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Over Five Hundred Players Signed to The Alliance

The Alliance of American Football has reached a milestone in player acquisition, signing over 500 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season. The mark was surpassed with the latest batch of signings highlighted below, bringing the total to 515 players signed to contracts. “As we get closer to our first snap on February 9th, our experienced general managers and personnel teams have been working around the clock to build their rosters and offer players a chance to begin, extend or revitalize their careers,” said Bill Polian, co-founder, The Alliance. “I know the pressure and dedication that goes into building a championship-caliber team and it’s been exciting to see our rosters fill up with talented athletes that have come from all over the country – from small universities in the Midwest to powerhouse SEC schools and successful NFL franchises. They are all vying for another shot in professional football.” “Each day, when I see the personnel notice come across my desk, I’m reminded of why The Alliance is a league of opportunity — these players deserve a chance to continue their football careers and I’m honored they chose The Alliance,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder, The Alliance. “With our Super Bowl champion league executives, our best-in-class coaches and general managers, these players will take the field in February prepared and supported by those who have been there before them with an opportunity to compete at a high level in front of passionate, engaged fans. We welcome these 515 players to The Alliance.” Rosters Arizona Hotshots Atlanta Legends Birmingham Iron Memphis Express Orlando Apollos Salt Lake Stallions San Antonio Commanders San Diego Fleet

Introducing the Orlando Apollos

Aiming high! Introducing the Orlando Apollos

By Mark Newman The Sun doesn’t set on football in early February anymore, and it certainly never has in the great state of Florida. At the center of it all is something entirely new: The Orlando Apollos. The Alliance of American Football began rolling out official team names on Thursday and Orlando’s announcement was a nod to a god. Specifically, the team takes its name from Apollo, the Greek god of sun and light, depicted with an arrow pointing East toward Florida.  The warm Florida sunshine is reflected in the orange hues in the Orlando Apollos’ logo. “I like it a lot,” said Michael Waddell, President of the Apollos. He went on to talk about why, about the characteristics of Apollo, the look, the power, the passion. “Apollo is the best.” The sunshine state’s new professional football franchise is blazing hot off the presses, a glowing testament to the power, imagery and energy made possible by the Sun. They are the Apollos, precision marksmen certain of their arrows, befitting a Steve Spurrier-coached offense. Aggressive, energetic and skillful men in motion, a passionate fan base awaiting. Orlando Apollos.  The name summons the energy and power of the sun and an aim for the stars.  Roster signings are well underway, and the Apollos begin play in February, a week after the Super Bowl. Waddell’s creative wheels are spinning now that the word is out, and he spoke with his signature high energy about what the Apollos represent: aiming high, coming in hot, god-of-the-Sun visuals, a wow factor that is heroic and uniquely Orlando. “That needs to be emphasized,” he said. “This is Orlando’s team. It’s going to be awesome.”

Hall pass? ‘Speedy’ aims to impress Orlando

By Joel Poiley As Rannell Hall lay on the ground in August of 2016 after suffering a broken fibula in the Cleveland Browns’ first preseason game, it would have been easy for him to think the football Gods didn’t have it in the cards for him to reach his goal of playing pro football. Hall was having an excellent training camp and opening eyes trying to earn a roster spot. But the injury was another hurdle Hall would have to overcome. Nothing new really. From his time excelling at Miami’s Carol City High through a brilliant four-year career at wide receiver for the University of Central Florida (UCF), Hall’s career has been about proving the naysayers wrong. Hall wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, and he was not drafted out of UCF after graduating in 2015. That despite amassing 959 total yards receiving, rushing and returning kickoffs as a senior. He concluded his collegiate career with four receptions for 113 yards in the Fiesta Bowl, including an electrifying 50-yard play where he took a short out pass behind the line of scrimmage from Blake Bortles and broke numerous tackles en route to the score. He added a 34-yard TD reception, helping the Knights defeat Baylor 52-42. Everything was on display for NFL scouts and general managers that day – Hall’s speed, moves, toughness and desire. The desire wasn’t reciprocated, leaving Hall undrafted. Nicknamed Speedy, Hall signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in May of 2015 but was waived in September and signed to their practice squad. Still trying to catch a break, Hall, sturdy at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, signed with Cleveland in December of 2015. He was placed on the active roster for the final three games of the regular season. The one professional game in which he played was the season finale against Pittsburgh. No catches came his way. Hall persevered and impressed in the Browns’ 2016 training camp before his injury, forcing him to miss the entire season. Frustration didn’t stop him. Hall he didn’t have time for the pain, applying the same intensity and dedication to his rehab as he was known for during his playing days at UCF. “It was a tough journey; had its ups and downs,” Hall said upon returning to the Browns in 2017. “I was still coming in every day going over the playbook, working with the coaches and players to stay involved. I viewed the injury as a positive because it built character within me.” Cleveland re-signed Hall early in 2017, only to cut him loose in September after he nearly made the team. The Atlanta Falcons signed Hall to their practice squad last January only to cut him three weeks later. As Hall spoke postgame after catching a touchdown in a Browns preseason game last year, he tightly clutched the ball. Now 25, Hall is no longer a youngster in football terms, but the game still has its hold on the guy they called “The Underdog” as an alter ego at UCF. The clock was ticking for Hall to achieve his dream. But when The Alliance was […]

Spurrier brings exciting style to Orlando

By Joel Poiley Small wonder Steve Spurrier was named the first coach in the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) in March of 2018. With a championship coaching and playing pedigree that includes seven SEC championships (six at University of Florida and one at South Carolina) a national title at Florida in 1996 and winning the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Florida in 1966, “The Head Ball Coach” brings his high octane passing offense to Orlando for its inaugural AAF season. Spurrier, 73, said he was attracted to the AAF for several reasons.   “I really liked the new rules; two-and-a-half hour games, 30 seconds between plays, and I really need a challenge,” Spurrier said. “We are thankful to represent Orlando and surrounding cities with a professional football team. I am thrilled to be a part of a team, to have the opportunity to compete and to strive to bring a championship to Orlando. “Coaching in The Alliance will be extremely fair for all coaches and cities. The structure created by [CEO and Co-Founder] Charlie Ebersol and [Co-Founder] Bill Polian should level the playing field with very talented football players disbursed to each team.” Born in Miami Beach, Spurrier grew up in Tennessee where he was a multi-sport star at Science Hill High School in Johnson City. More success followed at UF, where he started at quarterback for three seasons and was a consensus All-American in 1965 and 1966. Drafted in the first round (third overall) of the 1967 NFL draft, Spurrier played nine years for the San Francisco 49ers as a quarterback and punter. He concluded his 10-year pro career as the first quarterback for the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. After retiring as a player, Spurrier began developing his passing schemes as an offensive assistant at Florida, quarterbacks’ coach at Georgia Tech, and in 1980 he became offensive coordinator for Duke University. Coaching against the powers of the Atlantic Coast Conference, it was at Duke where Spurrier developed much of his pass-based offense that broke several school and conference records during his three seasons as an assistant. His first position as a head coach came with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the fledgling United States Football league (USFL) in 1983. That made him the youngest head coach in professional football at age 37. Spurrier’s “Bandit Ball” offense (named after minority owner Burt Reynolds’ hit Smokey and the Bandit movies) resonated with fans and produced a 35-19 record before the league folded after the 1985 season.     Spurrier returned to Duke as their head coach in 1987, where his “Fast Break” offense broke many of the records set during his tenure as offensive coordinator. His 1989 team won the program’s first conference championship since 1962 and most recent to date. He returned to coach his alma mater in 1990, and his wide-open offense (re-nicknamed the “Fun ‘n’ Gun”) continued to produce, with his Gator teams setting numerous school and conference records. Spurrier became the first Heisman winner to coach a Heisman Trophy winner when Danny Wuerffel won the coveted award in 1996. Spurrier left Florida after the […]

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL NAMES TEAM PRESIDENTS

New Professional Football League Names Seven Team Presidents for Atlanta, Birmingham, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Salt Lake City SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 28, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has named seven team Presidents who will lead all business operations for The Alliance in their respective cities. The Alliance announced that David Livingston (Atlanta), Tom Ward (Birmingham), Mike Waddell (Orlando), Scott Brubaker (Phoenix), Tyler Howell (Salt Lake City), Vic Gregovits (San Antonio) and Jeff Garner (San Diego) are joining Alliance Memphis team president Kosha Irby, who was announced in May, in the new professional football league. “As we began our journey to find the right leader for each organization, we had a specific set of criteria that we felt was uniquely specific to each city,” said Tom Veit, head of business operations, The Alliance. “Ultimately we were able to find an incredible group of team presidents that possess the intellect, leadership, and strategic mindset necessary to build our alliance.” “As we expand our footprint in each of our eight Alliance markets, our team presidents will build thoughtful community partnerships to ensure we are active and engaged members building lasting and meaningful relationships.” Among the additions announced today are respected executives in a variety of sports and entertainment fields which include: ATLANTA: As an experienced marketer with a career forged building brand programs and platforms connected to sports and entertainment, W. David Livingston joins Alliance Atlanta from Comcast Spectacor’s Spectra Venue Management team where he served as director, national corporate partnerships. Livingston also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and 15 years leading sales and business development for IMG Golf in Cleveland. He began his career in brand management at Procter and Gamble. BIRMINGHAM: A well-rounded and results-driven sports executive with 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, partnership, broadcasting, arena/stadium naming rights and business development, Tom Ward joins Alliance Birmingham after serving as the senior vice president, brand, community, partnership development for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. Ward is a veteran award-winning storyteller who has played an integral role in the launching of multiple professional sports franchises and opening arenas and stadiums. ORLANDO: A veteran professional sports and college athletics administrator, Mike Waddell joins Alliance Orlando after spending the previous two years as vice president of Richmond Raceway. In his role with NASCAR, Waddell’s responsibilities included oversight over all marketing, ticketing, strategic communications, creative, digital strategy, eaSports and fan engagement operations for the raceway, which operates as one of the 12 motorsports facilities of International Speedway Corporation. PHOENIX: A well-respected sports sponsorship sales professional with deep Arizona roots, Scott Brubaker joins Alliance Phoenix from Learfield bringing with him more than 30 years of experience. While with Learfield, Brubaker held a variety of senior roles within the company across multiple properties, the last of which was vice president, national sales located in Chicago and Atlanta. SALT LAKE CITY: A veteran sports industry sales professional with over 20 years in leadership experience, Tyler Howell joins Alliance Salt Lake City following an impressive stint with the Portland Trail Blazers. During his time in Portland, Howell had […]

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL ADDS 105 PLAYERS

The Alliance Signs 105 Players to Contracts for the 2019 Inaugural Season Beginning February 9, 2019 Latest Signings Bring League Total to 205 Players SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 17, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed the following 105 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season:

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIGNS FIRST 100 PLAYERS

New Professional Football League Begins Player Acquisition Process for 2019 Inaugural Season SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 6, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed its first 100 players to compete in the new professional league launching on February 9, 2019. The Alliance recently began the process of offering player contracts to potential prospects following an extensive evaluation process by the personnel staff of The Alliance’s eight teams. “Today marks an exciting step in our journey to providing fans and players with top-flight football in the spring, as we begin to establish a competitive foundation and base of talent that will keep expanding throughout this fall and winter,” explained Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football, The Alliance. “These athletes will now have an opportunity to begin, extend or revitalize their professional football careers and continue playing the game we all love.” He added, “Our personnel staff, general managers and coaches will continue to recruit aggressively in the days and months to come. Team-building is a never ending task and we are excited to attack that challenge and to build on this very positive start.” The standard Alliance player contract offers players a base salary of $250,000 over three years with a comprehensive bonus system which will award financial compensation based on a variety of metrics such as performance, win, and fan engagement. Additionally, players who make final rosters will be offered postsecondary education assistance and health and wellness benefits. Players are allocated to Alliance teams based on where they competed in college. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance footprint, he will be allocated based on his most recent NFL/CFL team. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance allocation footprint AND he did not play in the NFL or CFL, then he is unallocated and available to be tendered a contract by any Alliance team. If a player signs with The Alliance and is then offered a contract to play in the National Football League, the player will be granted permission to pursue that opportunity.