By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com
January 12, 2016: The NFL is dealing with serious issues involving concussions, player health, PEDs, domestic violence and child abuse.
The NFL in 2015 also put together an historic effort for an historic game: Super Bowl 50.
The NFL launched a year-long celebration for Super Bowl 50 involving current and past players, coaches and teams, along with multi-platform marketing support from the league and its partners.
The plans were first visible during the NFL Draft, April 30-May 2 in Chicago. During the Draft, prospects and former players entered Auditorium Theatre on a gold carpet and players wore a New Era cap emblazoned with a gold shield along with their new team logo when they are drafted. Support also included a Super Bowl Museum and "gold-themed promotions" in Chicago.
The pre-season Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 9 featured the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, a rematch of Super Bowl IX, followed during the regular season with 19 rematches of previous Super Bowls.
Throughout the 2015 season, a golden Super Bowl 50 logo was on the field at every game, and the 50-yard line numerals and NFL shield logo at every stadium were gold.
Beginning in Week 7 of the season, sideline apparel from Nike and New Era featured team logos on select sideline pieces and all caps outlined in gold.
Under an "On The Fifty" platform, the league linked the previous 49 Super Bowls with Super Bowl 50 by "celebrating the teams, players, coaches, fans and communities that have been a part of those games."
Merchandise representing previous Super Bowls hit stores in October.
Among the activations was a Super Bowl High School Honor Roll. High schools from which players and/or coaches have graduated and later appeared in a Super Bowl received a commemorative golden football produced by Wilson, presenedt where possible by the players or coaches themselves.
Super Bowl Homecomings saw previous Super Bowl teams honored through various activations by each respective city.
The 43 previous Super Bowl MVPs were celebrated all season, which will culminate at Super Bowl 50 when they will be recognized on-field. "MVPs will be an integral part of the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll and the Super Bowl Homecoming programs," according to the league.
At the Pro Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 31, 2016 in Hawaii, uniforms worn by Pro Bowl players will incorporate gold and other activations will promote Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016 in Levi’s Stadium, home venue for the San Francisco 49ers.
A gold 50 appeared alongside the Vince Lombardi Trophy, designed by Tiffany, all year. It will be presented to the Super Bowl champions at the MVP and head coach press conference the morning following the game.