Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review of MLU 2014 Season

Ahead of this weekend when Major League Ultimate's third season begins, below is an assessment of MLU's 2014 season.

MLU demonstrates a clear understanding of the value of content in the sports entertainment business. Beyond game pictures by UltiPhotos and broadcasted video coverage of games, MLU publishes full write-ups before AND after the game for all eight teams. Whether you want it or not, each and every MLU game has hype.

Big props for not shying away from unflattering content about an MLU team. (See Dusty Rhodes' coverage of Boston's 17-point win over New York.)

The immediate game recaps "Rapid Reaction" were invaluable [Example.] Looking forward to the next evolution of these content media - merging the Rapid Reaction text + the game footage into a narrated video summary.

The Plays of the Week (best play on offense, best D, best catch and best throw) were a must-watch as were the weekly highlights. Video quality was steady all season long. Disappointed in the editing of 2014 championship highlights which seemed less put together than the 2013 video.

*The John & Greg Show (now Luke & Greg Show)
This podcast consistently pumped out geek-out minutiae for MLU fans (hey, a new tagline?). Sad to see John go, but encouraged to hear Luke's perspective in the conversation.

*Cleats & Cufflinks
I have a love-hate relationship with this podcast. The insider info gained from Snader & Nic's chatter is entertaining. The downfall, though, is when discussion strays from league topics. Episode 22 edges close to a shark jump by talking about random sh*t that was thinly related back to the league. If I wanted to eavesdrop on a conversation about TV shows, I'd just go to my local Chipotle. Hoping C&C find their way again as the season starts, or consider a more succinct podcast.

The 10 game regular season, and 10-minute quarters are both keepers. Speaking of 10...10-yard end zones should be considered as a field dimension tweak to help defenses and be visually intuitive for the audience.

So I criticized the 2013 MLU's shorts for being too baggy. Well, in 2014, both shorts and shirts were meant to be tailored with an "ergonomic fit" yet ended up being poorly sized. MLU's PUMA jerseys were designed with much thought, but the shorts were boring with their lack of design. Of note, the 2014 MLU shorts were never offered available for sale.
[NOTE: Jerseys for MLU's 2015 season were produced by Canterbury.]

MLU created this stunning minimalist field design for the championship game.
Exposure via ESPN is always a goal. When MLU's championship game showed up on ESPN's Streak for the Cash was certainly unique.

Congrats on your second season! Looking forward to what's in store for MLU: Season 3!

NOTE: I'm first & foremost a fan of ultimate. I attended MLU games in DC and followed the 2014 season. These suggestions are meant as constructive feedback to aid the sport.


dusty.rhodes said...

I am not a Dusty Rhode.
I am dusty rhodes
(or if you love convention, I am Dusty Rhodes).

Just a typo, I hope... else we'll be cross.

Sludge said...

If you say so, Dusty Rhodes.