Disclaimer: For the sake of this post, “Fantasy Football” is a FREE activity that anyone can participate in. The Buzz! does not support illegal gambling. Legal gambling, like the blackjack tables at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City at 6:45am, is A-OK!
I started playing Fantasy Football in the late 1990s. I vividly remember drafting Daunte Culpepper in the first round and being openly and sharply mocked by my so-called “friends.”
(Quick note: I won the league outright that year and Culpepper amassed the
most points of any player. Mock away, but this guy is all about championships!)
Here is what it boils down to.
The NFL has a primary product: games. You consume the NFL by watching games.
Generations of fans sat down every Sunday to watch their local team’s contest. They paid attention to what was going on in the league, and ESPECIALLY their division. But if you were a fan of an East Coast AFC team, a West Coast NFC squad was probably not on your radar screen.
After the advent of fantasy football, fans were more apt to pay attention to the entirety of league play, not just the games directly impacting their favorite team.
How is this a PR topic, you may, correctly, ask?
By adding a new level to NFL fandom, the league became increasingly NATIONAL. It is followed on a national level in ways no other sport really is. (We discussed the consumption of sports here.)
More impressive that the nationalization of the league is the fact that fans now have a vested interest in every single game.
Sure, you may hate the Patriots, but if you have Randy Moss on your team, you’ll follow the game, either by watching it on TV or keeping tabs online. Fantasy football players are involved in a dozen games a week!
Think about it this way. A clothing store’s primary product is, obviously, clothing. No shopper is ever interested in every department that store has, because they have different options for different needs, based on gender, age or style.
What the NFL has achieved is monumental in that EVERY game is important to fans. That means there will be more attention paid to each game by a national audience, with an incredible ripple effect.
- More national sponsor dollars (either via additional sponsors, or more expensive packages)
- More league-wide media coverage in each local market
- An increase in TV rights fees
- Creation of a national NFL TV channel
It’s not ONLY because of Fantasy Football that all of these changes are in the works, but I think we can definitely agree that it played a significant role.
Popularity: 7% [?]