The NFL has existed since 1920, and it’s been one of America’s top entertainment industries ever since. In fact, CNN reported that 111 Million people watched the Super Bowl in 2017.
With the popularity of football in America, various Fantasy Leagues have grown equally as popular and serve as a fun and competitive past time for some of the game’s biggest fans. Forbes actually says that “Over 33 million people play Fantasy Football, and most are in multiple leagues.”
So how can you put these statistics to use for you without leaving your own home? Simple: Use fantasy leagues and teams to network. My dad always says that success is based on “who you know, not what you know”, and modern-day job industries seem to agree with him. A close friend of mine who was struggling with career direction happened to sit next to someone he had not met before at a Fantasy draft. Within a couple years, he’s now an assistant general manager at a large hotel franchise, and the guy he sat next to is working in the corporate offices.
Creating a Fantasy Football league for networking will allow you to promote your business in a casual and comfortable way, and build genuine relationships with people who can support your business. People tend to trust those they’re comfortable with and do business with those they trust. If executed properly, it can also allow you to meet contacts you may not have otherwise.
- Get three other people to join you in starting up a fantasy league in fields you’d like to reach.
- Make sure the competitive level of the fantasy league is discussed- for example, if some are just having “fun” and barely paying attention to their rosters, and others are extremely into the competition, then there may be tension instead of the valuable relationship building time you were hoping for.
- Each of you bring in two to three other people who are interested in playing and networking.
- Use your home to have a live draft, or require that everyone be present for the draft. Have everyone wear a favorite team shirt or jersey to promote discussion, friendly rivalry, and causal getting to know you time along with formal introductions. Allow plenty time for mingling with food, spirits, and a laid-back atmosphere that creates relationships and connections.
- Draft and discuss the pending football season.
- Plan bi-weekly league get togethers either in rotating homes or bars where multiple games can be viewed. Maybe even set aside a couple weeks where friends who are not in the league can be invited for additional networking.
- While I’ve seen fantasy football get competitive, remember to remain sportsmanlike! No one wants to do business with a bully.
- Raise the stakes a little and set a buy in with the champion winning some money. Even better?
Bottom line, football isn’t going anywhere until early next year. Why not use a popular, completely free, form of entertainment to branch out and grow your business while having fun? Work and play go well together!
By Kristen Stephenson, Urhous Contributor