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Old 01-11-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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Default The NFL, the Talent Pool, and Long-Term Expansion.

A couple of blog posts linking football and demographics in case you're interested. They go together, so read the first one first and the second one ... well, you can figure out the pattern

Talent pool discussion - http://coronainsights.com/2013/01/th...and-expansion/

Long-term expansion discussion - http://coronainsights.com/2013/01/nf...d-expansion-2/
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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Intersting theory based on the premis that population growth will continue as per the last 100 or so years. Also, what is lost in this theory is that a team's fan base will shift from one team to another, that is, no loyalty to the old teams, just fandom based on where the population centers are. I really don't think this will work in every instance, that is, 3 teams in the Carolina's does not mean the Panther's fan base will up and start watching another Carolina team. Also, too many teams cramed into a smaller area will be self defeating for all the teams in that geographical area, regardless of population density. LA, CA is the perfect example of this. Why does LA NOT have an NFL team even though it has a big population?--oh yah, no one in LA really cares, that's why.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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The talent pool has undoubtedly increased with the rapid expansion of international interest in football, however the youth system, particularly the NCAA may not be ready to adapt to a more international player base given current funding models.

The fan base is trickier, the NFL has seen above average fan growth both nationally and internationally the last decade at the cost of several other sports. I am not sure this growth can be realistically extrapolated, with Bettman retiring I don't feel it is realistic to expect the NHL to go through 3 more lockouts in the next 2 decades, and likewise I don't see the MLB going through another any time soon.

I feel there are a few markets, especially if they NFL is willing to look into international expansion that could support an NFL team, Toronto, Mexico City and Vancouver would probably be the most obvious places in North America. LA will always be contentious, finding a staple owner group and a facility that is viable long term is going to be challenging, the sad fact is that a large part of the people in LA who have the money to be interesting prospective customers are not from LA and would have little reason to follow an LA based team.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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These models are kind of arbitrary. Saying populations = more talent. I'm not sure it always works out that way. It depends on what populations in what areas are increasing, I would argue. Also, as was pointed out, just putting a team somewhere doesn't create immediate loyalty.

They also need to consider that the NFL wants to go global. They may want a team in Canada and/or Mexico before Riverside CA.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Good point on the international expansion, and I think it's reasonable to assume that they'll push out some domestic expansion over the next 40 years, particularly in Mexico City. Expansion in Europe is possible, but will meet some resistance on the whole "road game fatigue" scenario. It'll happen in time, though.

However, we've seen on the domestic front that an NFL franchise can survive and thrive as long as there's a pool of about 9 million fans per team. You can argue the pros and cons of a particular site, but NFL expansion has been successful at that rate over the past 80 years, and I see no reason that it won't continue.

Now, one might argue that Carolina and Jacksonville are the first cracks in that model. I'm not sure if they've achieved national visibility to the same extent that earlier franchises did, and it seems like Jacksonville in particular has battled to gain a permanent foothold against an entrenched in-state team (or two). Carolina I'm not so sure about. Maybe they're stable, and they were definitely a perfect spot in which to place a team.

In the future, new teams may not end up being nationally known teams as easily as long-time teams like the Bears or the Cowboys or the Steelers. Success will play a big role in that, of course, but I think the real future for NFL teams is niche marketing. As we expand to 40 teams and upward, the model may be less to keep fans aware and knowledgeable about all NFL teams, and more toward building an ardent and loyal fan base drawn from about 10 million people in the region. It'll be more about building through niche marketing than leaguewide marketing.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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by 2050 there will probably be more professional soccer teams than NFL teams.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #7
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by 2050 there will probably be more professional soccer teams than NFL teams.
History does indeed show that all great civilizations eventually perish.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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Good point on the international expansion, and I think it's reasonable to assume that they'll push out some domestic expansion over the next 40 years, particularly in Mexico City. Expansion in Europe is possible, but will meet some resistance on the whole "road game fatigue" scenario. It'll happen in time, though.

However, we've seen on the domestic front that an NFL franchise can survive and thrive as long as there's a pool of about 9 million fans per team. You can argue the pros and cons of a particular site, but NFL expansion has been successful at that rate over the past 80 years, and I see no reason that it won't continue.

Now, one might argue that Carolina and Jacksonville are the first cracks in that model. I'm not sure if they've achieved national visibility to the same extent that earlier franchises did, and it seems like Jacksonville in particular has battled to gain a permanent foothold against an entrenched in-state team (or two). Carolina I'm not so sure about. Maybe they're stable, and they were definitely a perfect spot in which to place a team.

In the future, new teams may not end up being nationally known teams as easily as long-time teams like the Bears or the Cowboys or the Steelers. Success will play a big role in that, of course, but I think the real future for NFL teams is niche marketing. As we expand to 40 teams and upward, the model may be less to keep fans aware and knowledgeable about all NFL teams, and more toward building an ardent and loyal fan base drawn from about 10 million people in the region. It'll be more about building through niche marketing than leaguewide marketing.
I highly, highly doubt we see more expansion teams.
Currently, we have a near perfect division/conference set up, a good amount of teams so the talent pool isn't diluted, creating parity around the league.

Seriously, teams have been possibly looking at relocating because certain places haven't thrived. Baltimore moved to Indy, Cleveland moved to Baltimore, teams have moved to LA, and then away from LA, Houston moved to Tennesse, and then a new Houston team came along.

I just don't see the expansion happening, it doesn't seem feasible to me and would only hurt the league.

I think there is a good reason why each sport hasn't expanded anytime recently. Lockouts/threats of a lockout, talent getting thin, it just is getting harder to maintain these level of teams. In a new city, I have a hard time believing a city will support a team that will be perennial losers their first decade like Cleveland and Houston were. Support wanes, ticket sales drop, can't get talent in through free agency, you're left having to relocate/sell the team and its a black hole for the league as you have a team that can't function.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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I think the biggest issue would be fan interest. More accurately, fan intensity/loyalty. Can they really get that in 10 more cities or would we have 6 more jacksonvilles?

By their theory, though, not expanding that drastically should mean more talent. Should be fun.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #10
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I was a broncos fan and had alot of great memories of my team. Im sure this will be the same with jacksonville and car.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:59 PM   #11
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History does indeed show that all great civilizations eventually perish.
Funny
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:59 AM   #12
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In a related story, there is now proof that the rise in global temperatures has been correlated to a steady decline in the number of pirates, as shown in the following graph:

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #13
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having spoken to a former NFL coach a few months ago he thought the expansion plan would be into europe with a london and french franchise so teams coming over would stay for two weeks and play both.

Its a very interesting article but one thing they havent taken into account is the number of foreigners playing in NCAA and the growth in their numbers in recent years and we'll see more and more coming through the draft in the next few years. The game is growing massively here, the college league i coach in has doubled in size in the ten years i've been involved and we have a school in Bristol which plays in the European American high school league which is sending guys to div 1 schools every year.

I would love a London franchise but they would still be my second team.
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