The Other NFL: A Mid-Season Look at Fantasy Football and Advertising By Chris Saunders

by James Thompson

With football season in full swing, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting NFL season thus far. As an avid New York Giants fan, it has been a tumultuous season, but somehow we are atop the NFC East at 4-3. Hey, I’ll take it. Keep it up, Eli, just don't become the other bad comedian Eli like in is this ad for DirecTV.

But of course, that’s not the only team I am following this year (and for the past 5 or so years). What other NFL team could I possibly be talking about that would sway my loyalties away from my home town team? That’s right, my fantasy team, of course. It has been argued that fantasy sports has cheapened the fanaticism of the game, essentially making everyone a fan of every player and every team (on their roster). This especially rings true when “your” favorite team is playing a player on your fantasy team. Can anyone say conflict of interest? This new campaign from the NFL featuring Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham (ironically) illustrates the dilemma delightfully.

But why shouldn’t the NFL get in on the fantasy craze. It’s not stopping fans from filling arenas across the country; maybe just causing them to pay a little more attention to their phones for updates instead of being engrossed in the game at hand. And more importantly, why shouldn’t the NFL increase the game’s engagement and interactivity with a little bit of this level of interaction featured in this Buffalo Wild Wings ad?

I’m sure a lot of fantasy fanatics out there would love it if refs would run some of their calls by us. Extending the game when your last fantasy player needs just a few more fractions of a point for the win. Or tripping up an opposing team’s fantasy player to avoid that big, game-ending play. Yes, please, I’ll take two. Anything to keep me from feeling like the sad sacks featured in this NFL.com Fantasy League ad. So to all of you out there involve in the struggle, good luck.

But let’s face it: We’ve waited for all spring and summer to feel the energy and adrenaline in this Nike ad.

If that doesn’t get you hyped up, I don’t know what will. One of many great spots from Nike with two of the most dominant players at their positions. An almost haunting soundtrack, stunning action shots, and both players on a continuous path towards each other…as if it was “Fate.”

Let's do this.