Lenovo Fantasy NFL Real Coach Contest & Webisodes

Lenovo has begun activating around its new NFL sponsorship by launching a ‘Fantasy Coach of the Year’ contest which will see the winner select one of the 2014 Pro Bowl squads.


Fantasy football games have become staple fodder for a number of sports, but Lenovo have freshened up the NFL’s official game by adding on a real-world coaching experience as a powerful incentive. For the first time in league history, the winning fan will become a real-life NFL coach.


The victorious Fantasy Football champion will join the 2014 Pro Bowl alumni captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice, current NFL stars to select one of the two teams playing in this season’s Pro Bowl game.


The contest itself will be held on NFL.com/Fantasy with the winner determined using a bespoke algorithm that combines win-loss percentages, league championships, a difficulty-of-league index and a ‘quality move indicator.


All of this year’s fantasy players on the site will be eligible for the contest.


Lenovo’s Fantasy Coach of the Year will be announced following the regular season and will then take part in the Pro Bowl Player Draft which airs on 22 January on NFL Network.


The grand prize winner will then fly to Hawaii, help chose a Pro Bowl squad and to then see them in action during the game from the sideline.


Furthermore, this season’s Lenovo Fantasy Coach of the Year will be crowned on air on 1 February (the eve of the Super Bowl) at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and will win two tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII.


The campaign has been developed with the Boston office of Lenovo’s agency DigitasLBi and the online competition is supported by an eight-part web video series in partnership with The Onion.


The Onion was chosen because of its real-time content creation experience, its track record for generating continual consumer interaction and social engagement and because the brand admired its voice and ‘wanted to infuse that into the storyline’.


Thus the web spots are styled similarly to an Onion ‘mockumentary’.


Called ‘Tough Season’, these shorts follow the new season exploits of hapless (and fictional) fantasy football coach Brad Blevins (team name ‘Brad’s Awesome Team’).


The Brad character has his own Twitter handle and Facebook page and will use them to make real-time comments on NFL games as they relate to his fantasy team.


Episodes feature NFL stars – such as Andrew Luck, Alfred Morris, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Forte and Mason Crosby – who will not only appear in the films, but will also engage with Brad on these social channels throughout the season.


The first season-opening episode is live on both Lenovo.com/NFL and the Onion’s website.


Tough Season – Fantasy Draft Preparation – Ep. 1


The videos will be rolled out through the NFL season at the computer maker’s football sponsorship hub – www.Lenovo.com/NFL.


They also feature Lenovo product placement for three of the Chinese-owned PC brand’s main products: the Lenovo Yoga convertible laptop, the Horizon all-in-one desktop and the ThinkPad X-1 Carbon. With reference to how they are ideal for playing fantasy football and consuming NFL content.




This move marks the second year of Lenovo’s expensive three-year investment as the official laptop, desktop and workstation of the NFL and sees the brand genuinely freshen up fantasy football with a truly unique real and relevant coaching experience is a clever move and a powerful incentive in what has become a fairly standard platform.


‘Fantasy football is a great platform for showing off the incredibly innovative features of our products,’’ says Kevin Berman, Lenovo’s Director of North American advertising and marketing services.


‘This campaign highlights the best high-tech products that any coach would ever need. It’s just a logical intersection between the way consumers engage our products and football.’


Dovetailing neatly with the Fantasy Coach of the Year campaign, Lenovo is also the presenting sponsor of the NFL Coach of the Year award (which is announced at the NFL Honours Show in February).


In addition to pushing specific products through campaign placement, the Lenovo brand (the world’s number one PC seller) is also using its NFL rights (as it did with its previous NBA partnership) to buiuld further awareness by connecting to a big US audience as it seeks to improve on its fourth ranked US PC positioning.


Of course, US audiences (particularly in the key 18 to 35-year-old demographic) don’t come much bigger than the NFL – one of the country’s last bastions of appointment, live TV.


Last season saw NFL games dominate traditional TV ratings with the top eight rated telecasts in 2012 related to professional football (according to Nielsen).


Indeed, NFL Fantasy Football is played by an estimated 30 million Americans.




NFL Fantasy Coach Of The Year



Lenovo Tough Season Webfilm











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