CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The National Football League has sold more than $4.5 million worth of pink merchandise for its Crucial Catch program since it kicked off in 2009.

Just how much of that is actually going to breast cancer research? Likely not as much as many fans believe.

NBC Charlotte spoke with ESPN Financial reporter Darren Rovell Wednesday about his investigation into the Crucial Catch program.

He explained for the NFL gets 25% of the wholesale price - which is about half of retail- and gives 90% of that to the American Cancer Society.

So,if a fan paid $100 for a Crucial Catch jersey, the American Cancer Society would receive just $11.25 from the NFL.

The ACS typically designates around 70% of donations for cancer research. Meaning,that $100 jersey would likely equal an $8 donation for cancer research.

Rovell said the remaining 10% goes back into the NFL Crucial Catch program.

Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera weighed in on the report Wednesday.

It's a very important cause and I think the big thing, more than anything else, is that something is being done, said Rivera.

Breast cancer survivor and ACS volunteer Laura Renegar agreed with Rivera.

Early detection save my life, explained Renegar, I dont think you can put a number on that. If that pink football caused one woman to get a mammogram, you can't put a price on that.

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