The Arena Football League today announced the official launch of the AFL Alumni Association.
"This is the 25th season of the Arena Football League. With that being said, we are devoted to recognizing the players that have put so much into this great sport," AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. "Although 2012 is coined the 'Year of the Fan,' these players strapped it on. They bled and sweated for this League and have played a major role in why we are still here today."
The AFL Alumni Association will provide a vast network for former players, coaches, executives, staffers and cheerleaders. The group is aimed at reconnecting alumni with each other, the AFL Office, teams, players, staffs and in the community.
Kurz appointed AFL Hall of Famer Freddie Gayles as President of the AFL Alumni Association. Gayles, who was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2002, spent 10 years in the AFL with Denver, Albany and Grand Rapids.
George LaFrance, a member of the 2011 AFL Hall of Fame Class, was named as Vice President. The AFL will also appoint an AFL Alumni representative in every AFL market.
"At first it was a concept," Gayles said. "Now, the AFL Alumni Association is starting to come together and it's an honor to lead its formation and growth."
The AFL Alumni Association will offer a number of incentives for members. Upon membership, alumni will receive ticket discounts, an official AFL Alumni membership card, apparel, discounts at Team Fan Shop, invitations to exclusive League functions and events, ability to select a nomination for the AFL Hall of Fame and access to the AFL Alumni database.
"We've already launched a private, AFL Alumni group on Facebook, and it's growing rapidly," Gayles said. "Then, we will connect members with an email group. In the coming months, the AFL Alumni Association will launch a devoted website for former players, staffers and executives."