Franchise Superstars Creating Longevity for The XFL Brand

We are literally hours away from the kickoff of the XFL season, and I am extremely geeked to have football back, especially a brand like the XFL.  It has been said that this 2020 version of the XFL won’t be the same version some of us witnessed in 2001.  Of course, this comes without question due to the advancements in technology, social media, marketing, and monetary growth by Vince McMahon.  The man’s net worth is 2 billion dollars.  He’s not hurting.  Not saying that he was hurting financially in 2001, but he really isn’t hurting in 2020.  He can take way more risks with that amount of capital.  At the end of the day, he’s a phenomenal businessman; and, I would imagine that the individuals that he has around him are in their positions to ensure that this new brand of the XFL is successful for a long time. 

With longevity as a focal point, how can the XFL keep their best athletes.  Recently, it was said that Dallas Renegades QB, Landry Jones, is the face of the XFL.  Because of his 6-year tenure with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, he has the longest, most thriving career at the professional level.  He’s essentially playing for one of the best teams in the XFL being the Dallas Renegades, and he’s under the best head coach in Bob Stoops.  I was listening to Bob Stoops on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo on February 7th, and I heard him say that he hopes Jones could get some good film out there to potentially garner some attention from some NFL teams.  Why would he say this?  Why would he want his franchise QB to potentially leave after one season?  Depending on who you’re talking to, some people will say the XFL is a stand-alone league, separate from the NFL.  Some would also say that the XFL is a developmental league for the NFL.  In my opinion, I think it is a little of both; but, the only way for the XFL to have some great longevity is to have its own pool of recognizable key players to build the XFL brand with.  The XFL will be a football league that takes place in the spring, during the NFL off season. If you’re starting a new season each year with brand new players every season, it is hard to stay attached as a fan.  It is hard to really get excited for a team where you don’t know the players until the first few weeks of an XFL season.  The XFL doesn’t have a preseason, so you don’t learn the “who’s who” possibly until a week 2 recap.

I’m hoping that after this season, the XFL will work to keep the playmakers and remove the salary breakdown template that they currently have.  The NBA does a great job of highlighting their stars.  In any NBA commercial, you will typically see LeBron, Steph, and Giannis. Even if the NBA is talking about Christmas, they’re going to spotlight the teams as “Tune in to watch Giannis and the Bucks take on Steph and the Warriors”.  The marketing is set up to tune in to watch the superstars over the team.  I currently live in Memphis, a small market for an NBA team, and the Grizzlies are good, but I’m not as excited to go see a game if Ja Morant or Lebron isn’t playing during a Memphis and L.A. match up. 

Similar situation when Memphis had the Memphis Express of the short-lived Alliance of America Football League, I didn’t go to a game until Johnny Manziel came aboard…no pun intended.  I wanted to see if Johnny still had it. I wanted to see if he would be as exciting as he was during his years at Texas A&M.  The XFL has a great group of playmakers across the league for each team, and I think they can really hold onto these guys if they can pay them well and incentivize the XFL brand over the perks of the NFL. Saying all this to say, if Landry Jones is the face of the XFL, I hope they pay the man to continue to stay under the XFL brand, as well as anybody else who emerges as a franchise star for their respective teams.

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