SI – The Alliance of American Football will suspend football operations on Tuesday, reports ProFootballTalk. The league is just eight weeks into its inaugural season.
SI’s Albert Breer reported AAF team officials have a conference call with the league office at 1 p.m. ET. Breer reported there’s a perception inside the league that AAF majority owner Tom Dundon bought a bought a stake in the league for the gambling app being developed with one source saying, “Dundon got the technology he wanted and he’s now minus one rather large headache.” SI’s Conor Orr reported league heads were stunned and still working on a solution.
According to ProFootballTalk, the league is not folding yet but it is heading that way.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now as I’ve already written a few blogs over the past month about the AAF nearly going out of business and it’s barely Month 3 of the league’s lifespan. Welp, that’ll do it for the AAF apparently, who is heading the way of the dinosaur.
— Giorgio (@300sGiorgio) April 2, 2019
I won’t rehash the same things I said in my last blog on this, but here’s what I had to say on a league not having a plan to make it through even one season:
“Who is running these leagues? Obviously we’ve seen football leagues come and go over the past 20 years as the NFL has maintained its stranglehold on consumers’ attention without even lifting a finger. Most of these leagues fail because its just morons running the business side of things it would seem.
In marketing they say the average person needs to see an ad or a brand message seven times before it sticks. Now apply that to the AAF. How many AAF games do you think the average sports fan has watched? One? Maybe two? The AAF *had* to be prepared for slow adoption, otherwise it was a stupid business venture.”
But then there’s that tidbit from Bert Breer’s report that Tom Dundon, the Carolina Hurricanes owner that invested $250M to save the league last month, has basically sold the league not for its football but for it’s technological IP.
I should mention the value of the data here too (meant to include that). https://t.co/c4zF9Rtt86
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 2, 2019
Perception inside the AAF is that Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon bought a majority stake in the league simply for the gambling app being developed.
Source: “Dundon got the technology he wanted and he’s now minus one rather large headache.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 2, 2019
If thats true that is wild and I can imagine the other owners are bullshit. Those other owners probably feel swindled for paying to build up this football league only to have an investor come in and sell the whole thing for parts. But hey thats what happens when you sell majority ownership to a billionaire; you give up control. It’s fascinating just because I’ve never heard of anything like it. For all of its failings, the AAF was at least trying out innovative things, like the makings of a gambling app apparently.
Then on the other side of the Football Leagues Competing With the NFL coin is Vince McMahon who smells blood in the water now.
“Vince McMahon, who plans to give the XFL another shot next year, has sold $272 million worth of WWE stock, and company filings say that money will primarily go toward the XFL..McMahon has said he’s ready to spend $500 million over the first three years of the XFL to get the league off the ground, suggesting that even if the league struggles to gain traction at first, he’ll stick with it rather than pulling the plug after one season”
Vince seems to be pretty confident, cocky some would say, that he has fixed the issues that plagued the XFL the first time around. Despite the fact that a very similar concept just failed spectacularly, Vince has doubled down and is apparently ready to pour $500 million into the XFL.
Who knows if the XFL will be any more successful than the AAF, but I’ll tell you one thing, Vince will not fail because of a lack of marketing and promotion. Thats his bread and butter so don’t be surprised to see mass media promotions and gigantic billboards featuring Johnny Football, maybe Colin Kaepernick and whatever other fringe NFL players with a big name that they can find. Either way, this whole 2-3 year drama of new football leagues popping up and dying off will be a fascinating case study of monopolies in American business as the NFL crushes these competitors without even lifting a finger.
Speaking of Manziel, he’s the voice of reason and restraint here today, which was refreshing to see. My man is once again a free agent and as I’ve said before, it’s probably XFL or bust for his football career at this point.
If you’re an AAF player and the league does dissolve. The last check you got will be the last one that you get. No lawsuit or anything else will get you your bread. Save your money and keep your head up. It’s the only choice at this point unless something drastic happens.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) April 2, 2019