Today, Sportico hosted an online event “Invest in Sports” that featured XFL owner Dany Garcia, RedBird Capital Partners founding partner Gerry Cardinale, and many other notable keynote speakers. The event itself was $100 per ticket and if you’re about finding out the inner workings of the business like me and possible news nuggets, then it was money well spent.
If you ask the majority of the XFL fanbase, many would say they are dissatisfied with the lack of news the XFL has curated since the league was purchased by RedBird Capital Partners, Dany Garcia & Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson. The dissatisfaction may or may not be warranted, but in reality breaking news from a league that is building from the ground up about teams, markets, coaches, front office personnel etc. shouldn’t have been expected so quickly or so soon.
There were many things Garcia and Cardinale were asked about in regards to their new league such as how their collaboration began, how they planned on engaging the fans, and potential global reach, but one small nugget that was included in the presentation was a hint that the fans would be hearing more news in the upcoming months potentially.
Fans, this one’s for you. If you think the people at the top aren’t listening, you’re wrong. If anything Dany Garcia, hears you loud and clear.
“In film, in entertainment, in any IP that you’re branding that is entertainment driven, you immediately say, I start this I am going to have a relationship with the consumer.”Dany Garcia Co-Owner of the XFL via Sportico
I can’t tell you how many times myself or my colleagues have been contacted by a fan or staunch supporter of the XFL expressing their frustration about the lack of news from the XFL, which I can understand waiting can be frustrating, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was professional spring football.
Ownership wants to win
I will never complain about the experience I had during the first 5 weeks of XFL 2.0. It was special and you could tell instantly that the fans enjoyed the experience as well, but I believe what was missing was a genuine streamlined relationship from fans to league ownership. Not saying that there wasn’t any fan engagement at all, but it was something that could’ve been improved.
In XFL 2.0, Oliver Luck was the face of the league. He made appearances at various games throughout the first 5 weeks and even contributed to the DC Beer Snake when he attended a DC Defenders game which was fantastic, but fans never got to interact with the actual owners of the league and most fans felt like the owner before was completely unattached from the audience.
With the new owners, I suspect that they will be front and center for most of their fan engagement plans because they understand that yes consumers want football, but most importantly they want to feel heard.
But this ownership doesn’t just want to win at the base level, they want to win in all aspects of running a professional football operation.
“Sports is about winning, and our view on winning generally is there is winning in terms of putting a great product out there and winning at the professional business level.”Gerry Cardinale via Sportico “Invest in Sports”
The measures the new owners have taken, combing through every fine detail and possibility, is what makes this ownership group somewhat different from before. Not only do they want spring football to succeed in the US but they also want to see the game grow globally.
As I have reported before, the goal was always to have a methodical approach to relaunching the XFL. The new owners haven’t rushed their rollout because they understand that this product they are creating could withstand the test of time if built the right way.
Chemistry at the top is important
Lastly, the bond that the new ownership group has built since they purchased the league seems to be ironclad. Everyone is on the same page and have a very clear definitive vision for their future plans for the XFL.
Dany Garcia spoke about how the collaboration was initiated
“ To do what we wanted to do with the XFL we knew we needed extremely strong and innovative partners. As we were looking at it (XFL) and we saw Gerry was interested, it gave us the opportunity to meet. Myself, Gerry, and DJ began having dynamic conversations and we had a very clear idea of what we wanted the XFL to be. “
Cardinale believes that Dany & Dwayne are the right fit and understands who they are and the value they bring to their partnership.
“I don’t know if I would have done this without Dany & Dwayne, because they bring a very unique set of talents, skills, and experiences. They are intellectual property themselves. Particularly in the crossing of live event entertainment, real intellectual property, and content. Their vision really was to create a live event entertainment company rooted in legitimate football. That’s what’s so exciting about this collaboration.”
- RedBird Capital Partners Founding Partner Gerry Cardinale on his collaboration with Dany Garcia & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Each party involved with the rollout of XFL 3.0 all have a clear vision and understanding of what they want this league to be and they all have a common goal. This should be exciting news for the consumer who is worried about the future of the league. My mom said it best “Nothing beats an understanding” and simple as that may sound it reigns true.
“You’ll be hearing from us with an increasing crescendo in the next many months because we’re getting ready to start debuting some of the things that we’ve been working on.”Gerry Cardinale via Sportico “Invest in Sports”
There is not a exact timetable on when we will hear news about the league, but based on the timeline XFL 2.0 had in 2018, it does seem like everything is falling into place for there to be news sooner rather than later.
This article is dedicated to my colleague and friend Josh Davis. Rest Well My Friend.
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