Colorado Crush And The Arena Football League

By George Foster, Alicia Seiger
2004 | Case No. SPM7
The case details the formation of the Colorado Crush, a new Arena Football League (AFL) team co-owned by John Elway, Pat Bowlen(owner of Denver Broncos) and Stan Kroenke (owner of Pepsi Center). The AFL has been in existence since 1987, but only recently made a push to compete with more popular professional sports leagues by securing a national TV contract and expanding into larger markets. Commissioner Michael Baker took over in 1996 and made significant changes in the structure of the league, particularly with respect to its television contracts and financial incentives for NFL team owners to buy into the AFL. The case details the league’s contract with NBC sports, the Crush’s owners decision to purchase the franchise, and how the syndicate operated. The Crush’s first season was a record-breaking success off the field, but on the field, the team struggled to win games. The case ends with the question of how to attack the 2004 season on and off the field.
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