What’s going on Franchise Community? I am Neal Wallace, better known as Bomber, the commissioner of the Madden Bomber League and before we get started I want to give a big thanks to Matt, and the entire league crawler team, for allowing me to use the platform to share this information. While this article is geared towards commissioners in the franchise community, I think most of this information effects everyone within the league, so feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on LeagueCrawler.com
ALRIGHT LETS GET RIGHT TO IT! Maybe your league is still alive right now in May (if so congrats and way to grind), maybe your league is starting back up for Madden 19, or you might be playing around with the idea of creating your league next madden, either way WE GOT YOU COVERED! Here are 5 tips that will help grow your league, no matter how big or small your community might be right now.
#1 DO NOT BE OUTWORKED
If you are the commissioner, you MUST be the hardest working person in the league. If you want members within your community to follow you, you have to lead by example. Remember PERCEPTION is often reality, and it is important that you become a person that is not outworked. I put this at #1 because in order to grow your league you can’t do it all by yourself (Many have tried before, and heck even I was headed down that road at one point but it just doesn’t work, You will burn out QUICK). You need members within your community to follow you, and the most effective way is to lead by example!
#2 QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
If you have a smaller league and you do not have much content being driven, JUST START SMALL! Get with your inner circle and brainstorm some ideas that you all feel will add to the league. Pick 1 or 2 of the ideas and then focus solely on maintaining and improving this content throughout the cycle. I can remember when we started the MBL Network, and all it had was Highlight Clips from each season. At that time I thought, “Well….at the very least we are creating a historical video library of our league.” That went on for probably the first 5-6 seasons, and to put that into perspective each MBL Season was about 40 days long at that time. Moral of the story, NOTHING WAS BUILT IN A DAY, BE PATIENT FOCUS ON QUALITY!
If your league is bigger and has content, I want you to ask yourself this question. How has your media improved? Seriously. Think about the first podcast or show that you all created, what has improved since it started? Does it still exist today? Why or why not? Now moving forward, with new content and new ideas, attempt to sustain quality throughout episodes and enhance and improve the product for the viewer.
A quick piece of information, the MBL uses X Split for live broadcasting (You can use OBS its free), we all use Team Speak for audio within broadcasts, and all of our commentators have Blue Yeti Microphones (about $120). If you don’t want to buy a Blue Yeti check out the Blue Snowball mic, they are $30 to $40 and are pretty good quality as well.
#3 INCENTIVIZE EVERYTHING
Now this is something you might not want to hear, you might not even believe it to be true, BUT most people don’t want to do much! Haha big shocker right? Well luckily there is a way to improve the willingness of those in your league. Create value in contributions, and by this I mean find things that members within your community want, and make them earn it. I have seen Da Dynasty utilize a point system that is based on production, which in turn helps create the Team Selection order for the next madden. One of my favorite leagues to follow on twitter, Anzac (AML) their commissioner rewards those teams who missed the playoffs but played all of their games with a drawing to get attribute points and development traits. In the MBL we utilize a Team Selection list, that is evaluated and determined by the Admins solely based on production and participation throughout the August to August madden year. There are SO MANY ways to incentivize, it is really a great tool that is unique to each league. If you are having problems with people going on auto once they are eliminated from playoff contention or you are having issues getting people to show up to live events…JUST INCENTIVIZE IT! Make is beneficiary for members to show up and I promise you things will begin to change.
#4 ADMIN RULES
You are probably reading this and thinking…WHAT’S ADMIN RULES? Haha. It’s definitely a phrase I just created and I’m not ashamed to admit it, but it’s also something in the MBL we have used FOREVER! I just didn’t name it “Admin Rules” until about 45 words ago. Anyways. This is all about perception, it’s something that we often overlook but in this crazy madden world WE SHOULDN’T! It’s no secret that admins have a lot of power, within the game and outside of the game. In the MBL we have two admin rules, with the first rule being if an admin’s player is edited it must be video recorded, or streamed with another person watching. This became a big deal once editing in Madden became wide open and those with admin privileges in the game can edit everything, and for some reason the game doesn’t say what exactly was edited. The second admin rule is if an owner or player is suspended he does NOT serve his suspensions against any admin member. This is basically to cover our self against any collusion, or perception that collusion could have existed. Being transparent and honest with your community is the only way to have a successful future as an admin. Does you league have any “Admin Rules”?
#5 GET FIVE!
My last tip is probably something that took me years to figure out. A lot of trial and error with how many admins I should have in the MBL, and over the last 17 seasons we have kept 5 admins on the team at all times. Now I am going to preface this with THESE MUST BE PEOPLE YOU CAN TRUST. In the MBL I could have 9-10 admins because we have strongly developed our league top to bottom, but as the saying goes “you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen.” The reason I believe 5 is the magic number because I look at it like this, you have two people at the top of the power structure being the commissioner and the co commissioner who need to have hands on everything. The next 3 admins handle complaints, statistical issues, trades, and overall monitoring of the league operations. This allows the commissioner and the co commissioner to grow the league and put their hands on multiple projects while leading the way. As I stated earlier “DO NOT BE OUTWORKED” this is possible in a 5 man admin team because you are utilizing your admin team effectively. In the MBL we have an MBL Network Director, along with a Creative Director, and a Network assistant. Now these guys fall into my count of the potential 9-10 admin team members I could have, but utilizing them in these positions allows for the league to grow in areas outside of league operations. For larger leagues this is just some insight into how the MBL machine works. We rely heavily on our top 10 guys to grow the league from different outward facing areas. If you are an ambitious smaller league looking to grow into a content driven league, or even a content driven league looking to take that next step really consider a max of a 5 man admin team. Anything more than that would be useful in other areas such as a league YouTube Network, Twitch streaming channel, or a social media director etc.
I hope guys have enjoyed these 5 tips to grow your league, and if you have any questions or feedback feel free to contact me @Neal_Wallace3 on twitter. At the end of the day we all are playing this mode to have fun and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a ton of work to be a commissioner but as most of you know the real reward is in the relationships and the community we establish. Look forward to talking to some of you in the near future, and I hope Madden 19 delivers something for our MODE!!! WE NEED IT!!
**I want to give a quick shout out to Z Star and Hound for running the MBL development league “The Grid”. These guys do some great work my community and while I couldn’t work their name into the article, I wanted to make sure I gave them a proper thanks! Also Z Star you still are NOT TOP 5! Haha.**