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Vision into Action: ULTI.TV reveals ambitious plan for ULTILEAGUE 2024
In our young sport anything is possible really, you can start a club, organise a tournament and play in world club championship!
At ULTI.TV and in our larger organisation the Ultiverse, basically the Ultimate Media Company, we have collaborated with clubs, tournaments, federations, and confederations to host events of all scales, streaming thousands of hours of video content.
Our extensive experience has led us to embark on a new exciting journey – the creation of our own league in 2019. Right now, we reintroduce ourselves in 2023 for a four weekend league in 2024!
We don’t have proof that it will work this time, but we believe!
Belief makes us human. Belief is our tool to dance with a possible future, confront our fears, and build community. Our personal taste and our preferences belong to us as well, helping us believe in ourselves — Seth Godin
In 2024, we're organising four game weekends: three to qualify and one for the championship. Twelve clubs can participate, with ALL 28 matches live streamed and available on demand forever.
We extend an invitation to ambitious ultimate clubs to join us in this journey, offering guaranteed livestreams, brand-boosting stories, and the potential for prize money.
The players' journeys within the participating clubs and the hosting city’s hospitality will be meticulously captured through ULTI.TV’s cameras and published in a series of videos both before and after these game weekends.
Although ULTILEAGUE was launched just prior to the global pandemic, we now find ourselves in an even stronger position as a European Ultimate community. The ULTI.TV' YouTube channel is flourishing and experiencing rapid growth.
The time has come to turn this vision into reality!
Preview what lies ahead by watching our video, and discover answers to any questions you may have below.
Find out what it means to sign up as a club to participate in ULTILEAGUE 2024
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the vision for ULTILEAGUE?
We want to change the way people in the world interact!
By introducing a mixed-gender league that operates without referees, we aspire to demonstrate that high-level competition can coexist harmoniously with spirit and fair play.
What’s the mission of ULTILEAGUE?
Our mission is to build strong mixed gender sport clubs
around the world, starting in Europe!
It has a distinct mission from ULTI.TV because its purpose is different. ULTI.TV handles the production and publishing, but we plan to keep its finances separate. The earnings from patrons are mainly used for funding ULTI.TV's operations. This project is led by Milan, who is part of the ULTI.TV team.
How will we make stronger clubs?
Our focus is building something for the fans. Fans of the sport, players, and clubs, while also welcoming new audiences to the world of Ultimate!
This empowerment comes through various means, such as providing clubs with guaranteed streams, high-quality footage, and engaging video content that they can use to build their brand and foster local fanbases.
Guaranteed streams mean clubs can organise watch parties well in advance.
With the possibility to organise game weekends there will be a chance to showcase the sport to spectators as well.
With the power of YouTube's discovery engine, we want to enable people from all corners of the globe to discover stories that are enticing and interesting to follow.
What kind of stories surround the events?
We strongly believe that the series of videos we create, especially in the aftermath of each league season, possess the potential to captivate and draw in new fans. By following the players traveling and playing and hosting we can create stories that serve as gateways that entice newcomers to follow clubs, players, and even the sport itself.
While many have heard of Ultimate and disc sports like disc golf, the majority of people worldwide remain unaware of the individual clubs, clubs ambitions, or the outcomes of matchups that we stream. This is something we use to our advantage to make people online curious about these stories.
What does "stronger clubs" mean?
ULTILEAGUE's approach supports clubs in becoming stronger brands by giving them the content, stories and tools to build their fanbase and get sponsors.
More sponsors and fans can foster growth of local communities and thus the sport as a whole.
Guaranteed streams and professionally produced content is essential to this concept since that’s only done right now in the sport with the AUDL and PUL. We focus on mixed gender forever and Europe for now to create compelling narratives and engage with fans more effectively.
What makes this different from existing competitions?
Other competitions often rely on potentially written stories, the clubs themselves to generate excitement about their results, and promotional efforts on social media. Moreover, some fortunate teams may have the chance to be featured in livestreams.
For instance, ULTI.TV faces challenges in narrating the stories of the 80+ teams participating at Windmill and the multiple divisions simultaneously playing at events like WUCC or EUCF through video content.
Taking inspiration from the all streamed games from the World Games and the single fixture formats seen in the AUDL and PUL seasons, ULTILEAGUE adopts an in between approach by featuring four teams in each game weekend.
We believe that by focusing on a single division and a select number of clubs each game weekend, we can present a more coherent overall narrative.
Player and club stories will be unveiled before the live events. While the journeys arising from following players at hosting clubs, combined with on-field footage, and sharing the results will be showcased post-league.
Leveraging the YouTube platform with it’s discovery engine, we have a unique opportunity to craft remarkable player stories and elevate existing club brands on a global scale.
How does the format of ULTILEAGUE benefit clubs?
The ULTILEAGUE format is designed to attract sponsors to support clubs. The "sponsor a player" campaign where you buy exclusive shirt and ticket packages, combined with guaranteed streams and local community-organised events, makes clubs more appealing to sponsors of all sizes.
Additionally, this approach can assist clubs in securing funding for campaigns like the European Ultimate Club Championships (EUCF) or other major competitions.
How will increased funding benefit club communities?
The influx of additional funds through sponsorships and prize money can have a transformative effect on club communities.
These funds can be channeled into various initiatives, such as youth development programs, training events, outreach efforts, equipment upgrades and funding campaigns to play in elite competitions.
More funds can enhance the overall club infrastructure and organisation and in turn the growth of the sport.
What is the sponsorship offering for clubs?
ULTILEAGUE will help clubs with opportunities for (local) companies to sponsor their organisations. Each team would have its own main sponsor, and smaller sponsor on the jerseys creating a strong association between the brands and the team.
Each team will have one large [front and center] jersey sponsor, helping to pay for travel and food of the Game weekends. This is considered the main team Sponsorship: "Official Sponsor of [club Name]". Other benefits for the sponsor:
Brand exposure through team-related social media posts and content.
Inclusion in team-specific promotional materials and advertisements on stream when they play.
Recognition during team introductions and halftime shows.
Opportunity to collaborate on fan engagement activities, giveaways, and contests on social media and at game weekends.
Additionally, there’s a sleeve sponsor on the shirt. This could be the bar/place/venue where the official watch party will be held or just a smaller alternative sponsor that wants to chip in and get value.
The apparel partner is presented on the shirt as well, this partner can also be the main or sleeve sponsor if they bring in cash funds to fund the campaigns.
Below you can see the mockup of the shirt mockup design clubs in ULTILEAGUE need to work with.
What are the sponsorship options for the league?
Fans and companies and encouraged to grow the prize money. The prize money will be divided among the 4 teams competing in the Championship Weekend.
As an individual you can put some money into the prize money pot, all donators will be presented on the website (if they want). We will also have a ranking based on the top 10 donators. We will talk about donations and changes in the top 10 donators on the livestreams.
A sponsor can pick up the tab to become the sleeve sponsor of all the 12 clubs in a certain year, even more, then can do the same to become the main shirt sponsor for each club.
‘Game Weekend’ OR ‘Championship Weekend’ Sponsorship: "Game/Championship Weekend Presented by [Company Name]"
We allow sponsors to enhance the game weekend experiences for fans attending ULTILEAGUE matches. This package focuses on providing a memorable and engaging message. Benefits might include:
Branding at the fields, including banners, signage, and displays
Sponsorship of in-game entertainment, halftime shows, and online/offline fan engagement activities
Opportunity to set up promotional booths, interactive zones, or fan zones
Exclusive rights to offer special promotions, discounts, or giveaways to attendees or online viewers
The post league YouTube series can also be funded by a sponsor, this story will tell the story of the league, the clubs, the players, the project and will hype the next year. It will actively try and present the story in a non spoiled way so that new audiences can find a new team to root for without knowing the end results.
Why did ULTILEAGUE transition to an existing club model?
The evolution of ULTILEAGUE has seen shifts in its approaches. In 2020, the league transitioned from focusing on team selection by the community, to providing a platform for existing clubs.
So from making new club/team brands we wanted to grow the existing communities that are already part of the national federations, European Ultimate Federation (EUF) and World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) competitions.
This change was motivated by the desire to grow existing grassroots communities and the brands of established clubs rather than starting new business entities or franchises around communities.
How does ULTILEAGUE avoid scheduling conflicts with other events?
We are mindful of the existing event landscape and aim to prevent scheduling conflicts with significant events like national championships, Spring or Elite Invites but also Windmill and Tom’s Tourney. This approach ensures that clubs and players have the opportunity to play at both ULTILEAGUE and other events without overlap.
What events shall I choose for my club?
There's a distinct choice to make among the various events in a season. While most events we mention offer livestreams, ensuring fan engagement, it's not guaranteed due to the involvement of multiple divisions and numerous participating teams.
Opt for any of the EUF events or tournaments if your club seeks a higher volume of games in a weekend and thus substantial practice opportunities.
For ULTILEAGUE, the emphasis is on enhancing fan engagement. Choose to apply for one of the 12 spots if your ambition is to raise your club's profile, foster community growth, and stand out in your continent.
You also have the option to apply for both, reaping additional benefits, albeit potentially leading to a busier schedule.
What does the EUF think of ULTILEAGUE?
The European Ultimate Federation is currently neutral about ULTILEAGUE - they neither approve nor ask us to stop. This means we have an opportunity to demonstrate the value of this new league format, highlighting its potential to enhance our sport's community and specifically the fan engagement.
How does ULTILEAGUE create local engagement?
Our approach of hosting game weekends on a single field at local venues promotes heightened local involvement. This direct engagement between clubs and their immediate communities cultivates stronger connections and plays a pivotal role in nurturing the sport's presence in these regions.
Furthermore, the championship finals of any Ultimate event typically attract local spectators. When coupled with the participation of the local club and well-recognised players on just one field, the product offering for potential spectators becomes more distinct and is therefore significantly improved.
How does ULTILEAGUE support clubs not competing in major events?
ULTILEAGUE's focus on promoting clubs that might not receive substantial coverage in major events or don’t participate in the big events is aimed at giving these clubs a platform to showcase their talent and build a dedicated fan base.
This initiative aligns with ULTILEAGUE's goal of strengthening the club’s community and growing fan engagement.
A participation in ULTILEAGUE could foster club strength and could result in future participation in regionals/EUCF because of better results.
Why is ULTILEAGUE mixed gender?
Because the world is mixed!
Ultimate Frisbee is considered one of the largest mixed-gender team sports in the world and that is something unique we want to show the world.
We can dream about making the sport a top 10 team sport and that’s why we are doing.
The world is mixed, so why not the biggest team sport?
Mixed-gender play challenges traditional gender stereotypes associated with sports. It showcases that skill, athleticism, and passion for the game are not limited by gender.
Overall, the mixed-gender aspect of ULTILEAGUE aligns with the sport's core values of inclusivity, fair play, teamwork, and respect, making it a unique and progressive addition to the world of (professional) team sports.
What if more than 12 clubs want to play in ULTILEAGUE?
We might change the format to allow for more club spots, but for now this is the format to test.
If more than 12 clubs express interest in joining ULTILEAGUE, we have a fair process in place. We'll hold a vote on patreon.com/ultitv , open to anyone with a Patreon account. The 12 clubs with the most votes secure their spots.
They must decide promptly. If any of them opt out before the Jersey Campaign begins, the next club in line gets the chance to participate.
What kind of mixed gender format does ULTILEAGUE use?
We are strong advocates for Gender Equity, not only in Ultimate but in sports as a whole. Women deserve greater representation, which is why we ensure that, at all times, there are 4 female matching players on the field, alongside three male matching players.
Our aim is to simplify the format for both fans and teams, with the hope of encouraging greater participation of girls and women in sports and in the stands, particularly in the realm of Ultimate.
What’s the roster size of the competing team?
Given our emphasis on fan engagement and game weekends (akin to World Games), each roster will consist of 14 players, including 3 reserve players. Our recommendation is to select 8 female-matching and 6 male-matching players.
Who will play in the final Championship weekend?
A total of 12 teams participate across 3 events, with the victor of each event advancing to the final weekend. Additionally, 1 spot is reserved for the team that receives the highest spirit score after all 3 events.
The participant for the Championship Weekend's final spot will be unveiled following the conclusion of the third Game Weekend.
How are the 12 clubs divided to play in the different Game Weekends?
A dedicated committee consistent of ULTILEAGUE and ULTI.TV crews will be responsible for determining team matchups and venues, with a focus on both geographic proximity and, more significantly, seedings. This strategy ensures competitive balance and enhances the overall quality of the league.
What role do clubs play in organising game weekends?
Club communities that take on the responsibility of organising game weekends become integral parts of the league. Their involvement not only contributes to the success of ULTILEAGUE but also positions them as experienced Tournament Organising Committees which can benefit in the future with organising for federations and confederations.
There are must have and nice to haves written out for organising game weekends.
Each hosting player will host 3 other players for each traveling team (the host serve almost as Couchsurfing hosts).
One (artificial) grass field for the weekend and a training field, but that could also be the same field.
Changing rooms for 4 teams.
Power and Internet with minimum upload speed of 20Mbit (for double live streaming)
Local canteen for food and drinks for fans
Ticket sales (pre sale online + on site) but kids below 18 can come for free.
Printed QR codes around the event to donate directly to prize money
Nice to haves
Merch stand for hosting club by apparel partner or sponsor
Opportunity for merch stands for each club’s apparel partner to sell merch.
Venue (canteen for food and drinks + stands/balcony for fans),
Screens around the venue for live prize money stats + showing the game
Happy hour for first half of games or first half of the game day.
Local commentators in local language on site
Local announcer with speaker system
Volunteers that help during the weekend get a free shirt, food and 2 tickets for friends
Food trucks and other vendors available to enhance the fan experience
For the Championship Weekend, the nice to haves become more important.
The first year we will actively work with a neutral club to organise the Championship Weekend. The next year’s Final weekend will be organised by the spirit winners of last year, regardless if they will participate in that league or will make it to the finals that year.
How will be decided who will host the game weekends?
An additional committee will be established with ULTILEAGUE and ULTI.TV crews, tasked with evaluating factors including past experience, as well as proposals submitted by the local club communities. This combined assessment approach ensures a thorough and fair decision-making process for clubs that will host events.
How does spirit scoring work?
Team-to-team spirit voting will follow the usual process, considering the core 5 parameters:
Did they understand and adhere to the rules?
Did they avoid physical contact?
Were they impartial and fair-minded?
Did they display self-control and a positive attitude?
Did they communicate effectively and respectfully?
This vote will count as 49% to the overall score, while the other 51% will be determined by contributors to the prize money that have just watched a game.
Fans have a limited window after the game to vote on the teams they have just seen play. Participants can't score the team they are supporting because each individual can only follow one team.
This voting process will be facilitated through our online app, accessible to everyone. However, the vote will be valid only for accounts with a donation history.
Why can the fans vote on spirit as well?
Fan voting plays a pivotal role in ULTILEAGUE's vision, as it stems from the fans unique outsider perspective. This approach actively involves fans in evaluating game spirit and positions them as impartial judges for the teams their favourite plays against.
Additionally, this dynamic fosters captivating narratives and generates valuable data within the realm of Ultimate matches.
The user experience of voting will be designed professionally and it should ensure correct data and fair judgement.
What language will the commentating be?
At ULTI.TV, our constant endeavour is to provide multi-language streaming whenever feasible. The league's main broadcasts will be channeled through the ULTI.TV YouTube platform in English.
Additionally, we will collaborate with local individuals to facilitate streams in different languages.
Furthermore, we're extending an opportunity for streamers on platforms such as Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube to establish their own streams during game weekends. This offer comes with the condition that at least 50% of the donations/revenue made from these streams contribute to the prize pot.
How will ULTILEAGUE be funded?
ULTILEAGUE's funding will come from local communities fundraising for players to represent them in a professional competition. By offering attractive packages that include guaranteed streamed games, a replica jersey, tickets to events and other perks, ULTILEAGUE taps into a supportive network of fans and families of players.
The funding model will take inspiration from the ‘Sponsor a Player campaign’, championed by the American based Premier Ultimate League (PUL).
ULTILEAGUE will also help clubs to offer attractive sponsor packages for (local) companies.
Additionally, strong clubs are funded by the bigger club community. The more casual non elite players or the players from other divisions can be part of funding the campaign of the mixed elite players the better.
What are the costs for the clubs?
With a 100% successful funding campaign there will be no costs for the club for the 2 events they can attend. What does 100% success mean?
You sell all the 28 replica jerseys to friends, family or colleagues.
You sell the 2 sponsorships that will be on the replica jerseys to fund travel and food/drink expenses for your players and staff.
You are able to engage your bigger club community (of more casual players) to fund some of the additional costs that may arise.
How can a club generate additional income playing ULTILEAGUE?
Additional income can be generated with focusing on the following:
Bigger deals for the sponsorships with for example including an extension to the deal for other events you attend (like EUF events, Windmill or other mixed club events)
Organising a game weekend can bring in additional income, from for example ticket sales, food and drinks but also potential event sponsors.
Selling club merchandise (excluding replicas) to your fans which will be made by your apparel partner in collaboration with ULTILEAGUE.
Winning prize money if your club reaches the Championship Weekend.
How is the prize money from the championships weekend divided?
All of the prize money is divided among the 4 teams that compete in the Championship Weekend.
Half of that prize money, 50%, is distributed as follows: the winner receives 24%, the second-place team gets 14%, the third-place team is awarded 8%, and the fourth-place team obtains 4%.
Following each game, the competing teams spirit scores will be recorded. Additionally, fans who have made donations toward the current prize pool, regardless of the amount, also contribute spirit scores for both teams.
In terms of weighting, team spirit scores constitute 49%, while fan-contributed scores constitute 51%. These two scores are combined into a single value. As before, the top spirit scorer earns 24%, the second-place scorer receives 14%, the third-place scorer gets 8%, and the fourth-place scorer is awarded 4%.
What can my club do with the prize money?
ULTILEAGUE's prize money on a year by year basis is sourced from both fans and sponsors, as well as a portion of event sales.
The allocation of this prize money is flexible, aiming to promote community enhancement for long-term club sustainability and growth.
These funds can be directed toward diverse initiatives, including youth development programs, training events, strategic marketing campaigns, upgrading equipment, and the expansion to play in competitions. Your club has the freedom to utilise these resources in ways that align with your specific goals and aspirations.
It would be great if any of the impact resulting from the prize money could be shared transparently so that the donators know where their money went.
How does ULTILEAGUE ensure quality Ultimate on stream?
ULTILEAGUE acknowledges that changing the format can present challenges in maintaining game quality. However, the focus remains on driving local viewership, engaging fans, and creating a lasting fan experience. As the league progresses, improvements in quality are anticipated.
Can I join a group chat to get announcements?
What happened to the funds raised by ULTILEAGUE?
We utilised the funds that were previously donated to ULTILEAGUE to facilitate the campaigns and ensure the continued operation of partner ULTI.TV. This strategic use of funds has allowed us to maintain our commitments while also ensuring the sustainability of our streaming organisation.
These previous donators we are thankful for, that’s why they will get chance to become part of the active fanbase without additional donations. Keep an eye on your email inbox (and potential spam folder).
What happens to profit created by ULTILEAGUE?
The profits generated by ULTILEAGUE as a business will be reinvested into the prize pool for the following year. This approach not only underscores our commitment to maintaining an attractive prize fund but also ensures a cycle of sustainable growth for the league.
What are the risks involved in starting ULTILEAGUE?
Our plan for managing funds is better-defined and aligned with our missions. As we continue to refine our offerings and services, we are focused on improving clarity in our communication and engagement with our community on Patreon and with the donators.
By leveraging our resources thoughtfully, we are committed to advancing both ULTILEAGUE and ULTI.TV with transparency and purpose.
Missing an answer to your question? 👇 Ask below (or email Milan) and we’ll get to you ASAP!