Sports Technology News

New Football League Engineered by Bitcoin Tech Gives Power to the Fans

The same technology that kicked off the first cryptocurrency aims to put football fans both on the sidelines and in the front office. Virtually.

The concept started with the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles of the Indoor Football League (IFL) but has exploded into the vision of a complete leagued called the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL). In 2017, the Eagles were the first fan-controlled professional football team with tens of thousands of avid fans participating in important decisions. The upstart FCFL is the brainchild of CEO, Sohrob Farudi and has former Chicago Bear safety, Ray Austin as its VP of Football Operations.

They intend on letting the average fan get involved in naming the teams, designing the uniforms, hiring the coaches, scouting and drafting the players, and perhaps most importantly—calling the plays. No longer will you have to scream at the TV knowing that the coach isn’t taking your unheard advice. You can vote for the play that you would run. Depending on several factors such as your involvement or your investment, your team will run the play that you choose from a free mobile app.

A few years ago that would have been the ultimate fantasy of anyone who loves seeing a pigskin float through the air into the waiting arms of a streaking receiver. Now, it will be here faster than a Julio Jones’ fade route.

How Long Do You Have to Wait?

The FCFL plans for the season to start in 2018, and in more ways than one it isn’t your father’s NFL knock-off. Besides giving power to the fans, the founders have expressed a penchant for innovation. They’re not looking at football how most people look at it.

First, the game will be tailored to the viewers with smart business concepts clearly built into their operational playbook. Rather than spreading the teams out regionally and piling up expenses associated with travel and multiple venues, the FCFL will concentrate all of the 8 inaugural teams into one underserved football city—Las Vegas.

They will also reduce the learning curve for people not terribly familiar with America’s favorite sport while also reducing the time that the fans will have to invest in watching games. Their white paper details this forward-thinking by revealing that the league will, “feature fast-paced, high-scoring, seven-on-seven action that embraces the spread football evolution of the NCAAF and NFL games while enabling a diverse set of styles and strategies on both sides of the ball.” Furthermore, the same document promises, “Each FCFL game will be a unique and captivating contest, delivered in one-hour eSports-style presentations where the action never stops.

That means no special teams and little to no half-time.

From a fan’s perspective, even more exciting than the concentration of activities in one place and a reasonable viewing time, is the co-founders’ vision to reward a portion of participating fans a slice of the $1,000,000+ championship pie.

Talk about a touchdown…

Football on the Blockchain

Blockchain technology naturally lends itself to transparency since it’s an open public ledger. Anyone who wants to look at what’s on the blockchain can. For a sports league focused on fan involvement through voting, this sort of transparency is a must. No one can throw a flag because they don’t believe votes were tallied properly. The blockchain removes all hints of back-door finagling. There will be no gaming of the system.

One last word for fans who might not be sold one more indoor football league. Consider what Sohrob Farudi told Sports Tech Today about FCFL’s Advisors and Investors:

Our investors and advisors include execs from the highest level of professional sports, entertainement, and esports and include guys like Andy Dolich (COO, San Francisco 49ers), Manish Jha (Head of Mobile, NFL), Matt Wolf (VP Strategic Partnerships, Coca Cola), Mark Irace (CMO, FanDuel), and Ariel Horn (Head of Global eSports Content, Riot Games). They are strong believers that the future of sports will be interactive, and they all provide incredible amounts of time and insight as we move the league forward. We are lucky to have them!