Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Shopmaster20
Connected Franchise: Owner Mode Puts You In Control
The speculations were right, Owner Mode is coming to Connected Franchise in Madden NFL 25 and it will put you in control of your team from ticket prices to jersey sales. In a recent trip down to Austin, Texas I got a chance to play an early build of Connected Franchise in Madden NFL 25. This article will not touch on all of CFM or give you a brief overview, instead we’ll touch on what the responsibility is of an Owner in this mode. If you want to read about some more CFM stuff like what’s changed with progression, what’s new and what’s still not in, then check out my other articles. I’m going to try and take you through all the things you’ll need to do as an owner of a franchise here from the beginning.
Creating Your Owner
When you start your franchise as an owner you are presented with 4 options. You can use Game Face; Create an Owner, select an active owner, or chose an NFL Legend. Mostly everyone will probably create an owner and if you do, you have some choices as a backstory. Each backstory has a boost attached to them. The backstories are as follows; Former Player, Lifelong Fan, and Financial Mogul. A Former player gives you an advantage when it comes to roster happiness and you’ll get a 500 Legacy score. A Lifelong Fan gives you an advantage with Fan Happiness and Success Happiness; which is very important as an Owner. Then there is the Financial Mogul which obviously gives you an advantage financially and will get net you more money when you start your franchise. This could prove beneficial right form the start depending on what team you have and when you can upgrade some of your stadiums’ facilities. From the CFM Trailer it seems you’ll get $10M. The amount of money you start with will fluctuate and will be more if you are a Financial Mogul, but your fan approval rating may be hard to get up if you choose that background.
Once you choose the backstory it’s time to choose your team which will have their overall rating, schemes on both offense and defense, and the top 4 players on that team. I believe they are also going to try to add salary cap to this screen as well so you sort of know what you are getting into financially.
It’s All About Team Value
Under the owner tab of CFM the first thing you’ll see is a summary of your Team Value. This tells you how you are doing as an owner and where your team ranks among the other teams in the league. The ‘Team Value’ is comprised of 8 categories that you control and that fluctuate up and down as the weeks and seasons go on.
Here are the categories your team will be graded by on a weekly basis:
Fan Happiness – Fan happiness is ultimately what drives the team value, if your fans are happy then your team value will be good.
Team Success – Is your team winning, losing, going above expectations or just meeting expectations.
Popularity – How popular is your team among other teams?
Staff – Coaches, Trainers, do you have the best staff in the world.
Stadium – Bathrooms, parking lot, club level … is your stadium the best in the league?
Concessions – How much are your Hot Dogs, Sodas, sorry … no beer.
Merchandise – Jersey sales, signed footballs, and hats … are they too high and how much are you selling?
Ticket – Are you charging too much for your upper level seats, how do you compare with ticket prices around the league?
Here is a graphic of what it will look like.
Every Owner Needs A Good Adviser
How do you get these different categories to go up, well it takes some work but lucky for you there are some advisers to help you out along the way. There are 6 advisers that help you out with some decisions that you need to make as an owner. These advisers tell you things like “FedEx bathrooms are adequate, but you should think about upgrading” or “The price of the upper level tickets are too high, you should think about reducing them.” You don’t have to listen to these guys, but for the most part I felt like they had your best interest in mind. These advisers help you in the following categories:
FINANCES, MARKETING, STADIUM, FAN HAPPINESS, STAFF, and TEAM SUCCESS. Within these 6 categories are action items that control the 8 categories that make up the ‘Team Value’. Have I lost you yet? Hopefully going through each of these categories will shed some light on some of the things you need to do as an owner.
I finances you manage the Ticket Prices, Merchandise, Concessions, and you get a look at your team revenue.
Ticket Prices – In the ticket prices screen you control the ticket prices for the different levels you have in your stadium; Suite, Lower, Middle, and Upper. Each level has a capacity, how many tickets were sold that week, the current price which you can change, and the fan response which lets you know if the fans think the price you have is a good value. You’ll also see an overall value of how much money you made in all ticket sales the previous week. You’ll also see some tweets from fans to the teams Twitter handle that also gives you an indication of what the fans think of your prices. One of the tweets I remember said “Oh My! I love the @Redskins, but I’m not ok with the lower level ticket prices.” So with that said, you may want to lower your ticket price for the lower level or leave it the same, it’s all up to you.
Merchandise – Under merchandise you have 3 tabs that divide the merchandise; Team Apparel, Jerseys, and memorabilia. Each item has an AVG Price that tells you what other teams are selling that item for, a current price which you set, how many you sold last week, and a fan response indicator telling you how the fans feel about that price. Here is a list of stuff in the Team Apparel tab: NIKE Game Home Jersey, Sideline NIKE Dri-Fit T-Shirt, NIKE Superbowl T-Shirt, New Era 59Fifty Fitted Hat, NIKE KO Sweatshirt, Nike N98 Jacket, New Era Knit Hat. Now some of the stuff was locked like the Superbowl T-Shirt. You have to win the Superbowl to unlock that item, but even some of the higher priced items were locked as well. Under Jerseys – The jerseys you sell are based upon personality traits of the players on your team. So I think everyone will have the QB and Running Back, but the other guys will be guys with a high personality rating. This wasn’t quite in on the build we played but that’ show it was explained to us. The higher personality some of your players have mean you sell their jerseys. At the time I played the game there was no option to pick who’s jersey you wanted to sell. I think that would be something the community would want to have. Last but not least is the Memorabilla tab that has things like autograph balls and helmets. And once again some tweets from fans about the merchandise you are selling.
Concessions – Everyone loves concessions and it’s probably the best thing to price up and down when you are starting out as an owner. Now not all teams have the same food or beverages so it was quite funny looking at certain teams’ food. Now concessions is broken up into BASIC, which is Chips, Fries, Peanuts, and Soda. Then it goes to 2 star, 3 star, 4 star, and 5 star. Depending on your stadium and how much you have upgraded your concession stand will determine what food you can sell. Here are some examples of 2 star foods at FedEx Field – Crab Cakes, Coffee, Hot Dog, Crab Cake Nachos, and Vanilla Shake. Here is a list of 5 star foods at FedEx Field – Barbeque, Fish Filet, Presidential Pulled Pork, Egg Custard Snow Cone, and Turkey Leg. Each item has the average price, current price, sold last week, and fan response.
Team Revenue – The last thing in regards to Finance is your Team Revenue. This screen tells you your Income, your Expenses, and your available funds. They have incorporated into your income Shared Revenue, Concessions, Merchandise sales, and Ticket Sales. For your expenses they take out Players Salaries, Staff Salaries, Stadium Lease, and Stadium Maintenance. Then give you a big total of your available funds after all of that is calculated.
That’s it for Finances … are you still with me, cause we have a lot more to cover.
Your Stadium Needs an Upgrade
Home is where your heart is, but if your stadium isn’t up to par it’s going to be where the fans revolt and stop coming, so it’s important to keep your stadium in tip top shape. Ok, so maybe they won’t revolt, but having terrible bathrooms or a sub par Fan Zone may be the difference in your team value being 6th and 28th. A big driving force behind your team value is the fan happiness and a big part of that is that stadium in which they watch your team perform. When you go to the stadium overview screen you are greeted with a wealth of information that will tell you what area of concern your facilities are in. The stadium screen shows the stadium rating, the Fans Happiness, and the size (1, 2, 3, or 4). There are 6 facilities that make up your stadium and each facility has a level and a rating from 1-99. A level 1 is the bottom tier, level 2 is mid tier, level 3 is top notch, and level 4 is deluxe luxery. The level has to do with the stadium type and if it can go up to a level 4. Meaning that some stadiums can’t get level 4 seating, because they have no space to expand. The different facilities that make up your stadium are: Parking, Team Store, Fan Zone, Bathrooms, Concessions, and Seating. Let’s take FedEx Field which was the first stadium I was owner of. It had a Bathrooms – Level 2 – 48 Rating. Now my adviser told me I needed to upgrade my bathrooms and the tweets on the side were pretty much saying the same thing – “I realize I’ve seen the @Skins worse but I would really like to improve the FedEx Field Bathrooms.” There were other tweets about my Parking and my Fan Zones as well.
You are also presented on the stadium screen the 3 different actions you can do depending on your stadium rating. If your stadium rating is above a 40 you can only ‘UPGRADE STADIUM’. If your stadium is between 20-40 then you can ‘REBUILD STADIUM’ and if your stadium is below a 20 then you can ‘RELOCATE’. For the purpose of this article let’s take a look at the option to ‘UPGRADE STADIUM’. If you want to know more about relocating a team check out my “Connected Franchise: Relocating Your Team” article.
When you go into ‘STADIUM UPGRADE’ you will be presented with tabs along the top for each of the things you can upgrade. Under each tab will be the option to ‘RENOVATE’ or ‘UPGRADE’. Renovation is how you improve the rating of that particular category where as upgrading takes that category to a new level. For example, my Parking was a Level 2 and was rated 65. For $800K I could renovate the Parking and move my rating up to a 99 or I could upgrade the parking to a level 3 for $1.75M and my rating would go up to a 75. Level 3 Parking is a [Multi-Level Parking] upgrade. Unfortunately in the build we played some of the assets were not in yet, so all of the upgrades for all of the stadium upgrade facilities said [Multi-Level Parking], but you get the idea. This is where you would unlock some of the concession food items that were locked under merchandise. The higher level of concessions you have the more food you can serve. You have to be careful not to just spend all your money on upgrading your facilities, because you still have a team to run and other expenses you need to account for and that’s just Stadium Upgrades, we haven’t talked about Stadium Rebuilding or the ability to Relocate.
Gotta Coach em’ Up – Staff
You also get advise on how coaches are performing on your team. Unfortunately there are only 3 Coaches that you have control of to hire and fire. Head Coach, Scout, and Trainer. I must profess that I was a little disappointed to not see offensive and defensive coordinators in the game. It would have been awesome to pick up Rob Ryan in the offseason to run my 3-4 defense, but that’s for another article about what’s out in CFM. Let’s focus on what’s in for right now and right now you are able to choose a scout and trainer along with your head coach. When you come to the Staff Page, it will display each person, their special ability, how much you are paying them, and when their contract runs out. For instance as the Redskins, my scout’s specialty was Left Guard Blocking. This means that my left guards blocking would get a bonus in XP. Things were still being tuned with XP, so I can’t say how much or what percentage your left guard would get. The trainer helps with how well your players regress or come back from injury. My trainer had Regression: Bad which meant that my team was going to regress maybe worse than normal, so I immediately started looking for a new Trainer. Unfortunately you can not get rid of the trainer until the off-season. The Staff overview page also tells you how much you are spending on your staff and well as some more tweets about what the fans think about the staff. You’ll also see what offensive scheme and defensive scheme your coach runs.
Let the PR Machine Run – Marketing
Marketing has always been the machine that drives fans nuts, because they never seem to be in touch with what the fans think or want to see. I almost feel the same way with Marketing in CFM. When you come to the marketing screen you are given 3 things you can go into more detail about; Player Marketing, Team Popularity, and Media Relations. You’ll also see the Team Popularity ranking of your team as well as the Fan Happiness ranking. In all of these screens EA did a good job of just letting you know where you stand as far as rankings for that particular activity you are looking at.
Player Marketing – Here you get to look at the players that selling jerseys because of how popular they are. The more players you add to the team that can sell Jerseys, the more revenue you bring in every week. Each player has a popularity rating and a personality rating. These ratings help determine how many jerseys they are going to sell. RG3 (at the time of the build) had a 99 Popularity rating and a 99 Personality rating and was selling about $7k worth of jersey any given week. Whereas Kirk Cousins and his 52 Popularity and 50 Personality rating only sold about $3k. Here is a tip: If Tim Tebow is sitting out there in Free Agency, you might think about picking him up because he is going to sell jerseys for you.
Team Popularity – The team popularity screen just shows you how your team ranks each week in National Popularity, Regional Popularity, and Local Popularity. It also shows your Overall Popularity % and where you rank among the other 31 teams in the NFL.
Media Relations – Sometimes throughout the course of the season, the owner is asked to speak to the media by answering some questions regarding the season.
Following through with your responses is vital to maintaining fan happiness. If you weren’t predicted to have a good pre-season but come out undefeated you may get asked the following before week 1.
“Coming off a strong pre-season and a good record a year ago, how far can this team go this season?”
You’ll be able to answer with the following answers but each answer holds a risk/reward to them so you need to be very careful. (The risk/reward were still being tweaked and we gave some feedback on that so these are not accurate.)
It’s hard to say for me, but I do think we’re going to keep up this momentum and get off to a hot start. We’ll see from there. TEAM SUCCESS – Per win +2%/Per loss -5%
We’re certainly a playoff team. We’ve shown we can be very good so there no reason we shouldn’t at least get there. MARKET SIZE – Per win +2%/Per loss -5%
Everyone in that locker room has one goal in mind, and it’s the same goal I have. It’s Super Bowl or bust this year. TEAM POPULARITY – Per win +2%/Per loss -5%
It’s not like 2K where you see the owner in front of reporters, but it’s a start. We had a lot of feedback for this particular feature and we’ll see where this goes, but obvious there are things they could be doing to make this action more than just selecting the response and that’s it.
You Know I love the Fans – Fan Happiness
Fan Happiness is what most owners strive for. Some want to win games, some want to make more money but it is my belief that if you concentrate on making the fans happy you’ll accomplish both. The Fan Happiness section of the owners actions just give you another way to see how the fans feel about your team. I can’t stress it enough, fan happiness drives the team value. On this screen it will show you how the overall fan happiness for Team Success, Team Popularity, Market Size, Roster Rating, Staff Rating, Stadium Rating, Concession Prices, Merchandise Prices, and Ticket Prices. It will also show you the City’s Personality – Redskins are in a Front Runner City. And again some tweets from fans to give you a little more insight on how they feel.
If you haven’t guessed it already, the twitter feed is back but you can use it to adjust your strategy as an owner and the decisions you make.
It’s About Getting Better – Team Success
The ‘Team Success” screen shows you how well your team performs on the field and how they rank compared to the other teams in the league. Not only does it give you a recent outlook on your performance but also tracks how you’ve been performing for the past 20 years I think (don’t quote me on that but I believe it kept track that far back from what I remember). You can also view how other teams are performing as well, just in case you want to see how your rival is doing. It shows your historical record as well.
So that’s about it for the responsibilities as an Owners in Connected Franchise but that’s not it for all you can do as an owner. We haven’t even talked about moving your team or taking control of all 32 owners in the league. I’ll do that in another article. There are some more little details I’ll put out as well but I just wanted to cover a whole bunch in one article as a base. Let’s not forget there is a coaching side to this mode as well that present other options. The good thing is you can do them both as an owner.
For more impressions about Madden NFL 25 Gameplay and Connected Franchise, follow me on Twitter @Shopmaster and leave your thoughts and comments below. Be sure to read some of my other “Madden NFL 25 Quick Hits” articles and Connected Franchise Articles.
Also be sure to check out the Madden NFL 25 News and Information Central with all of the news from around the web and updated daily to get you ready for the release of Madden NFL 25.
Remember that I will be doing a special live podcast all about Connected Franchise Information at 9:00pm est tonight so tune into that.