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XFL in the news: Week 4

Catch up on the buzz surrounding the XFL as it heads into Week 4.

Lessons the NFL should be taking from the XFL's surprising success (Yahoo Sports)

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports takes a look at some of the things the XFL has come up with that may work in the NFL.

Schwab writes "If you’re trying to get attention in 2020, you need to be engaging on social media. The XFL has done a great job with that. The XFL floods social media with fun highlights — it took a long time for the NFL to figure out that strategy — and it makes you want to turn on the games. And the games aren’t hard to find, considering the league did a great job securing major television partners."

If you haven't been to an XFL Seattle Dragons game yet, you need to, & here's why (NBC Sports)

Wondering what it is like to attend a Seattle Dragons game? Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest went to his first Dragons' game last week when they played host to the Dallas Renegades. His review is in: He is going back. 

Fann writes, "Affordability is one of the main selling points. Season tickets start at only $20 per ticket, and tickets for a single game start at only $24.  The team also has group tickets starting at only $18 for friends/family outings, youth sports organizations, companies, or any other groups. Given the exorbitant prices for Seahawks tickets, and to a lesser degree the Sounders, the cost alone should make Dragons games a draw for any football fan."

XFL offers pair of apps to accompany its launch: One centered around gamified-content (Sports Video Group)

Brandon Costa, the Director of Digital for wrote about the XFL's brand-new app this past week.

Costa writes "The XFL has also launched an app called PlayXFL, aimed at gamifying the experience of watching an XFL game. Users are able to enter competitions ranging from picking games to prop bets on individual player performances. All games are free to play and not yet an action on the opening of legalization for sports betting across the United States. However, it certainly plays off of much of the verbiage and betting scenarios that will inevitably be a part of the league’s – and all of American sports’ – future."

'This is gonna work': An exclusive behind-the-scene look at Fox's top XFL team (The Athletic - subscription)

The Athletic's Stephen Cohen was in Seattle looking at how Fox is broadcasting the XFL. Cohen writes about the access and how different it is from other leagues.

"The way the XFL has given us access to all the players and coaches and stuff, it’s outstanding to bring this kind of experience to the viewer at home, to hear all the stuff that you’ve never really heard before,” said audio engineer Jamie McCombs, who monitors the feeds during the game from inside the truck. “It is a lot to juggle. The first couple of weeks was kind of experimenting to see how much we could do and not overwhelm the viewer, but we’re getting into a rhythm now figuring out when to come in and out.”

He also writes about the manpower behind Fox's XFL broadcasts "McDonald is the network’s top college football producer, Russo is its No. 1 NFL director, just weeks removed from directing his fourth Super Bowl. Menefee has hosted the network’s Sunday NFL studio show since 2007, while Klatt works with McDonald during the fall as Fox’s top college football analyst and Huard runs with the No. 2 team."

For Vipers fans, less is more (Tampa Bay Times)

When the Tampa Bay Vipers hosted their home opener at Raymond James Stadium this past weekend, Mari Faiello of the Tampa Bay Times went to see why almost 18,000 fans packed the stadium to watch their first XFL game in person. 

She writes, "But what necessarily makes 18,000 fans stick around nearly three hours? Based on a sampling of those who came out Saturday afternoon to Raymond James Stadium for the XFL Vipers home opener the answer is less is more.

Less time invested, less money spent. Of the 25 people interviewed before and during the Vipers’ 34-27 loss to the undefeated Houston, nearly all expressed a preference for the rebooted XFL’s speed-up rules."

XFL embraces gambling in quest to become most sports betting friendly league in the country (Forbes)

Zack Jones of Forbes took a deep dive into the XFL and how the league has become extremely gambling-centric. Jones writes "Where the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have spent years fighting the inevitable spread of regulated sports betting, McMahon and the XFL are embracing the action....Having a little bit of skin in the game can turn a seemingly boring matchup into a dopamine rollercoaster ride for the casual bettor, and many of the emerging sports betting brands are targeting the average Joe looking to add some excitement to the game."