USAU Should Not Go Pro

Reader MR sends along an interesting thesis about the backlash from players against the Triple Crown Tour:

[quote]The problem with USA Ultimate trying to compete with the other professional leagues has to do with its core function. They provide a service to their members; professional leagues provide a product to their fans.

The real frustration with the TCT is it goes against what USAU was built for, providing a service to the people who pay to play. They want to attract people that pay to watch. The two different business designs quite obviously need to very different strategies which is creating a contradiction and tension within the membership of USAU.[/quote]

Although this point hasn’t been explicitly made, I think it is an undercurrent to the dissatisfaction with the TCT. The vast majority of USAU’s membership wants to play for reasons that don’t include winning the National Championship or showcasing the sport. They want to have fun, hang out with their friends, get some exercise, etc.

The Triple Crown tries to accommodate everyone, while also asking players to foot the bill (even as they push the sport onto TV and sell tickets — theoretically — to fans.)

That’s a tough pitch to make, and it’s a big part of the reason that the NexGen league has gained considerable traction. Over time, the TCT could start to reap significant benefits for the top flights, but should it be USAU’s job to run a pro league?

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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