Today’s playoff matchup between the Indianapolis Alleycats and the Bluegrass Revolution is about more than a bid to the league’s championship game.
It’s about all of the turmoil that has surrounded the league for the last month, and the basis upon which the league has been built.
The Indianapolis Alleycats, from a marketing standpoint, have been one of the most successful AUDL franchises.
They have over 1,100 followers on Twitter, and 3,390 fans on Facebook. In terms of attendance, they are second in the league, averaging 620 people per contest.
On the other side of the worrisome line that the league has walked between accepting money for franchises regardless of whether or not Josh Moore and the AUDL would be able to put each of its owners and teams in the best position to success stand the Bluegrass Revolution.
While their opponent on Sunday has done a fairly commendable job getting the word out, the Revolution have had more trouble. Their Twitter account has only 440 followers, and their Facebook page stands at just under 1,000 fans as of the midnight before they play for a place in the championship.
Their woes don’t just exist in cyber space, however. In their last three home games of the season, the Revolution posted attendance numbers of 140, 129, and 129 people respectively.
Amidst a Twitter feed that, when compared to other teams’, is quite active in terms of in-game activity, one can find pleas for more people to come out to game, as well as ideas for how the team could be promoted around the community in a more effective fashion.
And so, the BGR will take the field on Sunday, away from home, despite having a better overall league record.
John Korber and others have been critical of the league’s supposed focus on selling franchises rather than helping to stabilize the current ones, and the effects of this strategy will be exemplified first hand on Sunday.
Surely, even the NFL, or other successful professional leagues, has teams that draw better and those who draw worse. The difference in this case is that, when the Jacksonville Jaguars start playing well, the league’s marketing strategy, the league’s visibility brings the public eye onto the team.
Comparing the NFL and the AUDL is apples and oranges, for sure. However, the point remains valid. If Josh Moore and the league had spent the time and effort, both throughout the season and in the week leading up to this matchup, on the success of the Bluegrass Revolution, the team wouldn’t be in such a difficult situation.
Tomorrow, win or lose, the Revolution will still be without a strong fan base, and without the resources necessary to bring attention to its product.
The fate of the Revolution was sealed when the league agreed to purchase the rights to create a team in an area without an already-present, strong ultimate presence.
Some of the blame lies on the team itself, as Connecticut has proven that a team doesn’t need to be placed in a major metro area to draw well, but it all goes back to the league’s priorities.