World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vincent Kennedy McMahon announced this afternoon the XFL would make its return in 2020 under newly formed corporation Alpha Entertainment. “We’re going to give the game of football back to fans,” McMahon said. The brash billionaire promised a shorter, faster and easier to understand version of football. Unlike the first time around, McMahon has already acknowledged the importance of quality of play and they have two years to get it right before it’s reboot.
The XFL has time to get out in front and find the right people to steer the league in the right direction in order to achieve success. McMahon said today they have to hire the right people who know what they’re doing, such as experienced executives who know how to run a succesful operation. You have to have the highest quality of players, coaches, medical staff, and front office executives if the XFL is going to draw the media coverage and acquire fans. McMahon is right in the fact that we are a football crazed nation and there’s 7 months on the calendar currently vacated where a football league can settle in and flourish if done right.
You’re not going to attempt to go head-to-head with the NFL and compete, ask our President and the people at the USFL how that one ends. However, the opportunity to utilize the wealth of talented football players this country produces in its college system and give them a chance to be a star once the NFL season ends, creates great opportunity. The stars like Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel will draw crowds, their talent may not stack up with the likes of NFL elites like Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but they can lead a succesful team in a newly formed spring league and entertain viewers.
Football year-round can work, it just has to be done right. Who better than Vince McMahon? He’s learned from his mistakes the first time around and has toppled giants in the professional wrestling industry creating a behemoth that owns the market and has made him into the billionaire he is today. He’s beaten WCW and put them out of business, and it’s time to give the XFL another shot. McMahon disclosed in his announcement that he has put a $100M investment into the relaunch of the league, which of course came from the percentage of shares he put up for sale a few months back from WWE to acquire the capital to form Alpha Entertainment. While McMahon stated there will be no crossover whatsoever between his two entities, WWE’s stock did interestingly enough hit a record high this afternoon at $34 a share.
The initial setup of the league will be as follows according to McMahon: 8 teams as one single entity with no franchise model like the NFL with 40-man rosters and a 10-game regular season schedule. The top four teams will compete in semi finals before determining the league champion, according to McMahon. The relaunch of the XFL in 2020 will be a red, white and blue league where all players stand for our countries national anthem. Vince’s attempt to win over early-adopters to the XFL who have been alienated from the NFL by the anthem protests over the last few years.
Another early selling point of the league for McMahon is it will be football like we’ve never seen it before with multi platform streaming options designed for fans to constantly engage and promote social interaction. They are going to listen to fans and mold the league into something they can enjoy during the NFL off-season. The league is set to begin in late January or early February of 2020. Networks and streaming services will be lined up to bid on the rights of a new engaging way to watch football, the market is certainly there and McMahon is in the early stages of tapping into that reserve.
Right now is where McMahon truly can form a sustainable out-of-season football league, hire the right people, engage with fans and form a league crafted to suit their interests. It’s never going to be the NFL or compete with the monster of fall, but it can thrive in its niche role and outdraw spring sports while generating a passionate following. If there’s one man who can make this work, it’s Vince McMahon.
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