I know you're skeptical. But I promise it's okay.
The team over at FANchise has really purchased a Pro football team and they're giving you the chance to control its destiny.
As their website states, they're leaving it all to the fans.
Now the team doesn't play in the NFL, but they will be playing in the IFL starting in 2017.
Being able to call the shots for a team as a fan is a novel idea, one that many football fans probably never thought would be available to them.
Now fans will have the chance to hire the coaches, choose the teams players and call the plays in real-time.
Meet Some of Team FANchise
The team over at FANchise is made up of some incredible people. They've brought on board the former President & COO of the 49ers, as well as the former GM of NFL & ESPN Mobile.
While they also have some great marketers and tech entrepreneurs, they've also brought on some former NFL players.
According to their website they include Ahman Green (the all-time rushing leader of the Packers), Al Wilson (Broncos Linebacker) and Ray Austin (Defensive Back for the Jets).
They've got an all-star cast that is ready to give fans control. The question is, can the fans handle the responsibility?
What Can the Fans Really Do
Based on my conversation with Grant Cohen of FANchise, nearly everything.
He likened it to playing franchise mode in Madden. You control pretty much everything.
In fact, they're holding voting right now for where they're going to be located. Either Salt Lake City or Oklahoma City depending on how you vote.
With the season starting in 2017, they still need to hire a coach, GM and pick the players for their team. Those are all things the fans get to vote on.
Here's the catch, all fans aren't created equal. You all start at the same point, but you'll earn points to influence your tier of power.
- Right now you can earn points via the method below.
- Their team is also working on a mobile app that will allow fans to prove their football knowledge, cast their votes, interact with other fans, and eventually call the plays on game day in real-time.
You can signup here and start earning points/rewards now via likes, shares and getting referrals.
While I don't have an official end date (April at some point) on the ability to win a variety of prizes in the original prize pool, I'd recommend starting as soon as you can. Some of the prizes for the top 100 fans include(from their site as of 3/8/16):
- #1 Fan: Become the "Team Advisor" with stock option compensation, front row season tickets, VIP status at home games and more!
- Fans #2-10: Front Row Season Tickets + VIP status at all home games (dinner w/ the team, field passes, owners box access) + everything below.
- Fans #11-25: Season tickets + lead the team out of the tunnel + early access to the arena before any home game, meet players and coaches, play catch with players on field, pregame party w/ owners and special guests + everything below.
- Fans #26-50: Access to the mobile app for two years + 2x voting power on every team decision + everything below.
- Fans #51-100: Official autographed (fan-designed) team merchandise including jersey, t-shirt, hat, and more! Plus access to the mobile app for one year.
There's a leaderboard that shows you how you stack up against everyone else that's vying for the right to be the "Team Advisor".
Can You Handle Running a Pro Football Team?
Project FANchise is betting on the idea that fans can make and continue to make the right decisions about hiring a coach, players and calling the right plays.
It's a huge responsibility for the fans. One that FANchise believes the fans are ready for.
According to an article from Keith Rivas of LA Sports Hub, fans won't be able to pick plays that are outside of the context of the situation.
Aka, they can't call a QB sneak on 4th down deep in their own territory. Simply because this is a real team that people have invested in. It's for the fans to run, as long as they don't run it into the ground.
What's Next for You and FANchise?
For you as fans, start earning points and try to become the Team Advisor.
Calling the shots for a pro football team is pretty cool.
If you're looking for other ways to take part with FANchise, I've been told they'll be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon (late April/Early May) with some cool perks for those that take part.