PACIFIC PRO FOOTBALL (“Pacific Pro”) is the most significant innovation in American football in decades. Pacific Pro is the first professional football league ever created to provide developing football players with a choice to play professionally directly from high school – a league where emerging players can hone their craft, play football, and be compensated for it.
Since the 1980s, others have innovated new leagues such as the USFL, XFL, and others. The USFL, while short-lived, proved the demand for football content was greater in scope than what many thought at the time. The USFL successfully signed talented players and coaches, many who went on to great success in the National Football League. Players and coaches included Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Jim Mora, and Marv Levy.
As a result of the work of good players and coaches, the USFL’s product was good enough to sell out many venues. The USFL’s failure was due to a lack of distribution of its product; at the time, the internet did not exist, and the distribution pipeline was essentially limited to the 3 major broadcast networks. As was proven in an antitrust trial, those networks colluded with the NFL to keep the USFL off the air and unavailable to viewers. Without television distribution, the USFL was not able to generate enough revenue to continue operations.
The XFL also experienced great initial interest from players, coaches and fans. The XFL, initiated in 1999, had much better fortune than the USFL in obtaining television distribution; the television industry had grown and broadened since the 1980s. Through strong marketing, initial television broadcast ratings were good, and XFL broadcasts innovated by using new camera angles that are regularly in use today. XFL game presentation considered the point of view of the fan. One example: the XFL used a shorter play clock in an effort to speed the game and to minimize any boredom in the fan experience.
The XFL did not succeed long term, however. One reason generally given is that due to excessive adjustment of ‘standard’ football rules, the viewing public felt the game presentation deviated too much from the game of football it was familiar with.
Since the USFL and XFL, other spring football leagues have been attempted, all to varying degrees of success. The NFL created NFL Europe and the World League of American Football. Another group tried the United Football League. Each had its merits, but none succeeded long term. Each did, however, succeed in helping players develop by giving them more experience.
All of these leagues had one thing in common: each utilized players that had already exhausted their American collegiate eligibility.
Pacific Pro will be the first league to professionalize players who are less than 4 years removed from their high school graduation. Players will receive a salary, benefits, and even paid tuition and books for one year at community college. Players also will be able to market themselves for compensation, and begin creating a financial retirement plan if they so choose.
Pacific Pro’s top priority will be the proper development of the player, on and off the field, using professional protocols.
Pacific Pro players will practice and play football in a professional manner; by doing so, and should they progress with their professional football career beyond Pacific Pro, their transition will be less difficult, on and off the field.
Just as importantly, Pacific Pro will use dedicated team counselors to help each player create the foundation for a life path post-football. Each player is unique, and their interests may range from a traditional academic path to a vocational or non-traditional career path. Pacific Pro will support, assist, and counsel each player so that by the time the player leaves Pacific Pro, he will have, at the very least, seriously investigated or participated in developing a foundation for a productive life off the field.
Pacific Pro will help expand the football industry, create new jobs for players, coaches, officials, and administrators, and be a unique proving ground for everyone associated with the game of professional football.