Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

What can the NWSL learn from previous leagues?

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The American Basketball League and the United States Football league had a few similarities as to why their leagues folded after 3 seasons. Firstly, both leagues had to compete against other major pro leagues in the same sport. According to the Remember the USFL website, the USFL (United States Football League) had to compete with the National Football League (NFL).  The two leagues competed for TV time, coaches, players, and fans. They were both promoting football, but the two teams were competing for the money. The USFL filed two lawsuits against the NFL in order to claim money they felt had belonged to them which had won the lawsuits.

The American Basketball League (ABL) had to compete against the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the WNBA.  Just like the USFL and the NFL, these basketball leagues had to fight over TV time, coaches, players, and fans.  The American basketball league did however attracted better talent than the WNBA, thanks to better salaries and benefits.  But the league was unable to compete for coveted sponsorships and television contracts.

The USFL however had more of a problem when it came to their post season play. There was not much of an east and west or a north and south division, so every time it came to the championship it would be two teams from the same coast. Fans did not like this so much, so they did not want to see the same teams in the championship and would not attend these games. Another problem the USFL experienced was salary cap issues. The New Jersey generals, just like the rest of the league, wanted to make a name for themselves and ignored their salary cap in order to sign big time players. Even though they get the big time players, they had big gaps in the rest of their team and did not have such a good season which had cost them their fan base.

The ABL and USFL may have not lasted past 3 seasons, but that is no reason to say that other pro sport leagues can’t make it. The national women’s soccer league could learn a few things from the American basketball league and the United States football league. First of all, they should learn from the ABL, to compete with other same sport professional seasons. The ABL competed did not compete with one, but with two same sport leagues which ultimately led to fight for over television rights and fans.  The National Women’s Soccer League does not want an owner to be the commissioner because they don’t want there to be any issues revolving around conflict of interests.

Also, the soccer league should learn from the USFL and should split their league into two divisions, so come post season play; there will be two teams from different divisions playing against each other in the championship. Different divisions call for more fans to spectate. The women’s soccer league should also limit their franchise changes. The USFL had too many franchise changes and the fans did not like it, which had brought down the teams’ fan attendance.  The soccer league should also have their season during an off season for other pro leagues, so that they do not have to compete as much for TV time and fan attendance like the ABL had to.

National Women’s Soccer League: Learning from the Past

Monday, April 21st, 2014


The ABL (American Basketball League) most recently, refers to the women’s basketball league founded in 1996 that lasted only three seasons. The league was made up of 10 teams and sprouted during a bright spot in women’s basketball after their 1996 gold medal.  According to the NY Times, the league even paid great salaries for their players, “$50,000 to $150,000 and offered players year-round health benefits and a retirement plan.”  The growth of the WNBA, a brand of basketball with backing from the NBA, and the lack of a major sponsorship eventually led to the demise of the ABL.


The USFL (United States Football League) like the ABL, only lasted three seasons. Naturally the USFL faced issues coexisting with the powerhouse NFL, winning an initial lawsuit against the league before their birth in 1982. The USFL even had contracts with ESPN and ABC to broadcast their games during the NFL offseason. Many teams during the 1983 season exceeded their salary caps by signing big names including Hershel Walker, and Steve Young. The league even made a run for Dan Marino at one point. The league failed to meet these larger financial responsibilities by increasing their marketing revenue.  In their 3rd season and with an attempt to take down Goliath, the USFL announced their season would be the same as the regular NFL season. This turned out to be a detrimental decision and eventually led to the downfall of the USFL.


What can we learn from studying these two sports organizations? First we can learn that it can be difficult to attack a larger league head on. The USFL competed with the NFL and did a fairly good job when their season occurred during the NFL’s offseason. When they tried to take the reins of the market and play their season during NFL season they crumbled. The NFL had already had control of the professional marketplace, a market they had been familiar with since 1920. Once the USFL made the decision to directly compete or dethrone the NFL they were doomed. The ABL didn’t directly take on a powerhouse league, one happened to pop up around the same time as theirs. The ABL was squashed under the foot of the WNBA largely because of their support from the ever popular NBA. Intelligently, the NBA used much of its knowledge about running a successful league and shared it with their new women’s league. The WNBA and the ABL both saw a huge opening in the marketplace for professional women’s basketball in the USA. It was only a matter of time until one would fail due to oversaturation.



The NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) is another league founded in 2012. The situation with the NWSL seems to be a little different than the history of the other two leagues we have examined so far. The beginning of this league is somewhat more of a merger vs. a competition for a growing or currently existing marketplace as we saw with the ABL or USFL. After the downfall of WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer), officials from that league and other high status women’s soccer leagues collectively gathered to discuss past and present issues in hopes of turning the NWSL into a super league.



NFL $alaries: Are they too much?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

According to an article by William L. Anderson, high salaries of professional football players may be a sign of economic prosperity and rebound, not foolish spending on “poor role models.” The number of Americans attending professional athletic events was increasing as of the year 2000, but the athletes were often criticized for their high pay and off-field behavior. His colleagues were concerned that “we should not be paying great sums of money to people who are not proper role models for our children.” As teachers who earn a much lower salary, this was a valid concern. Anderson’s colleagues suggested that Americans do not value education.


However, Anderson mentioned that salary increase may mean that more citizens have the financial ability to attend games, purchase team merchandise, and enjoy the sport in other ways. One of his examples used a teacher as the subject: If the teacher is paying less for rent, gasoline, food costs, etc., he or she will have more to spend on leisure activities- i.e., attending an NFL game. He suggests that this is a sign of economic prosperity.


Therefore, one can hypothesize that player salaries may have a positive impact on the economy AND show a reflection of the improving economic conditions. This relates to the chapter in many ways if the athlete is looked upon as a “product.” Economic interactions occur when fans buy appropriately priced tickets. Market equilibrium exists stadiums sell (mostly) all of the tickets. The price of tickets can be categorized as a market shortage if the tickets sell out (priced too low) and many fans are left unhappy. Scarcity determines football salaries: If there were a million quarterbacks that were all amazing, there would be an overabundance of badass quarterbacks and no one would be worth very much. However, there are very few that are outstanding. Thus, they are paid more and are worth more.

Socail Media, NFL’s New Marketing Technique

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

We all know that the NFL is a huge organization which makes billions of dollars a year. While the NFL can be spending big money on traditional communications, they chose to go the other route using non-traditional ie. facebook, twitter, and instagram. The reason they are going in this direction is not because they don’t want to spend the money, but instead because it reaches a wider audience. The NFL decided to hype the release of the 2013-2014 football schedule  earlier than usual and started creating hype by posting it to social media websites for people to see.

The NFL is trying to get people excited about the season before the schedule comes out so that people will stay tuned. Once people are tuned in and the schedule is released, people will be so excited that they will start to buy tickets right away. An example would be by letting a video out similar to this, . It gets fans who miss football going and ready for their team which may increase sales in every aspect. The NFL knows that many people are now on social media and the circulation of ads, videos, or whatever they are trying to get across will reach a wider audience. This article show an example of  how teams and organizations are turning to social media to get the word out, .

Some form of non traditional communication that teams or the NFL may do is by having emails sent out to an older group of people. Social media is used by many but if there were a group who would not receive the message, it would be older people. However, older people have emails and check them quite frequently. They are also a group with not as much to do (if they are retired) and enjoy events such as football games.

The NFL is increasing their usage of social media for marketing purposes. It seems that the hype got to a large audience and I do Believe they will continue to communicate through social media because of the effectiveness both financially and physically.