Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AUDL Improvements

The AUDL 2012 season is over. Time to reflect on ways for the semi-pro Ultimate league to improve next season (2013) when there are 8 Expansion Teams expected to join - Boston, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Toronto & Washington DC.

Marketing. Like it or not AUDL & AUDL teams, you are in sales. Publish more professional looking promos that showcase this awesome sport of Ultimate. And, remember your AUDL team logos speak volumes as a first impression.

More than ESPN. Contact more sports channels than just ESPN. The 'Worldwide Leader In Sports' is just that, but widen your scope to other media outlets. READ: Fox Sports, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports.

Add a video recap of weekend games. Reading about the highlights is much different than seeing them in hi-def. As it's been said about Ultimate: "Tell them nothing, show them everything!"

Allow more sponsorship on jerseysNBA plans to add them, while soccer and NASCAR already adorn them. By using sublimation, the jersey will not be heavier, but your $ponsor revenue might.

More detailed standings. By presenting just win-loss records is a missed opportunity to engage fans on deeper analyses of this Ultimate game.  There's so much data being recorded [Leaguevine], even adding 'Games Back' [ProDiscNews] would be an improvement. A weekly "sports page" format may even get the AUDL published in the sports section.

Interview preparation. When given free advertising on live TV, please present the sport with dignity and respect. Avoid players "playing" catch in the background as a way to demonstrate Ultimate! Avoid saying "c*ck" to explain forehand wrist position!

Timing. This year's championship happened during the Olympics, which may have contributed to its low attendance. Take advantage of the sports void after NBA & NHL seasons are done. There's plenty of AUDL season left after mid-June.

Update websites regularly. An outdated website portrays a poor image to potential fans (& sponsors). By week 9, many AUDL team websites weren't updating the league standings. In my opinion, an Ultimate disc should be mandatory for every AUDL team to sell and be priced very reasonably.

Track Integrity Rules. If this rule really is the coolest invention since the Frisbee, then be prepared to back  it up with data.

Define THE Ultimate jersey. Sublimated jersey are the fabric du jour, but even the fanciest sub jersey still looks like a T shirt. Similar to soccer (collar), baseball (button ups), basketball (tank top), consider adding a distinct feature to show it's a pro Ultimate team jersey.

Clarify forfeits. I respect the need for hot weather preparation, though lack of clarity gave the appearance as people not showing up to work, which is not 'professional' at all.

Add field players. Add one more for 8 players to be on the line. I know, 7 is so traditional, but the adaptive AUDL game now has timed quarters and refs. The additional field space - the equivalent of 1.5 beach Ulti fields - could easily handle 16 players for this action-packed sport.

Modify end zones. It makes sense to want to use the existing football field dimensions. The problems are the AUDL end zones are twice as  big as the painted football EZ's, and 20 yards is a lot of space to defend. Until there are lined Ultimate fields everywhere, consider using the existing endzones like you are using the current sidelines.

NOTE: I'm first & foremost a fan of Ultimate. I attended one AUDL game and followed the 2012 season. These suggestions are meant as constructive feedback to help with the sport's promotion.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Excellent suggestions! I only wish that AUDL would read this page and take your input to heart! I especially like your suggestion about the endzones. It's VERY hard to get excited when someone catches the disc at the 9-yard line...and it's a score. So lame. Embracing the existing field would make scoring significantly more challenging and therefore WAY more satisfying, too.