Legends Football League.
The decision was made to improve the image of the women’s football league before its fourth season begins on March 30. Executives admitted that the lingerie, including frilly bras, panties and garter belts, was just a gimmick to attract early interest to the LFL.
I suggested mid last year that the LFL change its name to the Ladies Football League and change their uniforms too.
“Instead of modified lingerie, these athletes could be wearing sports bras and shorts. Still call it the LFL, but make the first ‘L’ stand for ‘Ladies,’” I wrote in May 2012.
Am I the only person who thinks Legends Football League sounds like a seniors league? It makes me think of a league for retired NFL players to scrimmage. Nothing about “legends” makes me think about female athletes, much less sexy female athletes. (I’m talking about you, Liz Gorman of the Tampa Breeze, as the photos below show.)
It’s not the first time I’ve accurately predicted changes that would improve the league’s reputation. The LFL took my advice about moving from pay-per-view to cable, deemphasizing the sexy aspects of the sport, creating safer uniforms and giving more attention to the stars of the game (see the Baltimore Charm’s Angela Rypien and Ashley Helmstetter on a Jan. 22 Fox News broadcast).
In a press release this month, the LFL said it rebranded the sport as Legends Football League to highlight athletics.
“This is the next step in the maturation of our now global sport,” said LFL founder and Chairman Mitch Mortaza. “While the Lingerie Football League name has drawn great media attention allowing us to showcase the sport to millions, we have now reached a crossroad of gaining credibility as a sport or continuing to be viewed as a gimmick. In the coming years we will further establish this sport in the U.S., Australia, Europe and Asia as the most known form of American football globally. In order to reach the next milestone, we feel the focus has to be the sport and our amazing athletes.”
Those are commendable reasons for the rebranding. But the decision ultimately must have been financial. Taking away the gimmicky and sexual aspects of the sport will likely help with sponsors, advertisers and mainstream media coverage, methinks.
The LFL rebranding includes replacing the lingerie uniforms with performance sportswear, removing the “sexy female figures” from the LFL logo, redesigning the shoulder pads to increase protection, and changing the brand tagline to “Women of the Gridiron” from “True Fantasy Football.”
The LFL expanded from the U.S. to Canada last year and plans leagues in Australia this year and Europe in 2015.
One unknown is whether the new uniforms will eliminate on-field wardrobe malfunctions, an embarrassing element of the Lingerie Football League. For examples of LFL wardrobe malfunctions, check out the Tumblr blog called LFL Wardrobe Malfunctions. Duh.
LFL’s new uniforms and name (top) and the beautiful Liz Gorman of the Tampa Breeze. Gorman announced Friday that she will not be playing for the Jacksonville Breeze (formerly the Tampa Breeze) this upcoming season.
Articles on the rebranding of the LFL:
The lie perpetuated by the Lingerie Football League (Guyism; Jan. 23, 2013);
Lingerie Football League looks for credibility (ESPN; Jan. 15, 2013);
Lingerie Football League Rebrands to Legends Football League (EOG; Jan. 10, 2013);
Lingerie Football League shedding lingerie, and not in the fun way (Philly.com; Jan. 10, 2013).