The major professional sports leagues offer an incredible product. We love them. We consume them with unbridled and unapologetic enthusiasm ourselves. Monday Night Football, Christmas NBA triple headers; NHL Playoffs – these are institutions, baked into the very fabric of our lives, both digital and real. They showcase the best talent in their respective sports that the world has to offer. What’s not to like?
They are also rooted in mythology, which has its pros and cons. On the positive side, these leagues have a palpable sense of lore associated with them. Just hearing the NFL Films orchestra sets off a pavlovian response mechanism that gets our blood pumping and our stomachs craving buffalo wings. They have a unique history shared by their fans and players alike; a tangible narrative with which to entertain their consumers. Cowboys and Niners, Yankees and Red Sox, Wilt’s 100 points and Broadway Joe’s victorious prediction.
They have tradition.
But tradition also carries with it some encumbrances. They are tied to it and slow to adapt from it, even when doing so would be an obvious win for their organization. They constantly worry about change and how it will affect the relationship with their fans. Even something as seemingly mundane as putting an advertisement on a jerseyis celebrated as monumental innovation. The idea of technological shift isn’t just unfathomable to these leagues; it would represent a complete deviation from the story they have told for decades. They are tethered to their old-school operations like a ship to a dock because at the very core of their value proposition is the story. The narrative that often carries more value to the act of fanaticism than does the very quality of play on the field. They simply cannot do what we can do.
We will foster more innovative approaches to sports media than can the major existing professional leagues. Let’s take a look at how:
Part One: FCFL fans are not just the audience; they are part of the product
Our value proposition to fans, while lacking in lore and rich history, is, frankly, more pure. I’m guessing this scenario has happened to you before:
You: What a win last night. I’m pumped about this season, I think we have a shot at the division. Our press coverage was on point, we can really shut down quick receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Annoying Friend Who Roots For a Different Team: ‘We?’ Oh, I didn’t realize YOU were playing cornerback last night. Or did you forget that you aren’t actually on the team?
Everyone hates that friend, but in their defense, their team probably hasn’t made the playoffs since the Tagliabue era. They’re irritated, and they know there’s nothing they can do but sit back and watch as the coach mismanages two-minute drills, the GM botches draft picks, and the owner doesn’t care enough to make a change. They mask their envy of your team’s superior press coverage with snarls and bared fangs. And the truth is, they are right.
You aren’t part of the team; you are just caught up in the narrative, and you know it. The innocent joy of fandom erodes just a tad. But then you remember why they are so bitter and you go on cheering those defensive backs with fervent joy.
The FCFL fan, however, is quite literally part of the ‘We.’ It’s an entirely different relationship than the one you have with teams you’ve loved since childhood; less emotional, more practical, equally fun. You are picking the players, you are calling the plays: your insights and decision-making on your screen are core to the outcome on the field. And with features like the FCFL Fan Leaderboard, you can even quantify just how impactful of a fan you are to your team.
And when your annoying friend tries to discredit your FCFL fandom, you can turn around and say: ‘While I did not play cornerback myself last night, I did help scout the guy playing in the slot, and I called the play that generated the pick-six in the fourth quarter. How did your team do again?’
Oh, as a reminder, the top fans will even get a split of the $1,000,000+ championship purse with the winning team…