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A7FL Tackles Difficult 2020, 2021 Expansion Well Underway

Pro Football Coming to Florida and San Diego, Joining New Jersey and Maryland Divisions for a total of 20 Teams in 2021

The American 7s Football League® (A7FL), pioneering no-helmets, no-pads, full-contact tackle football, not only showed its resiliency with a number of significant accomplishments during a challenging 2020 but also continued to build its fanbase and the foundation for the 2021 season and beyond.

The global pandemic affected everyone and everything this year including sports. After pushing back the planned March start of its 2020 season, the A7FL partnered with digital innovation company Oz and its Salus solution to implement safety and testing protocols and in July launched the 2020 Back in Motion Tournament Presented by Salus. This New Jersey-based 4-team tournament was organized against a backdrop of uncertainty for all sports, and yet, according to Forbes, “It appears the risk the A7FL took in having a 2020 mini-season has paid off. Their success has drawn attention from fans as well as potential investors.” Against overwhelming adversity, the A7FL was the first football league to resume play safely with the Paterson U team taking the title.

2020’s tournament plus a weekly “In Motion” series also put the A7FL on cable and satellite TV via a partnership with Eleven Sports, along with continued live programming on Facebook Watch and Twitch, while another agreement with digital sports powerhouse WAVE.tv ensured A7FL highlights blew up across the internet. Meanwhile, SportsCenter’s social media account shared an A7FL video (going viral to the tune of 20M views) as celebrities including Snoop Dogg and Deion Sanders posted on social media they wanted their own teams.

In 2020, the league also expanded its internal marketing and production capabilities, piloting weekly studio-based news and highlight series “Inside the A7FL,” hosted by A7FL personality LJ Smith and veteran quarterback Cory Hammond. In addition, with A7FL fans now able to get their football highlight “fix” daily across multiple platforms, the league’s online following grew to over 600K with the biggest increases on Instagram (with YouTube and Facebook not far behind).

On the corporate front, the A7FL launched a successful equity crowdfunding campaign via StartEngine which enabled the league to “up its game” across the board – from increasing player prize money to production upgrades, to investment in marketing and sales.  To that end, American 7s recently announced its new relationship with Precision Sports Entertainment to expand partnership outreach and sponsor sales. And under the leadership of UFC Co-Founder and A7FL Advisory Board Chairman David Isaacs, several key Board additions were made to fast-track the league’s growth including former baseball executive Ken Lehner, veteran sports industry communications consultant Joe Favorito, and sports media executive Anthony Bailey.

As we move into the new year, the A7FL looks to continue its rapid rise with some exciting changes, perhaps the most important of which is the league’s expansion. For its 2021 season (beginning April 11), the A7FL has added two new divisions, one in Southern California (in and around San Diego) and the other in Florida (based in Orlando, the largest US market without an NFL franchise), increasing its number of divisions to 4 with a total of 20 teams. As a result, the upcoming season will feature 2 designated “Games of the Week” for live national broadcast with cut-ins and highlights from around the country.  More announcements are set for the coming weeks.

“Many sports leagues didn’t play this year, and a number didn’t survive the effects of the pandemic,” said A7FL Co-Founder and CEO Sener Korkusuz. “The A7FL not only played but we thrived and made progress across so many different areas. As we head into a new season, we’re ready to leverage that success and take things to a whole new level!”

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