From the BBC
Most Raiders and Jills cheerleaders make around $100 (£60). Bengals cheerleaders get $90. They receive no compensation for time spent practising or working at events. Only one club, the Seattle Seahawks, has said they pay cheerleaders an hourly wage and overtime.
In the end, says Sharon Vinick, the lawyer representing the Raiderettes, it doesn't matter that there are thousands of women lining up to do the job or that they get perks associated with the NFL.
The NFL isn't just about football. It's about pageantry and spectacle, and above all, commerce, bringing in $9bn (£5.3bn) last year. The cheerleaders, she says, should get their share.
One of the things that we often like to discuss on this blog is about monopoly rights (land, patents, spectrum) because of the value they produce, and this story pretty much fits in with it.
If you look at something like the NFL, there are all sorts of people that have to pay to be there. The guy selling hot dogs and beer at a stadium will have to pay a fortune for the right to do so. Why should he? Without someone selling hot dogs and beer, football matches wouldn't be as much fun for people. The NFL needs people to sell beer so why isn't he also getting a share of that $9bn revenue? The reason is that lots of people want the concession, will make a lot of money from being there and so ultimately the NFL collects the rent from the guy selling beer and burgers (and this is generally a much better model than companies trying to run their own concessions).
In the case of cheerleaders it's more of a symbiotic relationship, like a celebrity appearing on a chat show. Very little money changes hands (an appearance fee), but both parties get something from it. The celebrity gets to plug their film or book and in exchange, the show gets an entertaining guest that draws in viewers. So, while cheerleaders have to train and entertain the crowd, they also get the rights to be one of a tiny number of franchise holders that can turn up at an event as a legitimate Bengals cheerleader and make some money from it.
Monday, 5 May 2014
From the BBC