While fans centralized in New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft in April, more than 1,000 from Chicago to Dallas and Los Angeles will participate in NFL Fantasy Drafts August 27-28 at events hosted by ESPN Radio’s owned-and-operated stations.
“It’s been one of Chicago’s signature events for the past five years, and a chance to showcase local and network talent to more than 600 fans,” says Adam Delevitt, Program Director of Chicago’s ESPN1000.
“And, it provides additional credibility as ‘Chicago’s Football Station.’”
Travis Hill, Promotions and Marketing Director, ESPN Dallas 103.3FM, also sees his Draft as a win-win-win day.
“Fans win by enjoying an event with the possibility of winning $10,000, our station wins because sponsors pay to gain access to our fans, and advertisers win because they get valuable face time with a very loyal group of fans.”
Being the lone market without an NFL team, Los Angeles’ ESPN 710 has invited AEG representative Michael Roth to discuss plans for a new stadium and the return of the pro game to the city.
The station’s Draft Day also features presentations by several of its show hosts and tours of its studios.
Said Marketing Director Bill Lennert: “The environment is serious with lectures, but fun, with guests receiving free lunch and goodies. “
Just like drafting strategies differ, so do the atmospheres in Chicago and Dallas.
“It’s serious in the morning during our ‘convention,’ then it’s party in the afternoon when we break into 60 different 10-team league drafts,” says Chicago’s Delevitt.
Dallas’ Hill explains: “Our fantasy show before the Draft gives it a fun atmosphere, but once the Draft starts, it’s all business.”
One person who literally makes his living from Fantasy Football is Matthew Berry, Senior Director of ESPN Fantasy sports aka the “Talented Mr. Roto.”
A veteran of Chicago’s event, he wouldn’t trade the experience for Drew Brees.
“Even though the event is scheduled for only a half day, it tends to last longer as fans surround myself and my colleagues like [ESPN Senior NFL Writer] John Clayton and [ESPN injury analyst] Stephania Bell, trying to glean those last few nuggets, get a picture, or just talk about fantasy football,” Berry said.
“I find the fans to be really appreciative of everything we do at ESPN, and they give great feedback on what they like, who and what they want to hear about, and where we can improve. This is among my favorite events of the year — it’s really a perfect example of what we always strive to do here and that’s serve sports fans.”
ESPN CHICAGO 1000 AM FANTASY FOOTBALL CONVENTION
Date: Saturday, Aug. 27
Time: 10 a.m. CT (doors 7:30 a.m.)
Broadcast: 8 a.m. Fantasy Football Island
Where: Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Ind.
Winner: “A ton of awesome prizes”
Special Guests: Mike Ditka, Matthew Berry, Stephania Bell and John Clayton
Sponsors: Miller Lite, Horseshoe Casino, Chicagoland Speedway, Discount Tire, Gerber Collision and Glass, NYSE, Slingbox and Bob Rohrman’s Libertyville Mitsubishi
ESPN DALLAS 103.3 FM FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT
Date: Sunday, Aug. 28
Time: 10 a.m. CT start; noon-12:30 p.m. Q&A with ESPN staff; 12:30 DRAFT
Broadcast: 10 a.m.-noon live remote
Where: Irving Convention Center, Irving, Texas
Registration: starts at $39.95
Fans: Estimated 500
Sponsors: Bud Light, Drivers Select
ESPN LOS ANGELES 710AM FANTASY FOOTBALL CONVENTION
Date: Sunday, Aug. 28
Time: 8:30 am- 4:30 pm PT
Where: ESPN Zone @ LA LIVE
Registration: Via web site (free)
Fans: 100 participants randomly selected from entries on 710 ESPN page of ESPNLA.com
Sponsors: Bubba Burger and So Cal Chevy Dealers