Thank you for applying to UltiLeague ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️
We are overwhelmed with the support of the players and coaches who have applied for UltiLeague.
We are overwhelmed with the support of the players and coaches who have applied for UltiLeague. Even though we have not released all the details of how and when it will happen. It is a massive boost to us to know that we are on the right track and that there are people in the community who are keen for something as ambitious as this! Thank you for your enthusiasm!
We deliberately did not provide all the information upfront to create a little bit of mystery and intrigue about UltiLeague. Now in line with our principles of Transparency here is more information about UltiLeague! We openly acknowledge that we do not have all the answers and that we will need to test and prove some of our ideas. Our aim is to end up with something that works for the players, the community, and the fans — on a financially sustainable basis.
Imagine the future
October 2024, a stadium outside New York. Bang, the fireworks go off and the women and men of the London Bullets run out onto the pitch in a haze of smoke and cheers. They are the European UltiLeague champions. They earned their place in the UltiLeague Global Final by beating the Sydney Sirens (Australian/NZ UltiLeague champions) on Universe point in the previous semi final weekend in London, and before that the South American champions of Bogota Bangers. They are here to play the New York States for the grand prize, it’s promised to be a close game of Ultimate. It’s broadcasted to the world with millions of viewers. Families tune in and visit the event, bringing their kids to a game which shows the example of men and women playing in one team.
Our purpose is to grow Ultimate from the bottom up. Using game day events to inspire young people to choose to play Ultimate. When we secure major sponsorship we will invest in growing the sport through clinics and workshops; given by the local players. It is not our intention to replace any existing federations or disc organisations; we aim to work together with them to promote the sport that is ready to be bigger than football.
Chicken and the Egg
The main problem with running an Ultimate Frisbee league on a pro or semi-pro level is it costs money. The main cost is player transport/ logistics and video production. We ideally want to engage major sponsors to cover the bulk of the cost of the league. But the challenge is to get sponsors when we have not had a league happen to show them what it will be like.
We plan to “bootstrap” (run on a low budget) an initial test event with 3–4 teams. This event will test the level of community support and generate media content to then take to sponsors. We then plan to design a league structure that fits with the existing season and creates a true “league” with a series of games between teams and a finals weekend.
Community Control over Teams
We don’t just want to sell team memberships. We want to provide an experience that is valuable to the supporters of UltiLeague teams. We will do this by providing as much control over the team as practical to people who financially support an UltiLeague team. We expect to offer community members the power to:
Vote on player selection
Vote on the coach of the team
Vote on the initial location of the team (for example if we base a UK team in London or Bristol or Manchester etc)
To suggest and vote on the initial team name from a shortlist (The shortlist is to prevent Boaty McBoatface, we can veto silly names like Teamy McTeamface, we are looking at you GB)
We have some other ideas on how to give power to the community
We aim at giving members control by (up)voting— which will provide an experience that is of value. People will be able to purchase more than one membership to receive more votes, this enables fans to become members of multiple teams and become more involved in the Ultileague.
Community Membership Pricing
Our initial plan is to make memberships available for €10 each and people can buy more than one membership stake. Memberships include the power to vote and get access to special promotions and experiences.
The Gamification of Sport
Gamifying a sport in this way is not something we have seen before. We believe that having a different and unique structure to the sport will give us an edge with sponsors and investors. We hope that we sell enough memberships to cover league costs until we can secure sponsors.
Our first ‘game’ is already in progress, it is the game of how many players in each country will apply to be UltiLeague players. The countries with the most applications will be put into a shortlist to be candidates to host the first UltiLeague teams. The more people from your region apply the more likely an UltiLeague team will be formed near you!
The next game will then be voting on the team locations with offering people to buy memberships. (EG London or Bristol, Paris or Nantes, Berlin or Hamburg etc)
Then voting on the initial team name, voting for player selection and the team coach.
Long term we do not want to rely on Membership sales to fund the league. We realise that most of the members will be from the Ultimate community and long term we want to bring in revenue from outside the Ultimate community. This can truly grow the sport we love.
Sponsorship and partnership revenue; aligned with our principles
Merchandise sales (Shirts, Frisbees, gear, etc); of the unique team names
Game Day Ticket Sales; and revenue outside of Ultimate community
We will try our very best to update you with everything that is happening behind the scenes. Keep an eye out for emails, Whatsapp updates, Instagram stories and maybe even some text messages for players.
Thank you again for your enthusiasm and support. We are open to questions and suggestions on how to make this awesome. If you have any get in contact with us!
Originally posted on the UltiLeague blog, written by Mike and Milan.