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 in..in 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.

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12 thoughts on “Al Bann Media, Algarve Cup, And All That Jazz

  1. No, I’m also really depressed that there isn’t a better response from the fans. They need a lot more than 212 backers (the current total) to pull this thing off. Some major sponsors willing to plunk down a few thousand would help, but I can’t blame them for not jumping in when only a couple hundred fans have shown interest.

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  2. I totally agree. We see fans on twitter and facebook clamor and complain to USSF when a game isn’t televised. Here they have a chance to get some games aired online. Games that have never in their history been shown on tv or online. And those same fans do nothing. The cheapest priced ticket to a USWNT Game has been $22 plus fees. Here for $10 Al Bann was offering to give you 4 games plus a placement match. That is $2.50 a game. Ridiculous. Of course the majority of fans are not going to be reached by a few of us online. Many of them might not use twitter or facebook at all. I really wish that the USWNT members would spread the word to their followers. I was happy to see that USSF did mention the original Al Bann streaming on the USWNT news/blog. It would help greatly if they updated it with information about the kickstarter project. If only it could be sent out via US Soccer Supporters club mailing list.

    It saddens me how little “fans” are willing to support the sport with their money. It isn’t large amounts. Spending money on things like this, buying tickets to see the USWNT, buying tickets to NWSL games, that is how sponsors, advertisers, media, and potential team owners see that it is a worthwhile venture. I feel like I am being let down by the bittorrent generation.

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  3. I would eagerly pay to see the US National Womens’ Team play in the Algarve Cup. I was one of the fans at the game against Scotland in Jacksonville last week. I paid $65 a ticket plus Ticketmaster fee for that single game, so I would happily pay to see the Algarve Cup games. But, how do I even contact Al Bann to show my support? I am not on Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social media – nor do I desire to be so present. Why doesn’t Al Bann maintain a usable website?

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    • Sadly, Al Bann Media was not able to muster enough fan support to broadcast the games this year. Serious question though, if you are not on social media, how did you hear about Al Bann Media? If you are not on social media how do you get your soccer information? I think part of the problem with the Al Bann campaign was not being able to reach enough fans willing to spend money. How would you go about reaching those fans? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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      • I have to say I saw numerous requests from fans asking players to help publicize the effort to broadcast the Algarve Cup. But I didn’t see the least bit of support from the players, not even a retweet. I think they bear some of the blame. Some of these players have a million followers – imagine what even one tweet could have done!

        (And for that matter I don’t see many of the NTers promoting the NWSL, either.)

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        • I think 2 NT players RT’d early on. I was wondering if it was a contractual conflict w/ sponsors or maybe they got the word from US Soccer to stay out of it, re: Al Bann Media. As for NWSL, many players have said how important league is and several have been hyping ticket sales. I think once NT game is over, they will show more support. I am trying very hard not to kill my enthusiasm before the season even starts.

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      • Diane,

        I check ussoccer.com every few days. That is where I learned about the Al Bann media plan. But, when I go to their website, albann.com, all that is there is a requirement to enter a password – no information, no contact. I would certainly have paid my fee to see these games ahd I been able to get to their website with information.

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  4. I’m a passionate fan, and I’m just finding out that this problem exists. I had been looking forward to watching the Algave matches since it was originally announced. One great way to reach fans is through American Outlaws. Their twitter/facebook following is massive. $10 for the 4 games is a great deal! (most on-demand is 2-8 times that for a single game). That said, what can we do today to make this happen? I can’t find al Bann at their website (password protected), facebook (gone), or twitter (protected). How do we help, or is it too late?

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  5. I, too, was ready to sign up, having been instructed a while ago to report back on March 1…..$10 for the package, a great deal, and I watch a lot of soccer on the computer, in that I do not have cable or even a tv. BUT when I went to the bookmarked link, I got the “enter password” message, as well.

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