Fan Controlled Football (FCF) is undergoing a significant transformation in its business model, according to recent reports. The league, known for its unique approach of allowing fans to make real-time training decisions through fan voting tools, is now shifting its focus towards a technology licensing model. This decision comes after the FCF faced financial difficulties that forced the cancellation of its planned third season.
Sohrob Farudi, the co-founder and CEO of Fan Controlled Sports & Entertainment, explained the reasoning behind this strategic shift. Given the current state of capital markets and the substantial amount of funding required to sustain a sports league, Farudi believes that concentrating on technology and platform development is the most viable approach in the current environment.
The FCF initially gained attention for its innovative fan engagement tools, which aligned with the growing interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. However, funding challenges plagued the league, despite raising $55 million in venture capital, including a $40 million Series A round in January 2022. By the end of 2022, the league encountered difficulties in securing additional funding as the capital markets dried up.
Farudi acknowledged the financial hardships and admitted that achieving significant growth had become nearly impossible. However, he identified one positive aspect: the immense interest generated by the technology behind the fan voting tools. Currently, the company is finalizing deals to incorporate fan input elements into other sports, such as basketball, auto racing, and golf. This expansion will involve certain individuals becoming co-owners and co-producers, while other existing leagues will incorporate interactivity into their platforms.
In addition to technology licenses, FCF is considering adopting a franchise ownership model as part of its efforts to relaunch the league. The plan is to sell franchises at varying price points, ranging from high six figures to lower seven figures, with the goal of securing eight buyers. Revenue generated from franchise fees would sustain the league for several years, while franchise owners would have control over their own profits and losses.
FCF's ability to adapt to the challenges it faced and explore new avenues for growth is commendable. The league's move towards technology licensing and potential franchise ownership models reflects its determination to continue providing innovative fan engagement experiences. With plans to expand into other sports, FCF aims to revolutionize fan involvement across various athletic disciplines.
Fans of the FCF eagerly anticipate its return in 2024, hopeful that the league's initiatives will create more opportunities for players and coaches. As alternative football leagues strive to carve their place in the industry, the future looks promising with FCF leading the way.