Public Relations and Fantasy Football

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By Dan Capawana, Media Relations Specialist, R&J Public Relations

Fantasy football in America has exploded in the past decade, with over 33 million participants each year. The NFL is more popular than it ever has been, and part of that popularity is due to fantasy football.  Fantasy brings in an entire new fan base, one who can now manage their own teams and are more concerned with individual performances rather than team outcome.  These days I fall into this group, but that is quite possibly because I’m a Redskins fan.  Our PR agency has a fantasy football league, and while setting up my lineup this past week I realized there are quite a few similarities public relations has with fantasy football.

Drafting a fantasy football team is a lot like putting together a PR team for a specific account.   You need to take into account each player’s strengths and weaknesses, know when to play the right people, and know who’s going to be the quarterback.  And PR agencies can score touchdowns too, by securing important media coverage, having successful tradeshows, planning events, coordinating new product introductions and working through crises.

In the blink of an eye in the fantasy football world, you can easily lose out on a golden opportunity.  You see, the game of football is pretty violent, and players are always getting hurt.  This means fantasy football rosters are constantly moving and shaking.  Someone in your league may have dropped a player that they probably shouldn’t have, or a backup running back now is getting a shot at starter because of an injury.  In media relations, it is essential to stay up to date on your client’s industries.  By doing so, if a timely media opportunity presents itself for one of your clients; you can be one of the first to get your client’s story in the ear of the media.  Don’t be asleep at the switch.

One of the most frustrating aspects of fantasy football is definitely that things don’t typically go according to plan.  You have Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, who are you going to start?  Nine times out of ten it’s Peyton Manning, but guess who decides to throw six touchdown passes two weeks in a row?  That’s right, it’s Ben, and he’s on your bench, doing you zero service.  Draft Adrian Peterson first overall this year?  Bummer, because he’s only played in one game this year. Public relations can definitely feel the same at times.  No day is ever the same as the previous, client expectations are ever changing and priorities are constantly shifting.  Even if you think you are as prepared as possible, always be ready for an audible.

It is important not to forget that like in football, PR agencies can be traded (fired) if they aren’t getting the job done.  By working together as a team to gain your clients meaningful and measurable results, you just might take them to the Super Bowl.

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