NFL sponsors have been wagging their fingers at the league’s handling of its domestic violence problems. Anheuser-Busch has called itself “increasingly concerned” about the issue. Now PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has issued a statement saying she is “deeply disturbed” by the “repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues.” Pepsi owns Gatorade and Frito-Lay, two of the largest NFL sponsors. The chip division–Frito-Lay–is so embedded with the league that it is widely thought an NFL game cannot be watched without Doritos on hand. Gatorade is poured over the heads of winning coaches.
Basically, Doritos and Gatorade have no comparable place to sell their chips and hydration. The NFL is the only game in town–or at least the largest by far. And despite PepsiCo’s deep disturbance and Anheuser-Busch’s increasing concern, both continue to sponsor the NFL at full tilt. There have been no direct financial repercussions for the NFL with sponsors as a result of the recent troubles. Pepsi has been partnering with the NFL for 30 years. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is, according to Ms. Nooyi, a “man of integrity.”