If you’ve turned on the TV for even a minute over the last three weeks, one thing is certain: You’ve seen a DraftKings or FanDuel commercial.
With the start of the NFL season, daily fantasy sports sites are bombarding the airwaves with advertising, trying to capture market share. These advertising maneuvers shouldn’t surprise anyone, as the NFL has the largest fan base of any sports league in the U.S., claiming 49-percent of Americans as fans.
What does the boom of daily fantasy sports and its buy-in of the NFL mean to clubs? The answer to that question is simple: you can’t beat them, so you better join them.
Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In the world of American professional sports, the NFL is the ultimate giant. Its prowess is the Goliath that cannot be overcome by the sling of a mere rock (or in our case, a golf ball) – even if it was hit by Jordan Spieth.
Clubs should take a cue from DraftKings and FanDuel. The daily fantasy sports sites have recognized that marketing their product around the NFL is a lucrative investment. From August 1 through September 16 alone—the beginning of the NFL season—DraftKings and FanDuel spent over $100 million on television and online advertising because they realize that where the NFL is, the eyes are. Clubs must realize the same. Rather than competing with the popularity of the NFL, clubs need to market their opportunities around football and the craze of fantasy.
What might this look like? Be Drafting Headquarters: Invite members to hold their drafts in the Grill Room. 12 hungry/thirsty members & guests could generate some nice F&B revenue followed by a 9 hole event to celebrate their picks. Don’t overlook the juniors. They love fantasy football. The competition will create a buzz. Buzz + smart business can generate fun times, loyalty and cash.
Hi-jack fans: With 56 million Americans expected to play fantasy sports this year, clubs can lure fans by hosting fantasy-related events. For instance, the forward thinking clubs should create their own member-based fantasy leagues. It brings members together and creates an ongoing, 17 week connection to the club.
Fantasy Party: Wonder why your Grill Room is a ghost town on Sunday @ 3:00pm? C’ Mon man! This is low hanging fruit. Your members would love to get together at the club and trash talk with “The League”. WARNING: Do not attempt this unless you have the RedZone channel. Failure to comply may result in an entry level management position at your community swimming pool.
Winner’s Ball: “Playoffs? Playoffs???” Take your league winners and let them “Fan Duel” (get it?) on a Sunday afternoon in a daily fantasy Super Bowl. This will make for more interesting newsletter photo ops than the monthly tennis tip.
It’s estimated that daily fantasy sports sites have raised nearly $863 million in funding. With investors pouring that much money into the industry, one thing is certain: Clubs must place a bet on fantasy sports in general and create complimentary marketing programs to grow. Embrace smartphones & fantasy-related activities, and find ways to link to the infectious camaraderie that is NFL fantasy football.