Arena football league

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Question: 

I was wondering if there are any threats that could cause regression or the stop of progression in the arena football league. I know the Arena football league is trying to expand in order to create more revenue but their business models have been poor in the past. Wondering what's your take on the subject and what environmental factors could prohibit this development

Answer: 

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking about factors that will determine the success or failure of the Arena Football League.  As with any firm or industry, ‘economic’ success or failure depends on the ability of the firm or industry to generate revenues long term in excess of costs.  There is a long list (source = Wikipedia) of mainly indoor football leagues that have not been able to do that and are now ‘defunct’:

 

Defunct leagues

    arenafootball2 2000-2009

    American Indoor Football (2007–2010, 2012–2016)

    Atlantic Indoor Football League 2005–2006

    American Professional Football League 2003–2012

    Champions Professional Indoor Football League 2013–2014 (Merged with LSFL to for CIF in 2015)

    Continental Indoor Football League 2006–2014

    Independent Indoor Football Alliance 2007–2011

    Indoor Football League 1999-2000

    Indoor Professional Football League 1999-2001

    Intense Football League 2004, 2006–2008, merged with United Indoor Football to become IFL in 2009

    Legends Football League:

        Canada: 2012

        Australia: 2013–2014

    Lone Star Football League 2012–2014 (Merged with CPIFL to for CIF in 2015)

    National Indoor Football League 2001-2007

    North American Indoor Football League 2005

    Professional Indoor Football League 1998

    Professional Indoor Football League 2012–2015

    Southern Indoor Football League 2008–2011

    Ultimate Indoor Football League 2011–2014

    United Indoor Football 2005-2008, merged with Intense Football League to become IFL in 2009

    World Indoor Football League 1988 (Never played)

    World Indoor Football League 2007

    X-League Indoor Football 2014–2015, merged into North American Indoor Football

    Xtreme Football League 1999 (Never played, merged with af2)

 

So what determines the ability of a firm or league to generate revenues in excess of costs?  Again, as with other products or services it comes down to the demand of customers (i.e. fans) and their willingness to watch the games and buy the related products being sold.  I am not aware of any political barriers to the success of current indoor football leagues, nor do I envision any political subsidies to try to enhance their economic success.  I also do not envision the dominant ‘National Football League’ doing anything to alter NFL operations to try to intentionally derail indoor football leagues given their current non-threatening status.  So all of this, to me, suggests that current leagues in order to remain in existence will have to keep costs under control (i.e. < revenues) and, at the same time, try to enhance revenues via effective marketing strategies.  A major source of revenue to the main professional sports leagues in the U.S. has been tv revenues of late.  These revenues are tied directly to the large numbers of fans who watch the games on tv.  This enables the leagues to generate significant revenues through the sale of broadcast rights to tv networks who are willing to pay dearly for those rights knowing they will be able to recoup those costs by charging high prices to firms for advertising slots during the sporting event broadcasts.  I doubt if we will ever see competing small sports leagues able to generate large ‘national’ broadcast revenues due to significantly lower viewership.  Trying to do more and different things to raise ‘local’ media income, corporate sponsorships, and other revenues may be critical to the long-rung success of small leagues.

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Last updated on May 12, 2017