The National Track and Field League (NTFL) is a professional track and field league located in the United States consisting of 8 teams in which athletes are drafted to compete. The NTFL houses three different divisions track and field, cross country, and road racing.
The mission of the National Track and Field League is to bring the sport of track and field to the American public in a format that is familiar and easily embraceable: We will provide professional track and field athletes with an opportunity to compete in a team-structured environment that will enhance their visibility with the American public. The NTFL will unify the athletes and fans of track and field by providing exciting competition and entertainment in a family-friendly environment.
The United States is the preeminent world power in the sport of Track and Field. We dominate the World Rankings and the medal counts of global competitions and produce a large percentage of the top personalities in the sport. Ironically, however, our athletes receive their greatest respect and adulation abroad - not at home.
In spite of our position as a global leader within the sport, we are lacking in exposure, name recognition, and popularity right here at home. The sports sections of newspapers, sporting segments on evening news, general sports magazines, and the conversations around water coolers is dominated by the exploits of athletes representing the National Football League, Major League Hockey, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, and the PGA. Track and Field stars are rarely mentioned in average conversation – gaining recognition only in Olympic years, or for doping related issues.
Why is it that a sport, which has produced some of the greatest athletes in the history, of sport is relatively unknown within the country that has produced some of its greatest stars? Why are Tony Parker, Danica Patrick, and Michael Phelps household names while Maurice Greene, Allyson Felix, and Allen Johnson are unknown to all but the diehard fans of track and field?
We believe that while there are many reasons for this disparity, there are two primary issues at work. First, the competition for the attention of the American public is fierce within the world of professional sports. Other professional Sports leagues are highly efficient machines that have developed television contracts, advertising deals, and strong promotional packages for their competitions and their athletes, which put them front and center in the homes of the average American.
Second, the American public has been conditioned to aligning with “teams.” From T-ball to Little League to Pop Warner and AAU basketball, mothers and fathers watch their young ones grow in sports while watching them compete for teams. As they advance in age and skills they enter high school and the high school team becomes the focus. Further advancement finds them in college and the college team then becomes the rallying point. Finally, when we have no more children of our own to root for, we find new teams to follow – The Lakers, the Colts, the Cowboys, and Yankees.
America is a nation that expresses its interest and joy in competition through its teams, which is why the Olympics is such a big deal - we enjoy watching Team America compete against the teams from the rest of the world. It is with Team America that the average person has developed a feel for track and field and its heroes – and why we feel that it will be through attachment to teams that America will begin to embrace the sport outside of the Olympic Games.
We are all runners.