Ranking NFL team campaign contributions to federal elections

Manipulate the graph above by selecting or unselecting your favorite team.

19 NFL teams donated to federal campaigns over the last election cycle-and-a-half.

In 2016, more than $12 million in donations came from individual representatives employed by an NFL squad, which could include anyone from players, to team personnel, to the owners (it’s usually the owners).

We’re more than a year and change out from the 2018 elections, but NFL money has already started trickling in for that election cycle as well.

Keep in mind that this data, courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics, reflects anyone that listed a certain team as an employer. So if an owner wanted to donate to a candidate, but listed his/her side hustle as his/her employer, then it would not show up in this data.

All data is current as of the latest Federal Elections Commission report filed May 16th, 2017.

Important Contribution Notes:

  • The Houston Texans by far donate the most political money. In 2016, team representatives gave over $10 million in donations and have already pumped $44,300 into the 2018 coffers of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and others.


  • Someone in the Miami Dolphins organization donated 2 dollars. 200 pennies to Donald Trump in 2016. Don’t believe me? Uncheck all the other teams on the 2016 graph.


  • The Washington Redskins come with an asterisk. Team employees donated about $112,000 dollars to candidates, but they spent an addition $260,000 on lobbying in 2016 primarily in favor of keeping their offensive naming rights.


  • Most of the $283,000 donated in 2016 by members of the Dallas Cowboys went to the Super PAC “America Leads.” It was used in the last election to back New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. You’ll recall, he and Jerry Jones have quite the bromance.

  • Again, some teams aren’t listed. Take the Seattle Seahawks for example. Though they don’t have data for either of these election cycles, it doesn’t mean someone in their organization didn’t donate money in the 2016 elections. Seahawks owner Paul Allen often donates money listing Vulcan Inc., a company he founded. Last year, for example, Vulcan Inc. contributed over $100,000 to various campaigns.

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