Finally The Rock has Come Back To Football
The Rock is no stranger to the gridiron, and now he has come back to take ownership. The XFL has been given a third chance at life, this time under the helm of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. An investment group including The Rock, his ex-wife Dany Garcia, and Redbird Capital have agreed to purchase the suspended football league from Vince McMahon for $15 million dollars. Just this year, McMahon was poised to bring back the XFL in full force when Covid-19 put a stop to all audience attendance at sporting events and the league had to cease operations.
Is The Rock Beating a Dead Horse?
The first time the XFL debuted, the league garnered itself some notice for being associated with the blazing hot WWE at the time. The XFL also had the added benefit of trying to back up the “Xtreme” in its name with unique jersey names along with weekly bounties and awards for winning every week. The league was attempting to set itself apart from your average Sunday afternoon offering from the NFL.
The league eventually folded due to low viewership and waning interest. Vince McMahon then announced a comeback for the league back in 2018 for 2020. You can read my thoughts about the launch back in 2018, The Return of the XFL. Sad to say, my predictions were not too far off, but Covid completely derailed what could have been a decent product. Maybe it could have worked out in the end?
As of the publishing of this article only the buying of XFL has been announced. The Rock could want to gut the league for all we know. But what if he does want to have his own gridiron league? What can the now Most Electrifying sports league owner do to make sure this is a success?
Make the XFL an Arena Football League
So, this one may not be as obvious as it seems, but its simplicity is what makes it genius. If XFL is an arena league, they can move into a Covid bubble and begin competition relatively soon.
The NFL is horribly lagging with their Covid protocols and getting the league up and running. The XFL at its inception and heart is an interrupter league to the NFL. It should either be there as an alternative to the NFL or a filler when the NFL is not operating. Now is the time it can be the latter. Even if the XFL were to come back with 8 teams, in an arena, it can still be football for the craving fans.
The AFL was a fantastic product when it was going. I would imagine that renting arenas would be cheaper than stadiums in both the short term and the long term. In addition, it would create a visual separation for the league against the NFL, another branding opportunity.
Make The Rock the Face of the League
This one is the no brainer. The Rock is a marketing magnate. I can’t think of anything he doesn’t touch that at least garners some kind of cultural status. The Titan Games, his show on NBC is doing respectable ratings. Ballers on HBO is somehow still going along. And he elevated The Fast and The Furious franchise to new heights as well. Oh, and he has his own Tequila…
As you can see the list is endless. The man has a Midas touch. Put him on some posters, run some commercials during his own programming, and you will bring in people.
The Rock has two other strikes at the XFL wheel to look at to see what failed. It has been a struggle for a secondary league to stay open against the NFL. The USFL tried and failed back in the ’90s. The XFL has been limping through this new millennium, but the star power of The Rock may be the crutch it needs to start cooking for the people again.