Posts Tagged ‘Professional sport leagues’

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.