AFL Touting Tech Strategy In Effort To Raise Capital
The Arena Football League quietly started to look for investors this spring as part of an effort to raise more than $15M in capital, and part of the league’s selling point is its media and tech strategy. It is not known how much of an ownership stake in the league is up for grabs, but the AFL hopes to complete its capital raise by September. This season, which kicked off in April with six teams in Midwest and East Coast cities, marked the first time that the league has operated under a single-entity system. Monumental Sports & Entertainment and Trifecta Sports & Entertainment own the league and operate the teams. The AFL believes this system makes it more attractive to potential investors. The search for capital comes as competition has increased within the arena football space, with the six-team National Arena League also playing in major markets on the East Coast. The AFL's media strategy includes national streaming via ESPN3 and local TV on NBC Sports RSNs in DC and Philadelphia, plus local broadcasters in Columbus and Albany. ESPN2 will carry ArenaBowl XXXII on Aug. 11. In its meetings with potential investors, AFL execs also tout its sports gambling apps, which they believe work best in arenas with high-speed connectivity. DraftKings unveiled a daily fantasy game for the AFL this season for the first time. The league uses Sportradar to provide real-time statistics, while VSiN has rolled out AFL programming.