To the usual lineup of beer and car commercials onSunday, add this: one about player safety.
For the first time, the, currently the target of more than a dozen lawsuits accusing it of deliberately concealing information about the effects on players of repeated hits to the head, will use one minute of its own commercial time during its signature event to address player safety, its most critical and sobering problem.
“It is your biggest stage, you’ve got a massive audience, a massive casual audience, and this topic is probably one of most important topics for casual fans, particularly mothers,” Mark Waller, the N.F.L.’s chief marketing officer, said about the decision to inject a serious subject into the league’s over-the-top party. “And so the possibility that we could actually address the issue in a constructive, engaging way with that audience makes it definitely worth the challenge. It’s a risk, without a doubt.”