SJA stages lunch with the NFL’s Roger Goodell

OCTOBER 4 UPDATE: Due to overwhelming demand, this event is now fully booked


The SJA is delighted to announce that our next guest speaker at our headline-making sporting lunches will be one of the most influential figures in global sport: Roger Goodell, the Commissioner for the National Football League.

Roger Goodell: the "most powerful man in world sports" is the SJA's lunch guest on Oct 24
Roger Goodell: the “most powerful man in world sports” is the SJA’s lunch guest on Oct 24

This is a unique opportunity for the British sports media to meet the NFL Commissioner ahead of the clash at Wembley between the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars, the second regular season game to be staged in Britain this autumn. Goodell will be ready to answer all your questions at a SJA lunch being held in central London on Thursday, October 24.

The SJA’s lunches are open to all working media, non-members as well as members. There is a strict limit on the number we can accommodate, and priority is always given to SJA members and those first to book.

Attendance at this two-course lunch at The Driver, an exclusive dining club in Kings Cross, costs £25 (including VAT) for SJA members (including associate members). For non-members, the price is £30 (including VAT). We anticipate high demand for this lunch, and recommend that you book your place straight away.

The event will begin at 12.30pm, and after an informal lunch, Roger Goodell will be happy to take questions from the floor on an on-the-record basis (unless he specifically asks to go off-the-record on any point, in which case we expect that request to be honoured).

Roger Goodell has been described as “the most powerful man in sports” by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He was appointed NFL Commissioner in 2006, after a career in administration in the game.

Big business: According to Forbes Magazine, under Roger Goodell, the NFL's 32 teams are worth $1.17bn
Big business: under Roger Goodell as NFL Commissioner the “worth” of the 32 teams in the league has continued to grow

During his term, Goodell has introduced the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and also had to deal with issues such as the Lockout in 2011  and a threatened referees’ strike.

He has also sought to make American football have greater global reach, including the staging of the regular season games in London.

This SJA lunch represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents from regional as well as national newspapers and broadcasters for some headline-grabbing copy.

Payment should be made by cheque (payable to “SJA”). Anyone requiring a VAT invoice needs to advise us, and they will be sent such by the Treasurer.

Rights-free images from the event will be made available on request.

All attendees are also expected to make their best efforts to ensure that they make mention of the Sports Journalists’ Association in their published or broadcast reports.

The SJA lunch will take place in a private room at The Driver dining club, 2-4 Wharfdale Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9RY, a short walk from Kings Cross mainline railway station and Kings Cross-St Pancras Tube.

Lunch will be served from around 1pm.

Places are expected to be in great demand and will be allocated on a first-come, first-reserved basis, with preference given to SJA members.

The cost is £25 (including VAT) for paid-up SJA members (full and associate members) , and £30 (including VAT) for non-members. All attendees are expected to buy their own drinks.

  • Contact Mary Fitzhenry by email to (please indicate if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “NFL lunch” in the subject field of your email.
  • Payment, with cheques payable to the SJA, may be made on the day, or can be sent to the Treasurer, Sarah Juggins, 7 Auckland Road, Cambridge, CB5 8DW.
  • Payment may be expected from anyone who books a place but does not attend.

All details are subject to change.

First posted: September 16

  • Between now and the end of 2013, anyone wishing to join the SJA may apply, with their initial fee covering their membership through until the end of 2014 – effectively 15 months’ membership for the price of 12. Click here for more details.


Tue Oct 29: SJA Masterclass with Andy Dunn. For more information, click here
Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Venue and ticket booking details to be announced soon


Tue Feb 25: SJA Masterclass with Des Kelly. For more information, click here
Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced
Tue May 20: SJA Masterclass with Janine Self. For more information, click here