September 23, 2015

LEE | Enough of Daily Fantasy Football

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I can’t take it anymore. I have had enough of the endless commercials for DraftKings and FanDuel. Yes, I understand that I can enter a daily fantasy contest for endless amounts of money. Yes, I understand that I that if I screwed up my fantasy draft, I can just try daily fantasy sports. I understand that it’s super easy.

During the first two weeks of the NFL season, DraftKings and FanDuel, the two major daily fantasy sports websites, have been running nearly nonstop ads. DraftKings, according to reports, spent the most money of any company on advertising through the early part of the football season, with $80 million spent. FanDuel came in with the eighth-most money spent with $20 million.
All three daytime football talk shows on ESPN are currently sponsored by either DraftKings or FanDuel. Sports media blog Awful Announcing recently deemed the NFL Sunday Insiders as “a DraftKings infomercial disguised as a pregame show.”

There’s a reason why these companies are pushing their name out to the point of oversaturation: there’s no such thing as bad publicity and advertising, as much as we all hate it, is proven to influence consumer buying habits.
Media is an industry that has come to depend heavily on autoplay video advertisements and obnoxious pop-up ads. Articles on major publications such as BuzzFeed and Vox regularly post “sponsored content”, content that is one long advertisement disguised as informative journalism.

The super-aggressive advertising plan for DraftKings and FanDuel recently caught the attention of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who said she would look into the legality of the gambling (which, let’s be real, is really what fantasy sports is) that occurs on both websites.

The Washington Post looked into the online fantasy sports industry and spoke with Chris Grove of after U.S. Rep Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) called for a look at the legality of the daily fantasy sports industry.
“The next question is whether this is a gambling product is under federal law,” Grove told the Post. “Federal law does not really wade into the waters of defining what gambling is, by and large. That leaves that question up to the states, and that’s where you get to very difficult questions of how you measure the distribution of skill and chance in an activity.”

NCAA executive Olive Luck came out on Tuesday to remind that any athlete using the website to gamble on college sports will lose a year of eligibility. Pac-12 conference president Larry Scott said he believes that the line between fantasy sports and gambling is too blurred. “The NCAA has taken a position that we can set the rules, and we don’t support it,” Scott told USA Today. “So that’s where we’ve drawn the line.”

The worst part about the uber commercialization of western society is that there’s no turning back. Advertisements are only going to get more and more obnoxious and, at some point, companies are going to find workarounds for those ad blockers that I have installed on every browser I use, from laptop to iPhone. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have no problem with people who gamble on sports, but I have long reached my saturation point in regards to the commercialization of daily fantasy sports. I personally don’t gamble because 1) I’ve learned at casino nights on campus that I absolutely suck at gambling and 2) I just don’t care about making money off the results of sports game.

Just please, get these DraftKings and FanDuel advertisements off my television.