There were a few posts on the RSD forums a couple days ago discussing the possibility of Nexgen playing AUDL team on their tour.
I wanted to provide my opinion since one poster was adamant the Nexgen Tour could be better by including games against AUDL teams. He went so far as to indicate that Nexgen would be “complete idiots” if they didn’t try to network with the AUDL and play a couple games against them. The idea of cross-platform exhibition games was intriguing, but I feel that this individual really missed the boat concerning the pecking order of Nexgen and the AUDL in ultimate.
To be clear, I would be ecstatic to get to see the Nexgen team play against an AUDL team or two. After all, the Nexgen Tour was intended to be a way to help make high level ultimate more accessible and showcase the sport. The AUDL is, for more monetary reasons, also interested in this goal.
I don’t however think that Nexgen would want or need to become an “AUDL program” as the above poster discusses. To be honest, I strain to think Nexgen will really have much interest in working with the AUDL for that matter, especially given the recent controversy surrounding the league. The AUDL actually has a short but consistent history of being pretty terrible at promoting and presenting their league games. There is no reason to think the AUDL will be any better at promoting games against Nexgen than the top club teams in the nation.
Even if you disagree and think the AUDL is a great promoter, Nexgen is pretty good about promoting/marketing their games themselves. Heck, they even have a much better video on demand service/system setup to charge for video content. You can buy ala carte games or subscribe for a package deal. As a further example, take a look at the Nexgen Tour’s website. Now look at the AUDL’s site. Now look at Goliveultimate. Now look at NGN. If you want to be blown away, check out some sample footage of games covered by the NGN and compare that to the video quality of the AUDL games.
As an AUDL fan, I can honestly say more people I speak with are familiar with the Nexgen Tour than with the AUDL. Up until Brodie Smith started endorsing the league, 80-90% of ultimate players I mentioned the league to had not heard of it. I might not have even heard of it if I hadn’t lived in Indianapolis for a number of years and played with the coaches. Even after Brodie got onboard, the league has primarily relied on the individual teams to do PR and marketing. The first AUDL highlight on Sports Center was generated by film from Brodie’s crew.
I think the AUDL would really be the one to benefit from any relationship with Nexgen. The only compelling reason I can imagine for Nexgen to add an AUDL team or two to their schedule would be to establish a rapport with the league in order to leverage a contract for the NGN to cover AUDL games in 2013. That would be a truly win/win scenario, since the AUDL’s video production is still not a high quality product. It only makes sense though if the NGN is looking for more work (they seem to be pretty busy at the moment).
I suppose, fan interest could also persuade Nexgen to play a game or two against an AUDL team. Nexgen really does seem to care a lot about giving ultimate fans what they want. As a professional ultimate fan, it would be pretty cool if the Nexgen Tour collaborated with the AUDL, but as a realist I just can’t see much reason why. I think it is pretty unlikely (based on the AUDL’s current problems with franchises their sloppy preparation and planning).
Plus, the 2012 Nexgen Tour schedule has already been announced, so I suppose this whole article is really predicated on a pipe dream. I guess we will just have to settle for watching Nexgen face off against the likes of Chain Lightning and Revolver. Ok!! I guess things could be worse….