Monday, June 4, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL: Fantasy Football Fest

The past five years on my Northeast Fantasy Football page on Facebook, at various times I have discussed my intention of creating a fantasy football convention geared strictly toward the fantasy football fan and team owner. It would be an interactive event where team owners could go and be immersed and surrounded by fantasy football friends and experts.
My goal was to have the event at Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, the XL Center in Hartford or possibly one of the state’s casinos, venues easily accessible and ideally located between two of the biggest markets in the East – Boston and New York.
However, I quickly found how cost-prohibitive such an event would be and over the years I’ve been in search of investors/sponsors/advertisers for the event.
As it turns out ReedPOP, a division of Reed Exhibitions in Norwalk, Conn., has beaten me to the punch and has produced and organized the Fantasy Football Fest to be held Aug. 18-19 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J.
Kudos to ReedPOP.
Fantasy sports conventions are typically held in the Midwest and West and geared toward the fantasy sports media industry and business industry. But the Fantasy Football Fest is exactly the way I envisioned a fantasy football convention to be on the East Coast. It is geared toward the fantasy football fan with guest speakers and panelists who will give advice and tips to help get a team owner prepared for his or her fantasy football draft.
Space will be provided at the event for leagues to conduct their drafts during the Fantasy Football Fest including a draft day party. There will be athlete appearances (Michael Vick, Lawrence Taylor, LeSean McCoy, Joe Theisman and others) and fantasy football celebrity/expert appearances, including keynote speaker Matthew Berry of ESPN.
There will also be interactive events including sports video tournaments, athletic competitions, sports memorabilia, a tailgate party and beer tasting event. Fantasy football vendors will also show off their wares in booths throughout the event.
In a recent press release, the folks at ReedPOP expects about 25,000 fans in the two-day event. If this is marketed properly, I see that as a very conservative number with at least 75,000 to 100,000 attending.
I’ve been competing in fantasy sports leagues for over 20 years and I’ve been writing about it for that long as well. Based on my experience conducting/hosting three fantasy football seminars in the New Haven area and organizing/hosting a live fantasy football radio talk show and web show, fantasy football folks seem to get a bit more enthused when they can interact with someone in person.
Fantasy football team owners are always doing research and looking for any way possible to try to get an edge heading into their draft. The beauty about the Football Fan Fest event is you can get tips and advice in a rare live/person-to-person interactive format as opposed to reading stats and advice off an impersonal computer screen.
Tickets are $55 per person in advance (good for both days) and $70 the day of the event. There are group rates and VIP tickets will be offered at a time to be announced. There are no single-day tickets being offered on the Fantasy Football Fest web site. Children 10 and under are free.
For more information, go to

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