Believe it or not? The NFL’s nonprofit

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Credit: globe cartoon.wordpress.com

The topic of today’s post is rather far removed from the sort of subject I usually write about. But it’s so appalling that I thought it was worth reporting.

In a briefing offered by Guidestar on nonprofit compensation last year, I learned that the National Football League is a nonprofit organization.

Yep. It’s true. What I want to know is, why? How?

Over the holidays, I took a look at the NFL’s IRS Form 990. The NFL describes itself as a “trade association promoting interests of its 32 member clubs.” Who decided that this is a nonprofit activity?

First, the bottom line: in 2013, the NFL reported assets of $727.7 million and liabilities of $1.5 billion – yes, with a B. Apparently not a great year.

On the other hand, sponsorship.com reports that the NFL’s sponsorship revenue totaled $1.07 billion for the 2013 season, up from $1.01 billion in 2012.

Next, let’s look at the nonprofit NFL’s executive compensation (no female executives here, by the way):

  • Commissioner Roger Goodell: $35 million.
  • CFO Joseph Siclare: $1.9 million.
  • EVP and General Counsel Jeff Pash: $5.8 million.
  • EVP of Media Steve Bornstein: $5.1 million.
  • EVP Business Ventures Eric Grubman: $3.8 million.
  • EVP Football Operations Ray Anderson: $1.5 million.
  • EVP Human Resources Robert Gulliver: $1.7 million.

Add another $3 million or so to total executive compensation for “other compensation.” So the NFL reported that in 2013, it doled out $58.1 million in executive compensation.

Compensation to the NFL’s top five independent contractors included $15.5 million for legal services, $6.1 million for concussion research, $12.4 million for office rent and maintenance, and $4.9 million for IT/mobile consulting.

The NFL reported spending $12.5 million on travel in 2013, $6.8 million on “event production,” and $73.4 million on “club-related financing.”

For this Sunday’s Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins game, ticket prices at the NFL Ticket Exchange start at $139 and go up to $1,000.

According to CNN Money, President Obama’s salary in 2015 was $400,000. He also was provided a tax-free spending account worth $50,000.

According to 24/7 Wall St., U.S. Cabinet secretaries make a little under $200,000 per year.

Keep these numbers in mind next time you put out a couple hundred bucks for an NFL game ticket, or buy a 12-pack of Bud because Anheuser-Busch sponsors the NFL – or complain about the government…. Think about where your money goes.

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