The Los Angeles Times did a recent feature on businessman Joe Cohen, a longtime friend and adviser to Vince McMahon, and someone who McMahon is utilizing when it comes to his new major project, the XFL. The feature covers Cohen talking the particulars of Vince McMahon meeting with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and how this time around the plans are for the XFL to work in conjunction with the NFL, not rival it.
Joe Cohen on Vince McMahon’s value to the XFL’s success and willingness to relinquish production rights:
“There’s nobody better than Vince – and Vince is the indispensable part of the XFL – in putting together live television and programming,” says Cohen. “He’s instinctive and hires superb people. He challenges them. Even with XFL, one of the greatest resources will be his staff at WWE.
“What’s most interesting this time is while Vince is used to controlling the entire program, just as he does completely with the WWE, there’s a bit of a cultural shift to see him giving the production to the rights holder.”
Cohen says McMahon’s recent trip to Dallas to meet up with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reinforced the idea that this XFL will create more “innovative ideas with football stadiums that have been part of previous Wrestlemania events. This is also meant to expand the football universe and work complementary with the NFL, not to be competitive.
“There are pendulum swings in this business. Timing is also everything. You’ll see more diversity with this XFL. Vince watches what goes on in society and really embraces that. This will speak to the 21st century.”
On learning from the Alliance Of American Football’s missteps:
“The AAF did a very good job with delivering a product that was attractive and watchable television,” said Cohen, noting CBS, TNT and the NFL Network gave it major-league production elements. “Vince is launching something that he has the financial wherewithal to carry out, which the AAF didn’t have.”
Some other notes of interest in the feature is the XFL fully embracing the gambling element of the football business, making certain that it is more sophisticated.