Jump to content

Welcome to Fastpitch Forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account
Photo

New Women's Professional League Being Created


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Yeah...I know it's crazy and at first I thought, ok what's going on here? But apparently this is for real. So I'll leave the links to everything that is available about it, and you can dissect it for yourself. I wonder what Cheri Kempf is thinking right now? :lol:  

 

Here is a link to the podcast that talks about it, where I first found out about it: https://www.flosoftb...d=&coverage_id=. The discussion starts around 7:55.

 

Here is the website for the league: https://www.prosbclub.com/about-us/.

 

Here is a series of YouTube videos where the owners explain their business model and why they will succeed where other leagues have failed. Hint: poor leadership plays a major part of their discussion.

 

So, having laid all that out, what are your reactions, opinions, feelings? I'm personally not very optimistic about the chances this succeeds, but who knows? I certainly don't think the current NPF is gaining any real ground, especially with this whole Texas Charge debacle, but I certainly understand the frustration that a lot of us have with the leadership of the NPF and the direction (or lack thereof) by the league. What are your thoughts?


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg


#2
KCSoftball

KCSoftball

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bakersfield, Ca
  • Interests:Fastpitch Softball and more Fastpitch Softball

I've had a chat with these people. They plan on forming a "Pro" 4-team league within a city; all teams will be owned & operated by the league. I'm not sure how this is supposed to work, but I'm waiting to find out!



#3
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

A 4-team league within the same city? Kinda just sounds like a rec league, to be honest. If that's the case, why all the to-do with the websites, Facebook, YouTube etc etc?


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg


#4
In-the-stands

In-the-stands

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts

Time will tell...but I frankly don't think this will get off the ground. I spoke to half a dozen people who have knowledge about this, and it does not look viable.



#5
KCSoftball

KCSoftball

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bakersfield, Ca
  • Interests:Fastpitch Softball and more Fastpitch Softball

I can see a league, say, in California or Texas, maybe one could do it in Southern California (the Valley, Inland Empire, Orange County, or Hollywood Hills), San Diego, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio or Houston. But I don't see any other metro area where one could pull it off! My thought is that one needs a metro area of over 1 million people for each team to have any hope of success! Maybe they are relying on that $20 a share thing to make it work? 



#6
SpartanIlliniCub

SpartanIlliniCub

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3853 posts

The video sold me!  Want to talk about non-viable?  I have three letters for you: N-P-F!

 

I am sick of the status quo.  I am sick of a league that has had no real growth in over 10 years.  I am sick of a league that somehow cannot capitalize on the three biggest stars in the history of the sport in Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott.  How do you fail to capitalize on three megastars that fell in your lap within five years?  Pathetic!

 

I am sick of a league that has utterly failed to leverage the exploding popularity of college softball.  I am sick of a league that charges teams $250,000 franchise fees to fund bloated executive salaries, rather than spending any real dollars on marketing or league development.  The NPF needs some healthy competition.  The NPF needs to go.

 

I bought my $20 share! I bought into the idea of a better tomorrow.  Let's make it happen!



#7
CatOsterFan

CatOsterFan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 831 posts

Minimizing costs is crucial, so I would not be turned off if all four teams were in the same city.  I follow mostly online anyway, so whether the team is 2 miles away or 200, it's the same to me!

 

I like the idea of a player-owned league and of transparency for all financial decisions, especially for the commissioner's salary and other high ranking employee salaries.

 

The odds are certainly stacked against it, but I like that some innovation is being injected into softball.  I like the idea of new ideas and new leadership in the pro softball game.  I can't wait to see where this goes!



#8
KCSoftball

KCSoftball

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bakersfield, Ca
  • Interests:Fastpitch Softball and more Fastpitch Softball

Wow, Spartan get it off your chest!  But really, I agree with everything you say. The NPF has been around for 16 years and yet they are not at the same place as when they started, but a lot further behind.  They should be sitting at 16 teams by now! I have done the checking, and for the life of me I just can't see what's going on with those NPF people.  

 

Like I have posted many times, the NPF should have someone sitting on corporate America's doorstep! I tell you if I owned that league, corporate America would know me by sight as I would be knocking weekly, if not daily! The TV networks would also be seeing me on a weekly basis!

 

I still feel the biggest drawback to a network TV contract is that it is only a "part-time league." I see where, heck, even Little League Softball is on TV regularly! There are some unknown leagues on TV fairly regularly also. Why is that? Has the NPF "burnt its bridges" with network TV? Has it even gone to the "lesser" networks, like women's soccer did? It just doesn't add up! The individual teams have to take a stand to make changes at the top that will help the league long-term!

 

As an "intellectual exercise" I have put together 6-, 8-, 10- & 12-team leagues across the country. If done right,a full-time league will work!  What if there were four teams each in a California division, a Texas division, a Southeastern division, a Northern division and East Coast division? Teams could play other teams that are close to them most often, cutting down on costs, since travel seems to be the most expensive part of league operation.   

 

Man, i could go on for days about this stuff? Don't anyone get me wrong, I love Professional Softball, the players are Fantastic Athletics, every bit as skilled as their male counterparts! One see's Athletic plays regularly that even the men marvel about!  I just want to see all the Pro Softball Players make a 'livable' wage at their 'craft'! I want to be able to watch these talented Women all year long doing their thing, hitting, throwing and catching that yellow ball! Fastpitch is the only Pro Sport I follow with any consistency, I can't tell you the MLB teams, except the World Series, that made the playoffs. I no longer watch baseball, not even the WS! But I can tell you who played in the NPF & WCWS Championships, even the World Championships! 

 

I even make up a NPF draft list every year and am surprised at how close I come being right!  Heck, I already have my 'master' list of college seniors that I will be watching this season!  Do you want to know my picks for the 2018 NPF season? I'm on it folks!   

 

Professional Fastpitch Softball, The Greatest Game, with The World's Greatest Players!!!!!!



#9
In-the-stands

In-the-stands

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts

Here is a four team, professional baseball league operating out of a privately built stadium in Utica Michigan (metro Detroit). https://uspbl.com/

 

Although the concept may seem wonky the idea of divisions or leagues strategically placed around the country is not new and is used in everything from MLB to MLS to NHL....cost containment is part of it, but also the whole fan rivalry.

 

I agree with Catfan, KCS and Spartan....the NPF is NOT heading in the right direction. That said I am not sure the above video and the people trying to do this are the right mix themselves.



#10
KCSoftball

KCSoftball

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bakersfield, Ca
  • Interests:Fastpitch Softball and more Fastpitch Softball

I-t-s, this sounds like it is working for them?  But, and a big 'BUT' is the fact that "marginal" fans will pay to attend a men's game (any level) when they won't do the same for a women's Pro game! Until we as a Country start to recognize women as true Athletics and give them their due women will have to do extraordinary things to catch peoples attention! 



#11
FaspitchPapa

FaspitchPapa

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Contrary to popular belief, the NPF has actually been very successful.   And its success is proved by its SURVIVAL.  Think of all the sports leagues that have not survived or are on life support-- XFL, USFL, Lingerie Football League.  The average lifespan of any business is only 1 year.  The NPF has lasted almost 20 years!  That is success!  Everyone talks about how bad the NPF is and how heads need to roll, but the NPF has actually done a pretty good job of modest expansion of the league over time and, most importantly, preventing it from closing its doors.  The NPF survived the great recession for crying out loud!  There are a long list of businesses that cannot say that.  But the NPF can!  I think we ought to let the NPF keep doing what they are doing and see how far they can take it.  Think of the positives and not the negatives!



#12
In-the-stands

In-the-stands

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts

I agree with the survival comment and if that was the only measure of success then I would agree. It isn't and therefore I won't....the NPF keeps spinning a broken record and needs to change the disk. Its expansion plans are in shambles, teams are folding, players struggling....costs are ridiculous.

 

There is a lot of work that needs to be done and things that need to changed before the league can be considered stable and successful.



#13
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

With respect I have to completely disagree. I think success should be measured by more than just being able to keep the doors open each season. The greatest roller coaster i've ever been on can't compete with the emotional ups and downs this league has caused over its existence. The only thing that seems to be consistent is the 2 steps forward 3 steps back procedure every year/other year with expansion and contraction happening at the same pace. Recently the commissioner did a series of youtube videos where she talks about certain things regarding the NPF.

 

 

In my haste I typed out a response that while probably not the most constructive, felt like a soapbox moment and while I'm sure she never saw the comment, it made me feel better at the time. Some of what I said is as follows...

 

.."How about you answer some real questions that real fans of the league have and are concerned about? You know, questions like what happened with the Texas Charge? Why are sponsors so hard to find? Why isn't there more pressure put on MLB to support the league as a "development partner" like the NBA does with the WNBA? How is it that the National Women's Soccer League which was founded only 5 years ago is much more popular, averages more fans per game (5,083 average per team according to wikipedia https://en.wikipedia...ague_attendance ) has more teams and is definitely more of a national brand with teams spread out across the entire country? Here's a question for you to answer. What is it that they're doing that you're not? Why is it that they can succeed and apparently be building a future with expansion, while teams in this league are folding left and right?"

 

I guess my frustration is coming out because I believe in what the league really could be but see it littered by setbacks, little to no publicity, and no real tangible growth each year.


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg


#14
In-the-stands

In-the-stands

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts

This video is certainly a feel good, cheerleader, propaganda piece.

 


 



#15
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

That's about all it is.

 


 

 


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg


#16
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

I just had a 30 minute phone conversation with the co founders of the new league, Michael A Chiaradio and Joseph Donaldson. It was a great conversation about the league, what their plans are, what they want their league to be and how they plan on taking it there. They also expressed many if not all of the same frustrations we've all posted about concerning the way the NPF is being managed. I expressed my own frustrations about the NPF, its leadership, lack of direction and sponsorship and other things. All I can say is these two guys are extremely professional and knowledgeable and they definitely have the desire to create a successful and prosperous league. I have to say that any doubts i had about supporting this are  gone and I hope that this works because I think it would be absolutely amazing and not just for us as fans of professional softball but for these woman who pour their heart and soul into this game.


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg


#17
MammaZord

MammaZord

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 280 posts
  • Gender:Female

It's good to hear that these new guys appear to be well organized and highly motivated. The key to success for any new pro league will be how many big-name stars they can lure in. With the summer games right around the corner, new faces are going to emerge on the national scene and this new league must capture some of that talent if they want to be viable. Not sure what they have planned in that area..

 

Included with the league's lack of organization, etc. I feel the biggest problem for the league is it's inability to coexist with the US softball team. I've said it here before, but when most fans think of women's softball the first image is of the US team at the olympics, and the second image is of the NCAA women's college world series, and in a distant, distant third is the NPF. The league should be doing everything it can to make sure that our Olympic athletes are front and center in their promotion of the league.

 

I remember when Jennie Finch played for the Bandits and she was a big draw! She was the face of the entire sport and a an olympic gold and silver medalist- who wouldn't want to come see that?! Now with softball back in the games - the NPF should be working overtime to make the olympic athletes a part of the NPF. 



#18
NPF FAN

NPF FAN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

I won't say specifics, but they did mention at least one team they've been in contact with about joining their league. I can't stress what a relief it was to hear them talk about marketing the players, getting them exposure, presenting an attitude of openness and a willingness to work with the US Olympic team and schedule so that it benefits everyone, as well as covering a dozen other things/topics that we've discussed and debated over the years on this forum. Also, they've been on this forum and have read many of the posts and topics so they know and understand what our frustrations and disappointments have been, because they're the same frustrations they've had and I believe they get what needs to be done to be successful.  Like I said, I believe in their vision and hope it works because it would be amazing.


NPF%20Graveyard_zpsw3afgxu2.jpg





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users