It’s hard to imagine American life without pro football. It’s even hard to imagine American life without countless commercials — including some pretty odd ones — populated by National Football League players. (On a Sunday afternoon in the fall, it often seems like half the commercials on TV have Peyton Manning in them.) Even Michael Vick, whose main claim to fame is that he did time in prison for arranging dog fights, returned last season to the ranks of commercial endorsers, albeit on a modest scale.
But as a labor dispute between NFL players and NFL owners puts the 2011 season in jeopardy, marketers will be wondering what consumers think of the principals in this struggle. Some recent polling gives an early indication.[...]