How Much Peterson’s Case Is Costing Him, Vikings

Endorsements and sponsorships are just a fraction of what the team and its suspended running back will earn from TV revenues and salary, respectively.

When Minnesota Vikings owners told reporters Wednesday that their team made a mistake in briefly reinstating Adrian Peterson earlier this week, the embattled All-Pro wasn’t the only formerly constant presence absent at the scene.
Gone from the banner draped behind Vikings players and personnel was Radisson Hotels’ logo, usually displayed prominently alongside the team’s insignia at each news conference. The hotel chain—owned by Minnetonka-based Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group—became the first sponsor to distance itself from a National Football League team early in this controversy-plagued season. It did so after the Vikings on Monday indicated Peterson would continue practicing and playing this week.
A Radisson spokesman declined to comment on the terms of its deal with the Vikings, but estimates pegged the deal as north of half a million dollars: ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted Wednesday that hotel sponsorships of NFL teams usually range from $250,000 to $500,000. Rovell said Radisson’s price might be higher because of the banner.

Also on Wednesday, as other sources of cash important to the Vikings – in particular, U.S. Bank and its anticipated payment for naming rights on the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis – the team reversed course and decided Peterson would instead be placed on a voluntary suspension. Vikings co-owner Zygi Wilf denied that pressure from local sponsors influenced the change.
Regardless of whether he plays again this season, Peterson will remain well compensated. Despite losing the sponsorships of Nike, Castrol Oil and Mylan, and also having his likeness scrubbed from the website of General Mills-owned Wheaties Peterson will still receive his full $11.75 million 2014 salary. That dwarfs his sponsorships, which Forbes tallied at about $1 million. In comparision, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, will receive $12 million in endorsements this year.
A Texas grand jury indicted Peterson last week, accusing him of beating his 4-year-old son.
What is left to be determined is whether the Vikings, and the NFL, will do enough to satisfy its biggest advertisers. Anheuser-Busch, which spends $200 million each year in its deal with the NFL, made the most noise Tuesday when it released a statement expressing disappointment with the league’s handling of recent domestic abuse cases. Other big sponsors—McDonalds, Campbell’s Soup, Visa, Cover Girl—issued statements expressing concern as well. The NFL and its 32 teams net more than $1 billion annually in sponsorships, according to Chicago-based sponsorship research firm IEG.