Al Bann Media, Algarve Cup, And All That Jazz

Yikes! What a way to end a week on Twitter. Seems Al Bann Media was not able to meet the benchmarks set by sponsors and now they have to raise the money to broadcast, on demand from Algarve,  themselves.

What a terrible thing! A company involved with women’s soccer cannot garner the support of fans and sponsors back out, sound vaguely familiar? Now they are coming to fans with a direct appeal to crowd fund the broadcast from Algarve and the fans are: (choose as many as apply) 1- Pissed, 2-Skeptical, 3-Suspicious, 4-Reverting to the “woe is me” mentality, 5- Accepting responsibility for nothing, 6- Mad at Al Bann for everything. If I left anything out feel free to add them in a comment.

First off, let me state I am supporting Al Bann Media. I have made a financial contribution and am working within my capabilities to get the word out. Second, I am not affiliated with any group, of any kind, in any capacity, and have no influence other than my words on the internet.

Now that is out of the way, I’ll get to my thoughts.

As a fandom, whether we claim the USWNT or women’s soccer in general, we suck. Oh sure, there is a small core group that go above and beyond to support their teams and the sport, but they are just that, a small core group. But the majority of fans are the fair weather kind, the kind that think the sport is just out there doing its thing, waiting for them to get interested. Guess what? The sport is out there doing its thing, the only problem is right now it needs its fans. It needs fans at all levels, but especially the ones who can use their buying power to make a statement.

Al Bann Media is trying to do something the fans supposedly want. Well, they say they want it. Like most everything in this world, if you want it, you have to pay for it. I am sick and tired of the chicken and the egg argument, “For the sport to grow we need media, for the media to get involved we need the sport to grow”.  Al Bann has taken this on, they are the media and we, the fans, are on the verge of snubbing our noses at their attempt to get involved.

To the skeptics out there, I applaud your efforts to uncover some nefarious plot to get rich by scamming a few thousand fans, but seriously? If you are not pledging thousands of dollars, is all the sleuthing worth it? This venture can just as easily be funded by 21,667 fans at £6 (approximately $10) a piece, as a few at much higher amounts. Give this a minute to sink the U.S. alone the USWNT have sold upwards of 18,000 tickets for a celebration tour game, if each of those fans was to pledge £6 for a viewing package for 4 games, we would be almost to the total needed.

I am not ignoring Al Bann’s unprofessional responses on twitter. I am giving them a pass. For someone to work so hard behind the scenes only to have the fan support let them down, then to pick up the pieces and try to give the fans another chance to get what they want only to be derided, yeah, they get a pass from me.

I ask you to reconsider your opinion. I ask you to do something bigger than yourself. I ask you to support Al Bann Media financially. I ask you to assume just a fraction of the risk for this venture. I ask you to be the fan that makes the difference.

If I have missed the mark, let me have it in the comments.