Even the professors weigh in on Favre

A University of Minnesota sports management professor gives his thoughts on the effects of a Brett Favre signing. Meanwhile, Favre's last team will be wearing a corporate patch on their practice jersey this year, which begs the question of whether the Vikings will be sporting something similar in training camp. The answer is inside.

University of Minnesota sports management professor Stephen Ross let his thoughts be known on the effects of a Brett Favre signing via YouTube, the popular Internet video site.

Ross opined on Favre's impact on the fans, the local economy and even the stadium effort. First, the fans.

"The diehard fans, I don't think it will affect them so much. They are Vikings fans. They're not Tarvaris Jackson fans, they're not Favre fans. They're fans of the purple and gold," Ross said. "It wouldn't matter if Favre was there, Dan Marino, or someone else. They would still be loyal to the team."

"There will probably be a small, select few that are so anti-Favre and anti-Packer that they may release their season tickets and give those season tickets up, but those will be few and far between."

Ross said the NFL and the media will be the big winners because of the marketing opportunities (read: jersey and ticket sales) and increased coverage. Favre to the Vikings could also bring the Vikings-Packers rivalry "to the national forefront, at least in terms of the NFL rivalries, reinvigorate the rivalry between Wisconsin and Minnesota," Ross said.

But could a Favre signing help the Vikings' stadium issue? Ross said if Favre makes a difference and the Vikings go far in the playoffs, it would show the city how important it is to have the team in town from a psychological standpoint. However, there might also be a negative effect, he said. The team paying Favre "millions and millions of dollars" might also show that the franchise already has the money needed to spend on players despite the increased revenue a new stadium would bring.

No question Favre moving from the Packers to the Vikings, with a year spent in between in New York, would be one of the most publicized cases of a hall of fame-type athlete moving from one team to an intense rival. But Ross said it isn't all that uncommon.

"In professional sports it happens quite a bit. (Chris) Chelios in hockey (traded from the Chicago to Detroit). Favre himself the other night referenced Vince Lombardi, who is an iconic Green Bay Packer. His name is on the NFL Championship trophy and he left. On a global stage, people look at David Beckham (soccer). It wasn't just that he left the team he was playing for to play in L.A., it was that he left soccer in Europe to play in the U.S., and that's a major defection worldwide."

However, Ross admitted that Favre "is probably the biggest, most celebrated athlete in the NFL who has gone through this in the last 25 years certainly."

JERSEY JOCKEYING

Favre's old team, the New York Jets, will place a small corporate logo on their practice jerseys this summer and fall, according to the Associated Press. In this down economy, the NFL approved the use of small advertising on practice jerseys this year as a way for teams to generate additional revenue.

The patches can be no larger than 3½ by 4½ inches, and the Jets have settled on Atlantic Health as the sponsor.

Houston and Green Bay are also looking into the possibilities, according to the Associated Press report.

Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, told Viking Update the team is having a variety of conversations about sponsorship opportunities via the practice patch, "but nothing imminent at this time."


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