What the NFL must do now: Ex-Anheuser-Busch exec

The National Football League has to come out and address the recent scandals surrounding its players before the week is out if it doesn't want to lose sponsors, the former head of sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch told CNBC Wednesday.

"They need to at least say whatever it was—whether it was bad communication, whether it was a mistake, whether it was a bad process—they to need sort of be out in front," Tony Ponturo said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"I know [NFL Commissioner] Roger [Goodell]. He's a really honest, straightforward guy, and he really just needs to look in the camera and put it all on the table."

Budweiser beer sits on display under a sign inside the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Budweiser beer sits on display under a sign inside the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.

So far, no sponsors have pulled out of deals with the NFL but criticism is growing over the league's handling of the two incidents.

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Last week, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended by the team after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee. Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson was indicted Friday on charges of child abuse.

On Tuesday, top sponsor Anheuser-Busch released a statement that said, "We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code."

McDonald's, Visa, and Pepsi are among those who also have issued statements on the incidents and the league's response thus far.

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"We want all corporations to have their own conscience but it actually grows when your customers and your retailers and your distribution system and your own employees say 'what are we going to do about this as a company,'" Ponturo said.

The controversy will likely result in better procedures within the NFL for dealing with similar issues in the future, he added.

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"I think they were taken a little off-balance. A lot hit them all at once. They didn't have discipline regulations in to really address it," Ponturo said. "This is going to get up a system that says let's get out in front, what are our policies, how do we address this things."

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox