There’s a new professional sports league in town. For this league becoming fit isn’t just the preparation for the game—it is the game. The National Pro Fitness League (NPFL) is a new organization that pits co-ed teams of athletes against each other in a range of functional fitness events. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, the NPFL has franchises in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Its season will kick off at the end of August and last for six weeks, with the franchises competing in a total of 12 matches and a culminating championship match taking place in early October.
Wow. This is exciting news for fitness facilities and sports facilities alike. What a great development to get behind and support. Even if your facility doesn’t focus on functional fitness or offer related classes, the creation of the NPFL can be a boon to you. Since it will bring both fitness and league sports events to the forefront of the nation’s attention— at least for a little while (especially because, as NPFL Director of Team Development Cassie Haynes pointed out in a recent article, this league, unlike the NFL, MLB, and other older leagues, can be built around technology. The opportunity for fan engagement will be huge).
How can you benefit from the upcoming NPFL events? First, let your members know about them—chances are, they haven’t yet heard about the NPFL. Be the first to fill them in. Get enthusiastic about the league and convey your enthusiasm with posters, announcements, and by having your trainers talk it up. If there are competitors from your region, build up a show of support for them; make the events a bonding experience and a way to motivate your facility’s patrons in their own fitness and league practice sessions.
If you have the space and technology, you might consider setting up a few in-facility viewing events for members (and potential members!). Chances are, you’ve been looking for ways to build community anyway—and if you’re not, you should be! This is another excellent way to do so.
One great thing about the league is that it has the potentially to appeal to a wide variety of audience. It’s co-ed, so both men and women can get behind it. And it’s not filled with just hot young things; for each match, at least two competitors (one male, one female) from each team must be a “Master Athlete”—meaning age 40 or older. What other sport can boast of such inclusion? In spreading the word about the league—in your facility or on social media—you’ll want to stress this aspect of it. There’s something here for everyone.
Finally, can you think of any tie-in events you can stage at your own facility? If you have the capacity for functional fitness training, maybe you can plan for training activities that match a particular competition occurring on a certain day. Or after an event is over, you may have a trainer analyze an athlete’s performance together with clients, and help incorporate lessons to be learned into clients’ own practices. As always, the benefits you reap from such an exciting development (the creation of the NPFL) are up to you: You’re limited only by your imagination. It’s worth spending the time thinking about where you can go with this.