The league experience is the foundation of fantasy football and why football fans fall in love with this great game. Fantasy football is all about competing with a group of friends, colleagues, or family members and having an absolute blast doing it. There is nothing quite like how a fantasy league brings people together and keeps us connected. Unfortunately, some leagues fail to reach the potential that a fantasy football league has at maximizing the collective experience of the league. The live fantasy football draft helps turn a lackluster league into one that thrives.
The live fantasy football draft is the most impactful way to maximize league engagement and kick off the football season. When league members know each other and spend time with one another, connections grow and engagement is ramped up naturally. The best leagues are active with trades, transactions, and trash talk. It is much easier to communicate and negotiate trades when you know the person you are interacting with. Participating in league banter and trash talk is much easier when you know the other leaguemates well and have shared thrilling moments.
Planning and setting up a live fantasy football draft can be very enjoyable. The possibilities are endless, especially if you have a creative mind. The right combination of ideas can transform the typical draft into an incredible experience for the league, dramatically impacting league engagement during the season and beyond.
Finding the right space for a draft is important however it does not have to be perfect. If you or a league member has access to a large space that can be transformed into the fantasy football draft of your dreams, then take advantage of that immediately and start making your plans for draft day! If the draft has to take place in a small living room or similar type of space, that can also work. Let your imagination run wild and find a location that is fitting for the league. Below are some essentials to effectively create a successful draft that takes your league to the next level.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
If the foundation of fantasy football is the league experience, the foundation of the league experience has to be the people within it. You must find the right people to complete the fantasy league roster. You want to find people with similar levels of competitiveness and engagement to maximize the experience. Whether playing with friends, family members, colleagues, or classmates, it is critical to form a group that can work together and helps make the league a place for all to enjoy.
A DRAFT BOARD
The fantasy draft board is a staple for live fantasy drafts. Many different suppliers create stunning draft boards and colorful player labels. One way to improve your league experience is using the digital draft board from FanDraft. This exceptional product allows the league to move beyond the sticker labels and customize their own draft experience and display the draft results on a television or project them onto a projection screen.
Uniquely entering the draft can drastically impact the event's vibe and elevate draft day enthusiasm. There are many ways to make the entrance memorable and turn the event into more of a red-carpet affair. An actual red carpet is certainly an addition to a draft that can be a lot of fun for the group. If an entrance or hallway leads into the draft space, you should take advantage of that. Use LED lights, which you can find in every imaginable form on Amazon, to create a dazzling draft tunnel to enter through. Crank up some walk-up music for each league member so they can get that adrenaline pumping. Excitement is contagious and the more the draft experience is hyped up the more epic it will be.
A podium in front of the league members sets a formal tone for the event and indicates to league members that this day is truly unique and special. There are many creative do-it-yourself ways to build a centerpiece like a podium for the main stage economically. There are also extravagant podiums in the marketplace that would be the envy of every fantasy football enthusiast not participating in your league. At the very least, you can take an old bookcase and throw a bedsheet over it to pull it off the objective. Whatever you come up with will be a fun way to transform a typical draft experience into something extraordinary.
With a podium in place, it is time to put it to work. Speeches at fantasy football drafts can result in memories that will never be forgotten. The champion deserves their time in the spotlight and likely has a few things to say about reaching the league's pinnacle. This also allows you to celebrate or embarrass the last place award winner too. Publicly shaming the league’s biggest loser in front of league members is an essential part of the fantasy league experience.
Other awards should be celebrated, including the league’s Points Champion. We know that in fantasy, there can certainly be some bad luck that takes down an elite competitor like the highest-scoring team in the league. Giving them their moment is just another way to differentiate the event. Another award that I believe should be a part of more fantasy leagues is awarding the all-time GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of the league. Acknowledging all-time achievements within a league, such as all-time championships, points, and wins, is a fun way to celebrate the history of your fantasy football league and create another benchmark to target and compete for.
When league legacies are discussed and acknowledged, it creates an entirely new aspect of the league to pay attention to. Decorating the draft room with championship banners in the rafters from past seasons is the perfect way to draw attention to the league's history. This unique touch provides visual motivation to inspire league members to up their game and earn the honor and glory of the league championship.
When awards are given to league members, hardware must accompany the triumphs being celebrated. The fantasy football championship trophy for your league should be what everyone in the league desires, even above monetary prizes. The league trophy symbolizes ultimate success and victory over everyone else in the league. Trophies, championship rings, and belts take leagues to the next level and infuse fun and competition within the league as much as anything else. The more bling, the better!
CAPTURE THE MOMENTS
When you make the effort to create an exceptional draft experience, you must have proof that it happened! Recording the speeches and collecting draft day photos and video interviews provides a wealth of material to keep the league engaged during the season as well as in the seasons that lay ahead. Making gifs, memes, and social media clips that drop throughout the season helps to keep leaguemates engaged and entertained. The moments captured at an event like this will show you how the draft experience evolves over the years and will motivate you to level up each year by outdoing the previous season.
These live draft essentials will make the fantasy football draft day experience one that your league will never forget. The anticipation for next year’s draft will begin as soon as the draft is over, as league members will not want the event to end. Creating the ultimate live draft experience takes time to develop, so do not be afraid to slowly build your vision over several seasons. Every small addition you make each year to the draft day experience will add up and, over time, will lead to your dream live draft experience coming true. Once you get there, it is time to strive for even more!