Ebersol Details Fan-Friendly Digital Plans For Spring Football Effort
Alliance of American Football CEO Charlie Ebersol said the league's digital-platform strategy is about "giving fans what they’ve been asking for" with "integrated fantasy and a way to communicate with your friends while you’re playing so that it can be a more fun experience than the traditional sports broadcast has been," according to Geoff Calkins of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Ebersol said, "One of the reasons we called the league 'The Alliance' is to break down the barriers between the players and the fans so they have a more integrated experience. So, to that extent, a player, when they get selected to a fantasy team, they’ll get bonused. So they’re incentivized to want to experience with the fans and be a part of it. And throughout the game, the fans can opt into the players. You’ll see over the next couple months as we roll out the prototype and let people play around with it, it’s really the first time the fan is fully empowered during the game to win and lose with all of the players, as opposed to the players they chose in the hours, weeks or months before the game is played." He added the eight teams set to play in the inaugural season should be revealed "in a matter of weeks." Ebersol: "Every player in the league will make a base salary of around $50,000. Every single player. But then we structure bonuses around a couple different things. Win bonuses, obviously, if your team wins, you get a bonus. There’s statistical bonuses based on preset thresholds, so if you meet a certain statistical threshold you’ll get a bonus. The big thing -- and again, we’ll roll this out over the next couple months to show how this works -- but the big thing is fan engagement bonuses. ... We want the fans to think they have some say, even if it’s just financial, in driving the players' decision-making." Asked about ticket prices, Ebersol said, "We will have very, very high quality $35 tickets in every stadium -- between the 20 yard lines and in the first 25 rows of the stadium -- because we do want this to be something where the real fans get to sit up close and enjoy the game" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 5/12).