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You, Too, Could Go All the Way...If You Bet Enough
By: Brian Keller
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Two pretty bad teams (the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns) played the most exciting game of the weekend (Monday, November 30, 2015). The Ravens won on a game-ending blocked field goal return for a touchdown. This victory propelled Baltimore into the playoff picture. This team has lost three starting offensive lineman, two starting receivers, the starting running back and his backup, the quarterback (at one time the highest-paid player in the league), the starting tight end, a pro-bowl linebacker, and more…but it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Ravens could represent the AFC in Super Bowl 50.

The NFL is really so awful that you don't have to be good. A shade less than “really bad” should do it.

Here's the AFC 
1 team with 10 wins
2 teams with 9 wins
5 teams with 6 wins
2 teams with 5 wins
3 teams with 4 wins
1 team with 3 wins
2 teams with 2 wins

Wild card leaders are 6–5.

The NFC is just as bad, with the NFC East dominated by co-leaders the Washington ______________* and the New York Giants at 5–6.

*Please fill in the name after “Washington,” as we don’t want to detract from Facebook users, and other users of social media, from posting cute kitty videos, pictures of their food, and ranting about all the presidential candidates.

Our underdog, as the NFC representative, would be the Philadelphia Eagles at 4–7. Ravens vs. Eagles would be fitting, as Super Bowl 50 would be for the birds and a graphic statement about the NFL product.

**The sentimental favorite from the division would be America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, home to Greg “The Charges Were Dropped” Hardy. At 3–8, they're only two games out of first place.

NFL records this season (that would include police records) indicate more hitting is taking place in the home than on the field. The NFL is a money-machine phenomenon that offers a pretty bad on-the-field product that gets in-game oversight by employing referees that are not professionals.

What fuels this?

The NFL and its violent, mediocre product cashes in on advertisers in a multi-billion-dollar* take as it continues to capture the “hearts and minds” of Americans.

*In 2013, ESPN did over 1 billion dollars alone on Monday Night Football.

But for the first time, we are all finding out what DraftKings and FanDuel take the lead in: aggressiveness and their skill in placing insidious messaging into awful communications in their quest to take money out of the pockets of the populace. 

It's apparent that DraftKings and FanDuel do not condone any form of gambling; they offer games of skill that allow average citizens to run their own pro football teams. These altruistic companies offer a chance for friends to get together and test their “NFL GM” knowledge in amiable “fantasy” contests that help bring families and the aforementioned friends together to watch wonderful guys gladly sacrifice their brains and bodies each week. 

These illustrious “startups” like to get the word out. In September of 2015, they spent a combined $31 million for roughly 9,000 national television spots.

Check their revenues against their ad spend, and then check out those valuations.

From INC, October 9, 2015 
Company: DraftKings
Valuation: $1.2 billion
Total capital raised: $375 million
2014 Revenues: $30 million
2015 TV ad spend to Oct. 5: $131.4 million

Company: FanDuel
Valuation: $1.3 billion
Total capital raised: $361 million
2014 Revenues: $57 million
2015 TV ad spend to Oct. 5: $74.5 million

iSpot TV throws this in:
“DraftKings and FanDuel together have spent  $107 million on network advertising since September of 2015. And 50.3 million dollars was spent on the National Football League broadcasts on NBC, ESPN, CBS, Fox, and the NFL Network.”

But wait, there’s more:

From Fortune Magazine:
Amidst the controversy, DraftKings and FanDuel had their best NFL Sunday ever.
By Daniel Roberts

“Just days after a major scandal erupted involving daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel, the two companies managed to have their best weekend ever. It suggests that what looked like a P.R. nightmare for these red-hot startups had no negative impact on its customers—rather, it may have helped the companies stoke interest.”

It gets better.

From the NY Times:
“Fantasy contests have become so popular, and their advertisements so ubiquitous, that gambling counselors say young children are now playing with their fathers or, in some cases, by themselves. Neva Pryor, who counsels gamblers in New Jersey, said that at a recent conference, teachers were saying that on Monday mornings, “all the students talk about is fantasy sports.”

We suppose that betting on ball with your kid is better than playing ball with your kid.

People bet on the NFL, and that's the real national pastime. Now companies are betting millions that you're going to give them “money for nothing.” Don't bet for few days, don’t play fantasy sports for a few days; turn off your TVs and leave them off for just a few days: Sunday (Sunday Night Football, NBC, 2015, $623,445, per spot) and Monday (Monday Night Football, ESPN, 2015, $388,176 per spot). See what happens.

If you play “fantasy,” remember, it’s a fantasy. You’re not going to win. You’re gambling, and the house doesn't lose. The advertising makes it look easy. In reality, and just like the 31 losing General Managers in the NFL, you are going to lose more than you win. Real General Managers make millions making personnel decisions and use other peoples’ money (the owners’). What do you make? Whose money are you using?

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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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