would fix maybe the Adrian Peterson situation and bring back their reputation? BRANDON: That’s gonna take some time. Um I think that the Vikings should be doing press releases and announcements every small little nuance that happens in the case. The Vikings should be announcing it as well, ah via web site, press, everything. They should bring this stuff to light immediately. They shouldn’t wait for anybody, um he’s an employee of theirs and they need to be the ones to bring that to light as soon as the information is let out. Good or bad. BLAKE: So do you feel the Vikings knew about the situation before it came out? BRANDON: Um that’s tough to say. I don’t think so, I don’t think he would’ve went around and told people that. It seemed like he was very hush-hush and a bit surprising when it did come out because when it first came out it was a little bit of detail. You know, when it first came out I was just like, ah you know well I spank my kids as well, but then two days later when the pictures came out, I was like oh good lord that’s, that’s not spanking, yeah.
  64. 64. 64 When it first came out it was kind of like a brush off. I remember pictures were taking national news and the woman had an Adrian Peterson jersey on the game with a stick and you know, with a switch. And she got ridiculed on TV two days later because, you know, of the images that surfaced so it was in poor taste. BLAKE: And if the Vikings were to know about this before it actually came out do you think they would have responded differently? BRANDON: Ah unfortunately I don’t think they would have. Um that he is like a prized trophy possession to that team and the last thing they want is information coming out. I think that they would have held it the same. I think that’s one of the problems is you know it’s a business and they want the business to succeed over anything else. They don’t see that the core of their employees, their players, there’s a definite struggle for, you know, the way they conduct themselves. And that has a complete bearing over the success, the future success, of the league. It happened to the NBA, the NBA was sinking about fifteen years ago, the conduct of its players was horrible and they changed their rules, um they changed their contracts, now the NBA is taking a big turn. They’re more respectable, they even dress better, they present themselves better, and it’s more of a business, um to succeed as a whole. BLAKE: And if it were to – BRANDON: The NFL is a very powerful organization, one of the most powerful in our country. BLAKE: And if it were to come out that the Vikings do in fact admit to knowing about this before it came out, is that going to change your perceptions about them?