Wearing a football jacket from the Alliance brand in American football and a slightly dazed expression, Charlie Ebersol bounced back in the press room after the match and said he was delighted that the new league was all the rage on Twitter and that its application zooms in on Google's virtual shelves and Apple's stores.
"The intensity was exceptional," said co-founder Bill Polian, one of the world's most garlanded executives. NFL l & # 39; history. "We were hoping it would look like real professional football and that's exactly what it looked like."
Promising a mix of serious sport and know-how in Silicon Valley, AAF debuted Saturday with a 15-6 win for San Antonio's commanders on the San Diego fleet and a 40-game loss. -6 Atlanta Legends by the Orlando Apollos. Two more games followed Sunday after the Super Bowl, while the Birmingham Iron hosted the Memphis Express and the Salt Lake Stallions went to Arizona Hotshots.
Ebersol, a 36-year-old charismatic television producer based in Los Angeles and former companion of Britney Spears, believes that Americans are football junkies and knows that even a bad Super Bowl (Hello, Atlanta!) attracts more than one hundred million viewers, some of whom will suffer withdrawal symptoms at the end of the game. Ebersol bets that he has the cure. In fact, he is placing a number of bets – and you may be doing it someday as the United States softens their gambling laws and we get closer to a world in which pubs invite urge viewers to bet the funds from their children's universities on the return capacity of the Carolina Panthers kickers.
The AAF believes there are enough opportunities and abilities to create watchdog teams; that the country is still fascinated by football despite the collapse of negative headlines in recent years; that broadcasters are also pushing for action after the NFL season; that six cities without NFL franchises can provide decent fans; and that the forthcoming expansion of legal sports betting creates an opening for a techno-intelligent enterprise that will generate the type of real-time application data that can be used for fantasy games and games of chance. English match.
With this in mind, it is not surprising that AAF investors include MGM Resorts International and Founders Fund, the venture capital firm of Vegas, venture capital firm Peter Thiel in San Francisco, as well as as Chernin Group, owner of the Barstool Sports-centric website.
The league is stylish as an accessory to the NFL rather than the opponent and the NFL network will broadcast 19 AAF games. There is also a broadcasting contract with CBS and a first hearing on Saturday of nearly three million was promising. Reassuring for Ebersol given his desire to hang on to the NFL aisles, release notes and the entertainment factor rebounded during the NFL season that just ended, despite a Super Bowl where the only visible artistic talent the very inked chest of the half-time artist.
A successful AAF would be a potential source of recruits and comfort to the NFL as it faces (or ignores) various crises, from concussions to game quality to Shabby treatment of Colin Kaepernick at shot of the chief tweeter. The President would no doubt have approved the pre-game show at Alamodome, characterized by a strong military presence and by the deployment during the national anthem of an American flag so great that It filled all the terrain, except for the end areas.
The season tickets in San Antonio cost between $ 75 and $ 1,000 and the participation announced Saturday was $ 27,857. Many fans dressed in the colors of the team that has just been born, the San Diego players have been conspired, even during warm-ups, and catch and rattle attracted warm roars.
It was an assured and credible curtain-raiser, since the AAF immediately complied with the standards of the biggest American leagues: slick branding, professional presentation, noisy demands from the public, screens Giant video showing fans dancing badly and a contest deliberately started after the announced time.
The regular season ends on April 14 with four play-offs and one final in Las Vegas. Many AAF players were on the books of the NFL teams; Nick Rose, the San Antonio kicker, was released last month by the Los Angeles Chargers, while cornerback De'Vante Bausby made six appearances with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. Players each win a total $ 250,000 over three years. With eight teams of 52 men, this represents only a salary commitment of $ 104 million. A substantial expense – but weak compared to the NFL, where the salary cap per team in 2018 was $ 177.2 million.
The biggest danger for AAF is probably not the NFL, but much past evidence and a slew of other start-ups. The American sports landscape is littered with ruins of failed football leagues. The most notorious is perhaps the XFL, an original idea of wrestling magnate Vince McMahon. It declined in 2001 after a single season during which it seemed that attention to detail was worn to the eyes of the cheerleaders than the attractiveness of the product on the ground.
McMahon, however, plans to restart the XFL in 2020 with Oliver Luck, father of quarterback Andrew Luck, of the Indianapolis Colts, as commissioner and teams in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, St Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington. Mainly larger markets than the AAF, but a more direct test of whether NFL fans want spring football.
Meanwhile, Second year of Major League Rugby is underway, as another growing hope – the Freedom Football League, which, unlike the NFL, is a player-centric and fan-driven social justice platform – plans to launch next year.
Even if there are enough large cities to absorb these new competitions, the question of whether television executives and advertisers will generate enough interest for their survival. Ebersol, who made a documentary on the XFL, is not naive. "Nothing that happens the first night tells what the story finally shows you," he said. "I'd like us to be a growth story … I think that's why we laid the foundation."