Southern New York - October 15, 2077
Earth-World Associated Press
It was an affirming communiqué for the MAFL.
It took little time for Aiger Masing to share news with the owners, media outlets and fan channels across Mars: "They [Earth] love the MAFL!"
It's no secret, the league is fuelled on dreams and the deep pockets of bored Martian investors. How else can a measly Martian population, with less human traffic than the average New Manhattan skyscraper, financially support a professional league on a planet that is barely habitable?
The launch of a professional Martian sports league wasn't of particular interest here at the time... after all, aside from the retro-novelty of it, most kids have created and played in dozens of virtual pro leagues. But somehow, beyond expectation, the Martian Aero Football League has caught the attention of a growing audience and notable brands.
"I think the sport communities in the East Americas were the first to support their Martian counterparts," said Martin Ge-Macuire Wong of the NYE-Sport-Association, "Our clubs and members were estatic to hear about an all-natural, minimally augmented, intramural league come to life. The effort they are making is admirable considering it would have cost them next to nothing to built it on-top of SportzUmbark or one of the other D6X (deep sensory experience) platforms."
With a group led by Empire AAA Captial Bank looking to invest in the MAFL and mega corporations like Drinqium seeking licensing rights, Masing's little experiment has suddenly become a "little-league-that-could".
Some are calling it a sport revival; and with natural sports having been in decline for many years, it isn't altogether surprising it didn't happen here on Earth.
"It's kind of a voluntary prison camp up there.", says Wayne Koretzk, curator of the Sport Archive Museum, "They live without many of the things we take for granted. I believe that their pace of life has given them a fresh perspective on many things, including sports."
According to reports, Drinqium has been vetting no less than 6 different Martian organizations that intend to launch new professional sports. These include games with familiar roots, like Hockey, Basketball and Rugby, but also a few that can only be played in 1/3 g – Has anyone heard of Spiro-flow?
Drinqium, in association with Marineris colony, has already announced sponsorship to this year's Pathfinder race , a little known ultra-survivor-marathon that was born out of the explorer and nomadic development companies that prospect the farthest reaches of Mars. It certainly won't be a back-water event anymore; some are already comparing it to the classic era of the Tour de France.
With growing interest here on Earth, sports on Mars isn't just a romantic fantasy anymore. You can be sure other businesses will be looking to capitalize on this new import. The potential revenue and sponsor dollars from Earth will only accelerate sports on the red planet, so it is certain that this landscape will evolve very quickly.
Aiger Masing, "It's fitting that sports will reconnect a new generation to their counterparts here on Mars."