By Jennifer Rottenberg
Recently, Sports Business Journal columnists Rick Burton and Norm O’Reilly co-authored an opinion on the changes coming to professional sports globally, and essentially threw down the gauntlet, challenging them to make changes, lest they end up frogs boiled in frying pans!
In Change is Coming: How sports can embrace, grow with it, they offer the following five suggestions to the likes of the NFL, FIFA, IOC, NCAA, and others (we paraphrase):
- Protect content, figure out how to package it in an attractive way for viewers who want it on any (and all) hardware devices.
- Teach your children, as attention spans are shorter and participation in sports is less, and the young generations of today seek experiences and engagement.
- Embrace gambling, whether it’s fantasy sports or odds-making.
- Build up the social fabric of live events, because digital is no longer special and social is not an add-on.
- Consider moving the in-person experience to smaller stadiums and segmented experiences within venues.
These five points resonated with us at the Fan-Controlled Football League, as these elements for success have been baked into our DNA since our four co-Founders conceived of the league…let’s take a look:
- We’ve partnered with Twitch to offer an interactive streaming experience for all our live games that’s available on your phone, tablet, laptop, pc, or television – however you want to consume our games, they are there. And that’s before we even get to our proprietary app that allows every fan to vote and interact with the league on a daily basis.
- We’ve conceived of our games as a “smaller”, “gamified” version of football: 7-on-7, fast-paced, one-hour, start-to-finish, comprised of two 25-minute halves with a running clock. No time wasted on special teams. Our games are designed for short attention spans. Our Game Days are designed for everyone (four games per Game Day, so enjoy as few or as many one-hour nuggets as you’d like!). And, of course, you cannot get a more engaging viewing experience than influencing the very game you are watching by making live play calls.
- We’ve always said that the FCFL is part live sports, part fantasy sports and part esports. The action of building a team, serving as the GM, is at the core of the FCFL. From Day 1, we’re making the “fantasy sports experience” a “reality sports experience.” And, of course, let’s not forget that $1,000,000 championship prize purse!!
- We talk about the FCFL as “built for the Digital Fan.” Beginning with our conceit of having all teams hosted in – playing in – the same city, making the game day experience NOT about the in-person audience but about the broadcast viewers around the world, we have been keeping our eyes on the prize of delivering the most integrated and engaging sports fan experience by leveraging all of the interactive features of Twitch, social media, and our app.
- With our focus on the broadcast audience, our “home arena” will be the epitome of a “smaller in-person experience,” offering a unique and intimate perspective for those fans in attendance, coupled with some creative interactions with both fans at home and players on the field.
Burton and O’Reilly caution that a “tipping point is lurking.” We’re wondering if the FCFL has already tipped the scales?
Power To The FANS!