Can You Smell What “The Rock” Is Cooking? Exploring a Potential Canadian Football League–Xtreme Football League Partnership

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Zachary C.T. Evans Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

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Jess C. Dixon Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

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Terry Eddy Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced Canadian Football League (CFL) commissioner Randy Ambrosie to cancel the League’s 2020 season, and given CFL teams’ financial dependence on gate and game-day revenues, the League had suffered substantial financial losses. The pandemic also caused the Xtreme Football League (XFL) to fold five games into its 2020 season; however, the XFL was purchased by an ownership group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with plans to resume play in 2022. Shortly thereafter, the CFL and XFL jointly announced that they would explore the possibility of partnering to grow the game of football and their respective leagues. This case challenges students to determine the best option for the CFL and commissioner Ambrosie moving forward by completing a Porter’s value chain analysis for both leagues. This analysis will help students to make an informed, evidence-based decision about how well the two leagues align with one another. While there are several benefits to a potential partnership, there are also challenges that must be overcome if some type of partnership with the XFL is to be considered.

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