If you are a sports fan, you are probably familiar with fantasy sports and fantasy sports leagues. Within the past 10 years, fantasy sports have gone from a playful pastime to a multi-billion dollar industry. The first time we saw ESPN have dedicated anchors and reporters for fantasy football, we thought it was a joke. But ESPN saw the trend, and now we're sure those fantasy football reporters are probably the most hated and beloved people on the station.
Who knew that what was a little game invented by a magazine editor in 1979 would turn into an entirely new industry? We're sure Okrent had no idea.
With the rise of fantasy sports, entrepreneurs and companies have been trying to ride the wave and be a part of this industry. Two companies increasing in popularity are FanDuel and DraftKings. Both companies have been spending a lot of money trying to convince people to join their networks, boasting huge winnings in games by fantasy players. If you are on a sports site, or watching a game, you cannot help but see one of their ads saying that one player paid $200 to play and won the week with $3,000 in payout.
Tempting for sure.
According to iSpotTV analytics, FanDuel has aired 12,286 national spots in 30 days. To say that they are doing well and looking to expand would be an understatement.
But though they are airing a lot of ads, we won't see a single one on the PAC-12 network. The league's commissioner told USA Today that with the leniency that the NCAA gives leagues, he and his group decided that the ads of FanDuel and DraftKings would not be welcome on the PAC-12 network, and though the Feds do not consider these leagues to be gambling, he believes that they are awfully close.
Not particularly a huge blow to FanDuel or DraftKings, but it does highlight what some of the executives are thinking about these companies.
For these fantasy companies to continue to grow and expand their advertising, they may need to convince people, particularly in the PAC-12, of exactly what kind of company they are. Or it may be approaching the time when these type of companies start partnering up with their legislative friends to make sure that they stay away from the "gambling" categorization.
Is it possible? Sure it is. Look at E-Cigs; though their time is running short, the E-Cig industry has been extremely successful at staying away from being labeled tobacco products.
It is amazing what a little bit of influence will do.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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