NFL, Nike Boost Flag Football as League Seeks $5 Million in Crowdfunding

·2 min read

The American Flag Football League has announced that fans will have an opportunity to own a piece of the league through the launch of its investment campaign on SeedInvest. The campaign will be SeedInvest’s first crowdfund with a sports league. The AFFL’s goal is to raise $5 million, and the minimum amount an individual can invest into the league is $1,000.

“It takes money to build something new,” Jeffrey Lewis, the AFFL’s founder and CEO, said in an interview. “The good news for flag football is it takes a lot less money to build this sport than almost any other sport. There’s actually this reservoir of incredible enthusiasm for flag football that already existed that we didn’t need to create. All we really have to do is tap into what’s there. Whether you’re a pro, an amateur, an adult or a kid, we think we can be the pinnacle of the sport for whoever’s playing it.”

The announcement comes ahead of the AFFL’s fourth season, in which the league’s new women’s division will make its debut. Both the men’s and women’s divisions will have an equal grand prize of $200,000. Adrienne Smith, a former women’s football wide receiver, will oversee football operations and corporate partnership development for the women’s division. Michelle Roque, a former flag football star, will lead the women’s division’s social media and marketing.

To help the sport grow, the NFL, Nike and the AFFL are trying to push flag football globally. The NFL and Nike announced a $5 million initiative to support girls’ high school flag football. Flag football will also be included in the 2022 World Games, and the NFL currently has a bid to include it into the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Lewis is counting on investors from the SeedInvest campaign to help the sport grow, too.

“Somebody who becomes an investor doesn’t just give money; they become a part of your army of enthusiasm,” he said. “Those people are going to be the proudest ones wearing our gear, telling everybody to watch, coming out to events, involving their kids, so there’s going to be a lot of energy.”

Previously, the AFFL has featured some of the NFL’s biggest names, including Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Vince Young. The game runs a 7-on-7 format on a 100-yard field, with a 12-person roster and a 60-minute game played over a running clock.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast four live AFFL games, including the 2021 men’s and women’s tournament finals.

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