NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has rebuked Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the 10-year, $40 million deal with Pepsi-Cola that Jones announced last week.
The arrangement circumvented the spirit of a league contract with Coca-Cola for exclusive marketing and promotional rights."The success of the league has really been to operate as a partnership," Tagliabue told The Dallas Morning News.
"That is what distinguishes us from baseball and some of the other leagues. Once people start doing things that are self-serving and short-sighted, you have some serious problems," Tagliabue said.
"Concerning Pepsi, obviously a club can have pouring rights in a stadium for cola or beer. If that's what the Pepsi deal is, it's not a problem. But if it becomes knock-off or ambush marketing of a league sponsor, that's a different kettle of fish."
Tagliabue was disturbed more by Jones' threat to withdraw the Cowboys from affiliation with NFL Properties.
"Ultimately, all logos, the helmet and star associated with the Cowboys, will be handled by the Dallas Cowboys and not the marketing arm of the NFL," Jones promised last week.
Abroad in Japan for a preseason game last week, the commissioner hasn't spoken with Jones. But Tagliabue said he had heard from other owners, who are unhappy with Jones' stance.