Friday, February 05, 2010
In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal ran a wonderful article today (with public access) about the tremendous effort that goes in to a successful NFL franchise.
According to an operational study of National Football League teams prepared for The Wall Street Journal by Boston Consulting Group, the typical NFL season requires 514,000 hours of labor per team. That's about eight times the effort it took to conceptualize, build and market Apple's iPod, according to BCG, and enough time to build 25 America's Cup yachts. If both Super Bowl teams dedicated themselves to construction rather than football, their members could have built the Empire State Building in seven seasons.
If you divide a team's total preparation time by the number of yards its offense gains on the field in a season, you'll find that an NFL team moves at the rate of about 32 hours per foot.
This bit was quite sharp, and I did not know it.
The closest sport to the NFL in terms of total labor may be Formula 1, the international auto-racing circuit. Until recently, F1 teams could spend freely and improvise almost limitlessly—employing giant teams of engineers all year long. Under new rules, however, F1 has limited the number of people per team that are allowed in the pit area to 45....
While NFL teams splurge on the resources that go into planning a game, they have remained remarkably efficient. John Budd, a partner at BCG and the author of the study, says NFL teams may, in fact, have room to grow. The league's least profitable team generates more revenue per employee than Apple, Google and Goldman Sachs, according Mr. Budd.
More profits per employee than Goldman, Sachs?
Read the whole thing, and impress the chicks at the Super Bowl party with your command of NFL arcana.