Saturday September 30, 2023

Why the Fan Controlled Football League Teamed Up with Twitch

Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football

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A look at what the experience on Twitch could look like. (Image via FCFL)

Sports fan (myself included) often question draft picks, play calls and all of the other decisions that go on around their favorite teams. What would happen if suddenly the fans as a collective were given the ultimate decision power? If instead of one GM, there were hundreds?

Enter the Fan Controlled Football League. Think about what Madden would look like if you could control real players and organizations. The FCFL probably isn’t too far from what you would envision.

You may have even heard of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, the arena football team where fans were able to call all of their plays. As it turns out, the Screaming Eagles were the test, and the results were actually pretty remarkable. Fans ran one of the highest performing offenses in the league and the Quarterback was named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The Screaming Eagles had one of the highest powered offenses in the league in 2017. (Photo from Melissa Majchrzak)

The FCFL made a big move towards answering questions on how fans would be able to interact with the league this week when they announced a multi-year exclusive broadcast deal with the streaming platform Twitch.

Talking with Patrick Dees, the Co-Founder and Chief Gaming Office for the FCFL, he explained what fans could expect from their new partnership.

“We started thinking about this concept to recreate the sport of football for a digital age, where most sports fans are ingesting sports from home,” Dees stated. “We sought out Twitch because interaction is core to their ethos. Viewers have the ability to directly interact with the gamer or content creator, and for us we needed a partner that believed in this type of interaction with all of their being.”

The FCFL will start with eight teams playing in an ultra-high-tech, state-of-the-art production studio, where according to Dees, somewhere between 1500-2000 fans will be able to consume the game live. Games will last an hour and be seven-on-seven games played on a 50-yard field.

The high-tech nature of the studio is what will really allow the concept and the partnership with Twitch to take off.

“We are going to be a great new vertical for Twitch, we are bringing new content that is consistent with their brand, but we aren’t just another streamer playing Fortnite,” Dees said. “Our work with Twitch truly is a partnership in every sense of the word. They have invested key development resources and are helping to create an incredible new custom overlay that is going to make it possible for fans to call plays in real time on their service.”

The Screaming Eagles use an app to allow fans to call plays. The FCFL-Twitch Partnership will have fans use the overlay within the stream. (Photo via Melissa Majchrzak)

The approach to building a sports league from a digital standpoint first is unique to the FCFL however, they aren’t completely disregarding the in-person experience.

“Our studio is going to be much more than just an arena, it is going to be first of its kind in the gaming space,” Dees offered. “We are bringing to bear the latest in sports technology, starting with players on the field, who will be outfitted with the top biometric wearable technology. These wearables will aggregate player data and in turn, the FCFL will open source player biodata to fans.

We are looking to implement drone cameras to give fans multiple high definition visual perspectives to enhance the streaming experience. Think about the Madden cam experience! And we are really excited to implement state-of-the-art helmet cameras to give our fans at home the opportunity to see the game from a first-person field level view. It’s like BEING there. Feeling that impact!”

The FCFL is bringing new meaning to the term, Armchair Quarterback. The FCFL is much more than fans simply calling the plays however, fans will have the opportunity to offer input into team names, logos, colors, players and more.

Fans will earn votes through the FCFL FANToken, which Dees explained in-depth.

“Every fan who downloads the FCFL app and registers will have a small amount of FAN Token seeded into their FAN Wallet. Similar to tokens or currencies in video games, the FAN Wallet is an easy-to-use wallet that lets you manage your FAN Tokens – it’s technically a cryptocurrency wallet, but you won’t have to know anything about cryptocurrency to easily and safely manage your FAN Tokens. For the FCFL, you’ll be able to access and manage your FAN Tokens through the FCFL Mobile App.

FAN Tokens unlock your ability to control your favorite team by voting in a couple of crucial ways. The first is transparency – since every vote made with every FAN Token will become a part of the blockchain, there will always be a permanent, public and indisputable record of every vote.  The more FAN Tokens you have, the more voting power you have. FAN Tokens will power your votes on everything from picking your team’s name and logo to drafting players and calling plays.”

For more information on the FCFL: Fan Controlled Football League

For more information on the FCFL Fan Token: FCFL Fan Token


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