Commissioner Roger Goodell opened the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, FL today with a presentation to team owners, general managers, coaches and staff.
The hour-long session, which included remarks from executives in numerous departments, briefly looked back at the successful 2011 season, capped off by the most-watched Super Bowl in history.
The focus of the session, however, was on the future, continuing to improve, and taking on new challenges. “We will face our challenges with the same approach that led to our success last season. We will embrace them, we will prepare and we will be unified. We can never take our success for granted,” said Goodell. “Like every one of your teams, we start over. It’s a new season. Everyone is 0-0. And everyone is coming after us. We are going to have our ups and downs. That’s reality. It is not just what we do but how we do it. What we do echoes far beyond the NFL.”
Goodell outlined the league’s three broad areas of focus:
“No one is above the game. We are the only sport that continually re-invents and fixes itself. It is because we believe in better.”
“We must earn their trust every day. Fans commit extraordinary amounts of time and resources to the NFL. We owe the fans value and integrity. If we don’t deliver, people will go elsewhere. Let’s go to work and make our fans proud.”
3. The Shield
“Everyone and everything we do has an impact. What do we want it to represent? It’s about quality, excellence, tradition, innovation and community. Our integrity for that shield will not be compromised.”
In addition, the presentation included a look at four key challenges:
1. Player Health and Safety
“We are an acknowledged leader in sports and beyond. But we will continue to make progress and communicate about our health and safety initiatives. For the first time, we used a minute of our most valuable time – our Super Bowl telecast – to send a message about player health and safety and the evolution of the game. How can continue to make the game safer and more exciting? We can do both. Our obligation is to continue to lead. We will continue to improve equipment, change rules and invest in pioneering research. We have more to do.”
“Nothing unites communities like the NFL. Teams are part of the social fabric of communities large and small. But our leadership position requires us to do more and we will.”
“We live in an ever-changing media world. The way we reach the largest number of fans is through television. With our long-term broadcast agreements in place, we are now working on the next generation of fans and how we communicate and interact with them through media on new devices.”
4. Fan Experience
“What is our game plan in the area of fan engagement? We are going to listen, innovate and use technology. Innovation means making it better. We are launching a remake of our apparel business with Nike and other great partners. It also is vital that we use technology to its fullest extent in our game, on our telecast and in our stadiums.”
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