Seth Godin is a smart guy. You know how I know? Not only does he have great insights and produce great work in his chosen field, he offers great insights into all sorts of different things.
For those who don’t follow sports, both the NFL and the NBA have locked their players out. This means, unless they reach an agreement soon, the players will not be allowed to play next season’s scheduled games, neither the players or the owners will get to make any money, and each league will lose substantial amounts of money, goodwill, and eyeballs. So, what’s the solution?
While the lockout/strike/dispute is going on, keep playing. And put all the profit/pay in an escrow account. Week after week, the billions and billions of dollars pile up. The owners see it, the players see it, no one gets it until there’s a deal.
Seeing and counting money you don’t get to touch is a very different story than merely imagining the money you didn’t get to touch, money that’s gone forever… Change the story, change behavior.
What’s the downside? Since that money now becomes tangible, could this plan have the reverse effect, trigger loss aversion, and make a settlement even harder to reach?
Unlikely. The dirty secret of both leagues is that everybody needs this money. Without revenue, owners like Jerry Jones probably won’t even be able to pay the interest bills on his new $1.2 billion stadium. Players live paycheck to paycheck. So why not play through, put the money in escrow, and continue to negotiate?
Brilliant, Mr. Godin.