July 31/Aug. 7: Volume 31, Issue 4
By Steven Feldman
As summer fades and the air starts to get crisp, the fall selling season is upon us. Equally important to many is the start of that sacred time of the year commonly known as football season.
Regardless of how many times we failed to make our high school team, there’s one football-related game all of us can play: fantasy football. In fact, throughout the last decade, one of the most popular hobbies in North America has been fantasy sports. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the number of participants in fantasy leagues has exploded to 59.3 million, up from 57.4 million in 2016 and up 43% in the past three years. Fantasy sports are estimated to have a $3 billion to $4 billion annual economic impact across the sports industry.
With that as the backdrop, FCNews in 2014 launched its inaugural fantasy football league. The idea was to have 12 teams compete not for personal profit but for a good cause. Three years ago, the Informa Exhibitions team of Dana Teague and Amie Gilmore dusted the competition and secured $2,400 for their charity of choice, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation. Two years ago it was Mohawk Commercial, led by captain Michel Vermette, securing the first place prize of $5,000 for Susan G. Komen and breast cancer.
Last year we stepped up the entry fee to $5,000, and Long Island distributor Salesmaster wound up winning $13,000 for the American Cancer Society. But with weekly prizes and healthy awards for the runners-up, Mohawk Commercial won $11,500 for Susan G. Komen; Coverings earned $6,500 for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation; and FCNews scored $6,750 for Long Island Cares Food Bank.
As you can see, the participants play for a variety of causes, from The Lupus Foundation and Autism Speaks right down to the local level, where one team sought to provide athletic equipment for the neighborhood high school.
So now it’s time to form the league for the 2017 season. The entry fee will again be $5,000 with $15,000 going to the winning team’s charity, $9,000 going to the runner-up’s cause, followed by prizes of $6,500, $4,500, $1,000 and $500 to every other team. In addition, $1,000 will be awarded weekly to the charity of the team with the highest score. If you are interested in entering, you will need to announce your cause when your entry is accepted. Aside from individuals, we also welcome all companies—manufacturers, retailers and distributors—to enter. Anyone can do the drafting, from the CEO to the forklift driver to an employee’s hotshot kid.
Before the start of the season, which kicks off Thursday night, Sept. 7, we will publish the 12 team names and the charities for which they will be playing. We will even include a small write-up on each charity as well as why it has been designated by the team’s owner. At that point we will invite FCNews readers to get behind the team whose cause best resonates with them.
So, if you are interested in participating, here is what you need to know: There will be an online draft on a date and time to be determined, most likely Sept. 5, 6 or 7 around 5 p.m. EST. If no one from your company is available the night of the draft, there is a feature called “auto draft” where the computer makes selections for you based on pre-determined rankings. You will also have the ability to make roster moves throughout the year. Should more than 12 companies express interest, there can be multiple leagues or divisions. But please contact us quickly if you would like to participate. There are a limited number of spots available.
For more details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.