Protective Stadium During the USFL Season - USFL Lawsuit
Photo Courtesy of Emily Van Buskirk

What The USFL Lawsuit Settlement Means For The League’s Future

Back in March, the USFL’s future looked a bit uncertain. A lawsuit was brought against the league by the “Real USFL, LLC”, due to the fact that they were using trademarks and brands created by the original USFL back in the 1980’s.

Originally, it appeared like this case would have been settled before the season’s start – but, that didn’t happen. Regardless, the USFL pushed through season one, despite dealing with the lawsuit overhead.

Now, we finally have some clarity on the situation. The case was dismissed on the terms of “prejudice”, and each party will take care of their own costs.

However, we’re pleased to see that everything went down in a professional manner. The USFL released an official statement yesterday:

The parties reached a mutually beneficial agreement, and plaintiff dismissed its case. The USFL is looking forward to another great season in the Spring.

While we don’t know the details of this agreement, we don’t necessarily need them to know that this is great news. At the end of the day, the USFL lawsuit is over, and now the league can focus on the 2023 season.

Revisiting The Past

An interesting question now presents itself: How will the USFL approach its unique history moving forward? In 2022, the league had to act as if the original iteration didn’t exist, due to the legal hurdles they were dealing with.

Now, the USFL should be able to lean into its rich history, if they so desire. This would be an interesting route to take, and could open up a new avenue to connect with fans; both new and old.

Interestingly enough, QB Doug Flutie was part of FOX Sport’s original announcement revealing the league’s return.

Doug Flutie is the only 1980’s alumni to be remotely close with the new USFL. In June of 2021, he was featured on the Colin Cowherd show to discuss the league.

Flutie spoke very highly of the USFL’s quality of play back in the 1980’s. He also pointed out that the NFL eventually put franchises in Baltimore and Jacksonville, due to the USFL’s success in those cities. Since then, FOX has refrained from associating themselves with former players and coaches, for obvious reasons.

It will be intriguing to see if the USFL eventually looks to 1980’s alumni for branding, exposure, and promotion. For example, will they bring in the likes of Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and others to join broadcasts, interact with fans, promote the team brands, etc.?

In addition, will FOX and NBC incorporate historical elements into their productions and broadcasts? The league could benefit from doing this, bridging the gap between old and new fans.

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see. The less overhead, the better. Now that FOX & NBC are past this drama, the organization will have much more freedom.

The Future

It will be exciting to monitor the league’s growth over the next several months, especially when it comes to the teams themselves. With at least one North hub to be announced (keep an eye on Canton as a potential location…), we should hear news of expansion at some point. Hopefully, sooner than later.

When all is said and done, the USFL is alive and well – and the entire league looks forward to an even more spectacular season two. Year one was a smashing success, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the USFL in 2023.

What are your thoughts on this USFL lawsuit situation? Do you want to see the league incorporate more history into their new brand? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!