Have you heard of the AAF (Alliance of American Football) yet? The AAF is a brand new spring developmental football league with 8 teams across the country, including San Antonio.
Through five weeks, the league has really impressed me. The on-field product is solid and quite entertaining. As a Texas Aggie, I enjoy seeing old A&M players suit up for a second chance at football fame.
As a marketer and “business of sports” guy, I’ve been paying closing attention to the league’s business decisions and analyzing if the league has what it takes to survive long-term.
Here are 5 business/marketing decisions of the AAF I’ve really liked. In next month’s blog, I’ll assess 5 decisions I haven’t liked. Enjoy.
1) Choosing to have a franchise in San Antonio
Of course I’m biased, but selecting San Antonio as one of the league’s 8 inaugural franchise cities was a genius idea. With a lack of competing pro sports franchises, 1.51 million residents, and the beautiful Alamodome as a home, the AAF could not have selected a better city.
The proof is in the pudding – San Antonio leads the league in average attendance (28,516) by a significant margin.
2) Framing itself as an NFL partner
From the beginning, the AAF has clearly communicated itself as a partner to the NFL as opposed to a competing option. I can’t blame them.
The NFL is just leaps and bounds ahead in terms of infrastructure, money, fanbase, and prestige – it would be a fool’s errand to say otherwise. By clearly communicating this fact, fan expectations are lowered and folks can appreciate the league for what it is – a fun developmental football league during the spring.
3) Their logo design
Their logo just works. It’s fun, patriotic, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It screams bone-crunching, hard-hitting gridiron fun.
4) Hiring top notch coaching talent
By landing big name coaching talent like Steve Spurrier (Florida, South Carolina), Mike Martz (St Louis Rams), Mike Singletary (San Francisco 49ers), and Rick Neuheisel (UCLA), the AAF immediately gained legitimacy in the minds of the media and fans as a league to be taken seriously.
5) Reducing TV Commercial Breaks
Football commercial breaks are flat out brutal. In today’s “Netflix era,” having to sit through an NFL game’s onslaught of commercial breaks is a pain. The AAF has made it a point to dramatically reduce commercial interruptions.
The result? Games are nearly 30 minutes shorter than NFL games. I like that a lot.
I hope you enjoyed my brief breakdown of 5 AAF decisions I’ve liked. Stay tuned for next month’s blog – 5 decisions by the AAF I haven’t liked.
Photo Credit: The Alliance of American Football
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