"A sports franchise is an integral part of its community," Mr. Snyder says when asked how team owners should view their franchises. He adds, "Marketing strategy is critical, including access for fans and ways to communicate with fans through off-field channels like print, TV and radio. ... We continually walk a fine line between aggressive marketing and maintaining a true relationship with fans."
The focus must remain on the fan. "Marketing deals help the fans and support the team's ability to acquire better players and field better teams," Mr. Snyder says.
But the role of sports as entertainment can't be denied. "Entertainment value in the NFL is the highest of all sports," the former adman says. "There are so few games that each and every one is special."