With competition continuing to push the envelope of sports as we know it, the American Flag Football League is bringing the top talent in their respected profession and the best amateurs from around the world to compete for $1 million dollars.
After the pilot game in 2017, the AFFL struck a deal with the NFL Network to broadcast 11 live games.
Many of us have already tuned in, knowing it is the chance to see more football year-round and while Jeffrey Lewis, Founder and CEO of the AFFL, knows football fans would be enough, the future could be even brighter for this league.
“With 175 million people watching some part of the Super Bowl, I’m happy to have the average football fan as my audience, if I take it farther than that, that’s okay and I’d be fine with that,” said Lewis.
Joining much of the sports world when it comes to marketing, the AFFL sees an avenue for great marketability of its athletes.
“I do think there is a lot of appeal to different kinds of fans. Obviously, a tremendous part of the appeal of the sports where players are not wearing helmets is the visibility of those players. There are a lot of people that like soccer and basketball because they are fans of Ronaldo and LeBron, and have made a connection to those players. Our fans will have the opportunity to connect with players on a deeper level,” said Lewis.
Understanding today’s trends and relating to the fans, the technology and the speed of the game in this league is already playing an integral part in its success.
“We preach that in sports, use technology when you can to get stuff right and make it go faster. We have tried to, wherever we can in our games, to do just that and fans will see that this summer,” said Lewis.
Pace of play continues to be at the forefront of conversation along with social media and how fans can continue to feel closer to the game than ever. The AFFL social is viewed as one of the vital pieces of the brand.
“One of the things that you saw in the launch game was that the players were on their phones in the middle of the game. There was this great moment where one of the players scored a touchdown and he was Facetiming with his wife. Those are exactly the kind of intimate and immediate moments that the AFFL will bring to life. We are trying to make sure there are as few barriers as possible and pure visibility of the players is a big plus,” said Lewis.
As the target audience continues to push social trends, many people say that millennials have a short attention span and will not sit down and watch these full games, but that may not be the case based on the AFFL’s research numbers.
“Everyone accuses this generation of having a short attention span, but that’s not what we see. Over the past month, the average time that people watched our launch game was 50 minutes and over the past 90 days, two-thirds of the viewers are 18-34 [years old]. I think we are going to be very appealing to younger people. Most sports try to appeal to the youngest generation because they ultimately support and carry the passion for the sport whether it be with a certain team, league or player,” said Lewis.
Within the AFFL circle, us fans will have the opportunity to learn more about the individuals on these top amateur teams that may get their shot to go up against pros like Michael Vick.
“It will be our job between now and late-June to introduce people to the teams competing in the U.S. Open of Football. Backstory is such an important part of your ability to connect with fans. For me, it never gets old when I see one of those moments on any one of the contest shows where a person who has tried so hard finally gets an opportunity to perform and succeeds. The compelling formula just never gets old,” said Lewis.
One thing is for sure, summer 2018, is going to be an entertaining one with the ability to witness the best of the professional athletes versus the best team from the 128-team tournament field face off in the AFFL title on NFL Network for $1 million dollars.