New Spring Football League in the Works

NEW YORK — Several former sports media and finance executives have announced plans for a new football league — the Spring League of American Football (SLAF) — to begin play as early as 2018.

The group is led by longtime broadcast media executives Michael and Rex Lardner, and longtime Madison Square Garden Chief Financial officer Robert Pollichino. The structure of the league will divide the US into exclusive territories based on competitive collegiate football rivalries. Players can compete only for the team in the territory where they played college football.

The announcement for SLA Football comes after the group commissioned a research study by BETA Research Corporation which validated the high level of interest that fans have in the concept of this league. Research showed a host of compelling statistics, such as:  83% of men who watch TV sports (18 -34) would make every effort to watch, or be more likely to watch SLAFootball games.  As well as: 20% of those who do not stream programming through a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime would be very likely to subscribe to a streaming service if it was the only way to view a professional spring football game.   (BETA Research, 2016.)

“Not only do the numbers make sense for the fans, the financial model shows it is a solid investment for the individual team-owners as well as the advertisers and league members,” Pollichino added. “Financially it works –yes. But for the fans it works as well.  College players develop a strong following at their respective universities. We are capitalizing on that fan loyalty, by keeping players in the same region where they played college ball.”

“We all know that content is king, and the creation of a compelling football product in the time of year when the NFL is not playing and the fans are looking for even more live action is more real than ever before, according to the survey we have assembled,” Michael Lardner said. “We are ready to present the fully baked plan to a business audience that has been clamoring for such an opportunity.”

The SLAF will have ten teams and a ten game schedule, not including playoffs, and will pair players from the Texas/Southwest Region against the players from the Florida/Southeast Region as well as other geographically rivalries. SLAF players can try out for the league when their college eligibility expires and MUST play in the team territory of their college. The season will run from April through early-July and will utilize a combination of NFL and NCAA football rules. The executive team is currently in negotiations with additional ownership groups and media partners, with other announcements forthcoming.