In the Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen front man sings, “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”

The same question could often be asked of those playing fantasy football each fall.  With the 2020 NFL season starting shortly, I recalled my last encounter with fantasy football while reviewing current data about the popular pastime.

According to the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, there were 59.3 million people playing fantasy sports in the USA and Canada in 2017.  As of 2019 there were an estimated 45.9 Million fantasy sports players over 18 in the United States alone. According to a 2019 survey conducted  by the organization, demographics for fantasy sports — not just football — include the following:

  • 81% male, 19% female.
  • 50% are between the ages of 18 -34 (average age is 37.7).
  • 67% are employed full-time.
  • 47% make more than $75,000 (national average is 34%).

football-67701_1280

The Sports Management Degree Hub clarifies that, “Of the 56.8 million players, more than 40 million play fantasy football.” The website further shares that fantasy sports participants spend an average of $465 a year on fantasy sports with fantasy football alone operating in an $18.6 billion market. That’s $6 billion more than the current estimated NFL revenue, and 4.5 times the current value of the NFL’s top flight team, the Dallas Cowboys.

I fielded two fantasy teams: The Shawshank Receptions in 2013 with work colleagues and The Dubai Deflators in 2015 after I had been living in UAE for a year — both times using ESPN’s app and website.

While my experience was limited, it allowed me to entertain the following 10 takeaways into ideal practices to maximize success and minimize conflict:

  1. Accept Reality
  2. Act Strategically
  3. Adapt Effectively
  4. Collaborate Honestly
  5. Embrace Unpredictability
  6. Lose Graciously
  7. Play Competitively
  8. Think Confidently
  9. Trade Fairly
  10. Win Gracefully

If you play fantasy football (or fantasy sports of any kind) what has your experience been — and what tips would you share with others interested in participating?

In addition to yesterday being the 10th anniversary of this blog it was also the publication date of a book in which I wrote a chapter about the social media marketing efforts of the Emirates American Football League (EAFL).

Recognizing the global role and relevance of American football, I wrote a chapter about the EAFL in the book The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business profiling its social media strategy. Titled “Arabian Gulf Game Plan: The social media marketing strategy of the Emirates American Football League,” the chapter:

  • Explores the origins of the EAFL.
  • Looks ahead to the future of the league and American football in UAE.
  • Shares the league’s social media strategy as a means of marketing while creating a community of fans, players and their families.

The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business is an essential resource for any course on sport business, sport management or international business. The book offers the broadest and most in-depth guide to the key themes in international sport business today, covering every core area from strategy and marketing to finance, media, and the law.

Including authors from more than twenty countries, this handbook addresses the most important issues in the world of sport business from a global perspective. Each chapter examines a particular cross-section of business and sport, encompassing all levels from grassroots to professional and elite. Divided into seven major subject areas, it offers insights from experts on:

  • International Sport Business Strategy.
  • Sport Marketing.
  • Sport Economics and Finance.
  • International Sport Law.
  • Sport Media and Communication.
  • Sport Tourism.
  • Sport Development.

The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business is an essential resource for any course on sport business, sport management or international business. Notably, on May 1, 2017 I shared my chapter with faculty, students, and staff at the American University in the Emirates (AUE). I joined with two AUE colleagues who also contributed to the book: Prof. Kamilla Swart and Dr. Kevin Heisey, who is also one of the book’s editors.

Size doesn’t predict significance!

The day after America celebrated its 170th Independence Day in 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit that would forever liberate legions of water-bound women: the bikini.

Proclaiming a two piece swimsuit wasn’t a bikini “unless it could pulled through a wedding ring,” Reard capitalized on the sensation of his invention and ensured its lasting success. Although comprised of only 30 inches of fabric, the impact of the bikini was felt worldwide — much like the shockwaves from the nuclear bomb tests that took place on Bikini Atoll (the suit’s namesake).

According to a Smithsonian article titled The Bikini’s Inventor Guessed How Much It Would Horrify the Public, “He chose the name because he hoped that the raunchy two-piece would elicit the same shock and horror that the atomic bomb did.”

The birthday of the bikini is a reminder to small businesses that they can overcome the odds and atomize their adversaries. No matter the size, the potential for success of an organization and the individuals that comprise it is unlimited.

The secret to their success is about captivating people with clever storytelling; once an organization uncovers clarity, embraces creativity, and commits to consistency in its communication, the possibilities are limitless.