New Name for Women's League, New Home Team

Article excerpt

Byline: David Crumpler

Can getting out of lingerie help change the image of the Legends Football League?

Mitch Mortaza, its founder and chairman, believes it can.

Mortaza breezed into town from Las Vegas and held a news conference on Friday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena - a day before the season opener between LFL teams the Jacksonville Breeze, which relocated from Tampa for the 2013 season, and the Atlanta Steam.

Focusing on efforts to rebrand the organization formerly know as the Lingerie Football League, he said there is now a much greater emphasis on "the sports, athleticism and presentation of the game."

In January, Mortaza announced plans to overhaul LFL's image that included "uniform modifications."

At the time, playing gear consisted of shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garters, bras, panties and ice-hockey style helmets with clear plastic visors instead of face masks. All lingerie aspects of the uniform were replaced with more substantial athletic wear. The shoulder pads were redesigned and made bigger. The new logos eliminated sexy female figures.

In an interview Friday, Mortaza admitted there would always be a gimmick aspect to the league, which translates to don't expect to see the players in the kind of full football gear that men wear.

This is largely because "the target demographic for sports is 18- to 34- or 40-year-old males, and that's not going to change. For women's sports, they've made it a challenge to appeal to that demographic. …