Experiential Marketing Example: Why Fantasy Football is a Marketer’s Dream

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I’m a nerd. Although this confession would not surprise anyone in my high school graduating class, I’m content with the honesty I just published on the Internet. I’m a nerd because I play in 4 (possibly 5, depending on the Denver Internet marketing league) fantasy football leagues a year. If you are a fan of the National Football League, or if you know someone who is a fan, you’ve probably heard the words, “fantasy football” dominate office chatter, dinner dates, and the Internet since the beginning of August. Fantasy football is not a new concept. It actually started back in the early 1960s. The format and scoring system looked a lot different back then, but the concept has stayed the same: build a team of high profile NFL players and try to beat everyone else in the league based on the stats of your players. Some may be surprised that the game is over 50 years old; however, you’re not alone in this fact. Marketers (yeah, us!) failed to recognize this market for over 40 years. This year, 25.8 million people will play and generate $1.1 billion in revenue. It’s no wonder why companies like Volkswagen and Snickers now commit as much as $3 million in fantasy football sponsorships with ESPN, CBS and the NFL.

I’m fascinated by marketing and experiential marketing, and I couldn’t help myself but to explore how companies are dealing with fantasy football nerds like me. Why did it take marketers/companies to jump on the bandwagon? When I first started playing, there was very little advertising love from anyone. You drafted around a table with 11 other guys, drinking warm beer and eating cold pizza in a dark basement. Now, companies like Buffalo Wild Wings offers free food, draft boards, koozies and a private room for your draft party. And, on a larger scale, you can rent a suite at your favorite team’s stadium and get the ultimate experience in an NFL stadium – for a hefty fee, of course. And in Vegas…well, Vegas is Vegas and that’s another blog post. Even the NFL got on board and mandated that all teams show stats during home games so that people in attendance can follow players on their fantasy teams.

There’s nothing better than watching your favorite team AND having the scoreboard run-up-to date stats on your team’s players. Sundays in the fall just got a lot better for us fantasy jocks! But in actuality, it’s the NFL, television networks like ESPN, and your local B-Dubs that are reaping the benefits – and demographics are the reason why. The typical fantasy football player is a college-educated professional, often male, in his 30s or 40s with an average household income of $90,000. And almost half of the fantasy users who pay to play spend an average of $468 on league fees, subscription advice sites and analytics apps. Toss in the fact that the dream fantasy football user is an 18-year-old kid going into college, getting 9 of his friends to play fantasy football, and engaging with the game for the next 30 years. That’s why companies (including the NFL) are creating extravagant fantasy football experiences.

There’s untapped potential to this growing market. Marketers were wise to jump on the fantasy football bandwagon, and companies are creating more and more amazing experiences for fantasy football junkies to last for decades.

How to use this Information
You don’t have to spend millions of dollars (or be the NFL) to create memorable experiences for your customers. Call Webolutions today at 303-300-2640 to learn more about how our Denver marketing experts can help you design an integrated experiential marketing plan that will give you a competitive advantage. Good luck in your marketing and fantasy football leagues!

If you are creating amazing experiences for your employees and your customers, please share how you are doing this in the comments area below.

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