GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

The new USFL is set to play in 2022. Discuss it here!
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4th&long
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GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by 4th&long »

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/e ... 0529813348

Another good interview - educated speculation, reporter info, historical facts and hint that news may come in August
Gopher123
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Re: GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by Gopher123 »

Definitely nothing here that calms my concern about funding. IMO this league will be a lot closer to being the TSL than somewhere in the middle of a TSL/XFL run league. It’s believed the USFL is looking for team owners to step in. This could be a very slippery slope, especially after all the problems the original USFL had with this model.

MM made the point that a key to the success of the new USFL is how much weight FOX will throw behind the league, as they are basically their main asset. I believe Fox is driving this because they want the content just as 4th&long has pointed out in the past. However, it doesn’t sound like, in this interview at least, FOX has invested much $$$ so far.

If this league is not charging players and in fact paying players to play, it is no wonder without big investors, that they are looking at keeping costs low but also trying to find owners (investors) any way they can. I would think it would be more difficult to find owners if they play in hub cities this first year but I might be very wrong here. Plus, especially early on, to try and have multiple owners all agreeing and pushing in the same direction seems like a tall task to me.

I’m not trying to be negative as I want spring football to work but I can say with ease that I’m not comfortable with this business model. It seems like the cart has once again been put in front of the financial horse. 4th&long had a lot of good cost savings ideas that the league could implement. Some, they probably will, but for those tuning in to see the wide open USFL of the 1980’s, I fear will be disappointed.

Too much speculation and not enough facts so far to know if this is accurate. Just my thoughts after listening to what was discussed in this interview.
laxtreme56
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Re: GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by laxtreme56 »

One thing's for sure, this won't resemble the USFL of the 80's at all. Not really sure why they're pushing the name besides the nostalgia effect. Even the youngest USFL fan is in the 60+ age range now, not exactly prime advertising demographic. If they're trying to get 6+ owners to buy in and get them all on the same page in a few months time, I'm just not buying that. Unless we get a repeat of the dying days of the AFL with 2 ownership groups running all 4-6 teams. Hey, maybe they can get Jeff Bezos to buy in and rechristen it the Amazon Prime Football League, APFL rolls off the tongue pretty smoothly.
4th&long
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Re: GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by 4th&long »

Gopher123 wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:06 pm Definitely nothing here that calms my concern about funding. IMO this league will be a lot closer to being the TSL than somewhere in the middle of a TSL/XFL run league. It’s believed the USFL is looking for team owners to step in. This could be a very slippery slope, especially after all the problems the original USFL had with this model.

MM made the point that a key to the success of the new USFL is how much weight FOX will throw behind the league, as they are basically their main asset. I believe Fox is driving this because they want the content just as 4th&long has pointed out in the past. However, it doesn’t sound like, in this interview at least, FOX has invested much $$$ so far.

If this league is not charging players and in fact paying players to play, it is no wonder without big investors, that they are looking at keeping costs low but also trying to find owners (investors) any way they can. I would think it would be more difficult to find owners if they play in hub cities this first year but I might be very wrong here. Plus, especially early on, to try and have multiple owners all agreeing and pushing in the same direction seems like a tall task to me.

I’m not trying to be negative as I want spring football to work but I can say with ease that I’m not comfortable with this business model. It seems like the cart has once again been put in front of the financial horse. 4th&long had a lot of good cost savings ideas that the league could implement. Some, they probably will, but for those tuning in to see the wide open USFL of the 1980’s, I fear will be disappointed.

Too much speculation and not enough facts so far to know if this is accurate. Just my thoughts after listening to what was discussed in this interview.
That is correct, and why its fun to speculate based on what we know and historical data both recent and longer term. Here's my thing... B Woods will, I hope, adopt a financial model commensurate with the resources they will be getting. Even some of MM's ideas could be from reader and board post on here. But I think the big concern is playing within your Zone. Over extending, regardless of the desire. Will not work. Even if that meant 6 teams - IMO.
laxtreme56 wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:35 pm One thing's for sure, this won't resemble the USFL of the 80's at all. Not really sure why they're pushing the name besides the nostalgia effect. Even the youngest USFL fan is in the 60+ age range now, not exactly prime advertising demographic. If they're trying to get 6+ owners to buy in and get them all on the same page in a few months time, I'm just not buying that. Unless we get a repeat of the dying days of the AFL with 2 ownership groups running all 4-6 teams. Hey, maybe they can get Jeff Bezos to buy in and rechristen it the Amazon Prime Football League, APFL rolls off the tongue pretty smoothly.
No doubt that the 2022 USFL wil not be the 1980's USFL as far as talent. We all know that but it can be in the XFL/AAF/TSL quality mix. And that is quite acceptable furthermore its proved to get good TV rating.

FYI on Nostalgia... As far The youngest USFL Fans are in their 50's not 60's LAextreme, it was 38-36 years ago not 45-50. FB fans born in 1970 certainly remember it fondly.
The use of the USFL name also resonates with MEDIA and that's the reason for using it, that and its cheaper than creating a brand from scratch which they could have done with TSL.

Agreed on getting TEAM investors all on same page at once. The USFL needs to have a set model to sell, and bring in investors that back it. What's the bait for investors? A FOX TV partnership, TSL proven experience, B Woods (warts and all) ability to execute. I would not assume anything at this point. They could still go with a single ownership model but with assigned team ownership (like MLS or Co-op), or Straight up single ownership, or individual team owners, or a mix. IMO they may get investors on board in the single ownership and they would have rights to buy a specific team in xx years. This may have the benefits of gaining investors in short-term while maintaining control. One thing I believe now is that investing $15mm in the USFL is a better investment that $15mm into the XFL bankruptcy.

The key is cost containment and avoiding bad or any news of finances. Fans will respond positively to that.

Will they be able to operate in 8 cities in 2022? I don't know. If not that Hybrid hub/city model with 4 cities and 8 teams may be needed. They did commit to 8 teams in the USFL/FOX PR but not the # of games, which could be as low as 6 or as many as 10 (IMO). It's all going to come down to resources and how the league can monetize the FOX TV partnership (in field ads, on jersey ads, sponsorships signage, etc...).

One thing I'm not 100% aligned with MM is where they place teams. FOX wants a large TV audience. That means Large TV markets. While I do think SA and STL are likely, after that don't expect too small of markets.
If they need to cut back financially look for 4 hubs in close proximity by pairs. Say SA and Houston and Philly-NY/NJ with STL, Orlando/TB, LA, Dallas, OKC, Phoenix, Chicago etc... pure travel teams. This will eliminate or reduce drastically travel cost.

Also - while MM has not heard that FOX has invested much, I do think they will invest, but only a minority % and only for the cost of 1 season. So if the season cost is a bargin basement $25mm Fox may put in $5-8mm. They want others to do the heavy lifting and show commitment. Remember FOX is getting 35 games of broadcast (280 hours) for just a 8team/8week season+). I'm also basing this on his comments on "the_markcast" in late April, he said (paraphrase) " had to discipline themselves" to not over spend as there was a monetary component from FOX.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJeyrlFUMYM

MM said he's heard that they expect some news to drop in August - I would expect after the Olympics. The SEC/BIG12 news is already consuming the air waves so that's the right timing.

Fun times for spring FB. BTW that B Woods interview is full of info.
Gopher123
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Re: GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by Gopher123 »

4th&long - you make some good points and I don’t necessarily disagree with you but my concern is that by bringing back the USFL brand, that comes with certain expectations. If the product isn’t what people remember or expect then the casual fan may tune out. I think some people expect a jump up from the TSL just based off of the name.

I agree that some TSL teams were good enough to complete in the XFL or AAF but I think that’s only the case for maybe half the teams. IMO there wasn’t enough talent spread evenly across the whole league in the TSL as there was in the XFL. I think the XFL had more of a balanced league. Now if the players are now paid, I believe that will open up a bigger pool of players to participate. Remember, the USFL said they wanted AT LEAST 8 teams. So potentially that much more talent to find to satisfy more teams.

I agree that the USFL should start slowly and build without blowing a ton of money but by bringing back that name I believe the bar needs to be raised to match the casual fans expectations. We know there are enough of us to get to the 400k mark on FOX per game but it’s going to have to be stepped up in more than just one area to push that average closer to the 800k average IMO.
4th&long
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Re: GG: USFL interview Mike Mitchell

Post by 4th&long »

Gopher123 wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:53 pm 4th&long - you make some good points and I don’t necessarily disagree with you but my concern is that by bringing back the USFL brand, that comes with certain expectations. If the product isn’t what people remember or expect then the casual fan may tune out. I think some people expect a jump up from the TSL just based off of the name.

I agree that some TSL teams were good enough to complete in the XFL or AAF but I think that’s only the case for maybe half the teams. IMO there wasn’t enough talent spread evenly across the whole league in the TSL as there was in the XFL. I think the XFL had more of a balanced league. Now if the players are now paid, I believe that will open up a bigger pool of players to participate. Remember, the USFL said they wanted AT LEAST 8 teams. So potentially that much more talent to find to satisfy more teams.

I agree that the USFL should start slowly and build without blowing a ton of money but by bringing back that name I believe the bar needs to be raised to match the casual fans expectations. We know there are enough of us to get to the 400k mark on FOX per game but it’s going to have to be stepped up in more than just one area to push that average closer to the 800k average IMO.
I don't necessarily disagree. USFL does need to be a step up in camp, promotion, play, feel etc... - We just don't know how much they will in yr 1. And after 3 years of different spring FB leagues - I'm willing to let slide some of that, as long as they are making progress yr over yr. And I think that's likely the key unless you get another VM with $300mm - and no external panic button.

I am not concerned that the USFL name is not going to be used to compete for players like the original did. People/fans will either like it or not on its own - just like AAF/XFL/TSL. If it improves noticeably even if its not in a big way over TSL, that's a win. But what we can't have is an AAF talk of financial issue early or XFL mid season bankruptcy - that will be a buzz kill for the league. That 800k you mention may be the target but if it takes 2 years to get there, so be it. So cautious optimism rules the day.

I don't think FOX or B Woods is looking for instant success. They are going to give this some rope, just use it to climb and not hang! Let's see what MM and the others can dig up.
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