What follows is an expanded version of a common question about the launch of the National Gridiron League. As you know AussieFaithful are big on the NGL and what it can do for the game in Australia, but in all without the voice of the fans, no balance can be found.
So we resurrected The Scout and asked him to submit a fan post to explain (and you can too), and has he come up with the ultimate solution?
Where’s the Hype?
With the inaugural season of the National Gridiron League fast approaching I have been wondering where is the hype?
For a game that banks on its star power to draw fans through the gates the surprising silence from the league itself has been head scratching.
So let’s get this right.
We are three months from the start a professional league of American Football, with teams filled with predominately American players and the league is:
- Not going to tell us about any of the payers, and
- Expect us Aussies to care.
The National Gridiron League is full of quality
Before I go on, one of the great draws of the NGL is its quality of players.
The class and high standard that the NGL teams have attracted is a credit to the league and its front office. But, and it’s a BIG but, will this be enough?
Australians are known for loving our sport, and we absolutely love watching our homegrown athletes taking it to the world’s best.
Unfortunately we don’t have a large number of Aussies in the league to cheer on. There isn’t a marquee name to hype not only the league, but to also get the punters through the door.
Now perhaps that is because the local standard is just not up to scratch, so fair enough, but is there an opportunity right here on our doorstep to change that?
If only we had an Aussie recent NFL player still in his prime available
It would be great if we had an ex-NFL player currently in limbo, out of contract, waiting for the National Rugby League (NRL) preseason to kick around. That would be great wouldn’t it?
Imagine if we did?
As great as the players heading to the NGL are, and with all the respect in the world, local players such as those interviewed on the AussieFaithful Podcast, experienced guys like Theron Allen Jnr, and even high-profile college guys like Blake Sims.
All of them are far from household names in Australia. Apart from the niche of Aussie supporters big on the US college game, they will fail to draw the large crowds the front office is hoping.
If there was a guy out there that has spent a fair portion of the last two years day-dreaming. If he was Australian, a bona fide super star in a previous code of football.
I know this is ridiculous, but maybe he even played in the NFL, imagine what this could do for the NGL and its place in the summer of Australian sport.
Imagine how they could leverage this person to gain traction for the league.
The void of marketing hype could be and would be filled by a person like this. A person like this would get me out to the game. We have seen the A-League use techniques like this to hype their league.
Should the NGL have a Marquee player policy? Would it pay for itself?
Marquees are used regularly to get the average fan through the gates. This achieves two things.
Firstly it gets people through the gates, the bums on seats, for the players to actually play in front of.
Second, it gets people used to going to an NGL game. Allows them to experience the product, all 9 hours of it. Gets the NGL on their radar. A person like this gets people excited.
If there was someone like that around, the NGL could pay a fair sum to that person and be in with a shot of a return on investment.
A sum I believe that person would like. Hypothetically of course.
I’m sure the return on that investment would be significant.
A win-win for all parties involved. Just a shame there is no one like that around right? Right Jarryd Hayne?