By: Jimmy Leppert
Major League Ultimate (MLU) recently published a handy-dandy infographic, full of easily digestible information that sets their league apart – not only from the AUDL, but from USA Ultimate as well. Infographics are the darling of the internet; they make ideas and data more readily available and more readily shared. Getting to the ideas behind the MLU, what makes the league successful today and how they plan to continue in the future is the core idea behind this infographic. Lets take a look!
- Throughout the entire graphic, the MLU positions themselves as a business. ‘We won’t take this risk because of our business…’, ‘We provide insurance…’, and all the words on their brand. Positioning themselves as a business-first league does give me the thought that maybe their decisions, even the ones without a clear business-position inside of it, are all sound decisions.
- Who was this chart made for though? Was it made to lure potential players to the MLU teams? Was it made to show sponsors at expos or through social media just how great their league is? For the fans?
- If it was made for potential players, I think the chart does a good job of talking me into this league over other possible playing opportunities. While as a fan I may find it interesting that the players are getting trainers, the proper fuel during games and that they don’t have to drive their own cars to games, I’d like that a lot more as a player.
- Exact information on that insurance would be interesting. While the details might be a little too much information for the infographic, one nice big round number might have stuck out.
- How much are the sponsors paying and how much is the league truly making off of these games? Is this really enough so that the league can provide all of the services listed while paying their staff? Having run a few tournaments, a lot of these amenities don’t come cheap. Either the league is making enough money to provide all of these things, or the league will be closing it’s doors soon.
- It’s funny how much detail they go into on the gear that is given to each player. Is that for potential clothing sponsors? Or, again, is it a recruiting tool for potential players?
- And if you’re going to clarifying that coaches means buses, why not just say buses?
- A graphic like this, which cuts off multiple words, is a poorly set-up graphic. Look at the trainers section for the worst example of this. [Editor’s note: this might be a bit nit-picky]
- Under ‘Clinics and Camps’ it mentions that they help to grow a players ‘brand’. Are there players outside of maybe Brodie Smith and Beau Kittredge (neither of whom play in the MLU), who are trying to grow their personal ‘brand’? Seems like a ridiculous statement to include all together, especially with the clinics and camps section.
- Lacking from this entire graphic though? Actual numbers. Numbers on how many times they have to choose air travel over coach. Insurance numbers, hotel and food numbers, number of trained officials, paychecks, sponsorships, and how well the ticket referral program has done.
I still think this is a very effective infographic from the MLU though. It tells every potential stakeholder about the benefits and player-focused attitude that they have as they run their business, trying to position themselves as the elite option among ultimate and sports fans alike. They’ve always been very ‘player-first’, or wanting to seem that way at least, and this graphic only furthers that thought.
I may have some gripes with the infographic, but it is well designed, fitting right in with the design of the league, each of the teams and the websites. Showing this to a potential partner or player isn’t going to seem out of place. However, the most easily lost aspect of the graphic is the banner at the top, which contains all eight teams and the text, “EVERY PLAYER, EVERY TEAM, SAME BUDGET, SAME BENEFITS”. It’s not as noticeable as the boxes about paychecks or anything else in the graphic, but I feel it carries a lot of weight and it quickly distinguishes that the MLU is a level playing field on every level possible.
At a time of year when the AUDL and the MLU try-out dates and signings are the most exciting pieces of news coming out of the professional ultimate scene, anything to distinguish between the two leagues is worth noting. This infographic, while not perfect by any means, is effective in making the conversation about the MLU versus the AUDL, and why the MLU is the superior product of the two.