Tuesday, August 13, 2013

AUDL Improvements 2013

The AUDL 2013 season is over. Just like in 2012, it's time to reflect on ways for the second year of this semi-pro Ultimate league to improve next season (2014) when there are 4-8 expansion teams expected to join.

Marketing. Promotions for the post-season's final 3 games were really good; except, where was that type of hype for the previous 98 games?? Also, expand UXtv's coverage league-wide to capture all games, and showcase your product of professional Ultimate to a wider audience. One immediate impact the AUDL Network/UXtv will have is an improved promo for next season. Your weekly text previews were buried on your website and would benefit by adding logos to boost team identity. AUDL team logos were better, but there's still room for improvement.

Add a video recap of weekend games. The 'Top 10 AUDL plays' were good, although I'm not a fan of the pixelated recordings. Weekly recaps via Skyd Magazine were concise, yet regularly lacked actual game highlights. Combining these two ventures (recap + top plays) would be welcomed. This great sport is not meant to be captured with sucky low quality video. READ: Use hi-def!

Encourage more sponsorship on jerseys. The jerseys are an open canvas & a walking billboard. Team branding is important, but there is enough material to splash some corporate logos on those uniforms. Consider increasing the size of the AUDL logo on the sleeve to plug the league.

More detailed standings. The standings were much improved from last year. The game-by-game results chart was a nice visual, until it was removed from the website in early July. Posting league leaders in assists and goals thrown/caught was a positive. Make it mandatory for all AUDL teams to post league standings on their homepage.

Timing. The 48-minute game drags on too long; consider reducing each quarter by 1-2 minutes. The season is a bit extended; consider limiting to 12-14 regular season games. The play-in game before the conference championship made the post-season extra special. Still baffled at your concurrent promotion of UXtv during the play-in game, though.

Update websites regularly. Again, an outdated website portrays a poor image to potential fans (& sponsors). Websites like Dragons, Hammerheads, Revolution, Wildfire & Mechanix that utilize the AUDL website template have similar layout and, thus, aid navigation. In my opinion, any AUDL team found not updating their website should be banished from your "professional" sports league. LOOKING AT YOU, DC BREEZE!

Track Integrity Rules. This rule is supposed to be a distinguishing feature of our sport. By not recording its application, it becomes less special.

THE Ultimate jersey. Team are relying on the sublimated jerseys which is still just a fancy T-shirt. If the shirts are not going to have a distinctive feature about them, then at least consider establishing design guidelines for the shirts (e.g. size of type; logo sizing, location of team name). For what it's worth, wrapping the design around the side of shirts looks gawky.

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 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 football EZ's, and 20 yards is just too much space to defend. Consider using the existing 10-yard endzones like you are using the current sidelines.

NOTE: I'm first & foremost a fan of Ultimate. I attended multiple AUDL games in DC and followed the 2013 season. These suggestions are meant as constructive feedback to support the sport.


Jedi said...

There are a lot of good ideas. I love high-def videos.

But I can't agree with the 8 players per team idea or the modification of the endzones. What I love about AUDL is, that it's Ultimate like I play. I think with 16 players there would be some totally new tactics (only for AUDL) and it would be harder to follow the game/players.

sportsphotog said...

Agree on the lack of consistency of the web pages. AUDL needs to follow the MLU and establish a template for all teams to use to make it look like one league, not ten disjointed teams. Additionally better leveraging of social media. Some teams under utilized Twitter and Facebook and need to put more effort into that area.