So, you’ve taken the plunge and become a fantasy football commissioner, and now you’re trying to make your league stand out, to make it different (and better!) than the rest. One area where you can let your creativity shine is in coming up with prizes for your league’s top performers. Here are ten ideas to get your juices flowing. (As always, make sure to check your game’s rules and also local laws and regulations to avoid any potential problems.)
OK, this is not especially creative, but you have to admit that moolah can be motivating on many levels, and some fantasy players won’t fully engage if there is not some green on the line.
Nothing says, “I kicked fantasy tail!” quite like a glitzy piece of hardware proclaiming the same. Slap your league’s name on the trophy, and you’ll get some free advertising as the winner gloats to his friends.
Championship t-shirts allow your champions to conspicuously display their superiority while, again, drumming up some free publicity for your league.
How about giving your owners a taste of the real league by offering a couple of game tickets to a bona fide NFL game the following season (or pre-season)? True football fans will be drooling at this possibility.
A little boring, perhaps, but gift cards are extremely useful given the current economic blahs. You can use this option instead of cash if you have an affiliation with a particular retailer, perhaps because they contribute to a charity that you support.
If you run a league that charges some sort of upfront or transaction money, rewarding high-performers with fee waivers of some sort can keep things interesting.
If your league maintains a pretty steady roster of participants from year-to-year, you can make next year’s draft order dependent on this year’s final standings. Somewhat like the NFL draft, this option works better as an incentive if the best team, not the worst, gets to pick first.
Most fantasy football participants are also rabid sports fan, so a subscription to “Sports Illustrated”, “ESPN the Magazine”, or the “Sporting News” would really hit the spot.
Of course, we’re living in the digital age, so a lot of the best sports content can only be found online. A subscription to “ESPN.com Insider” would make most NFL fans do the Lambeau Leap.
Fantasy footballers just love to show that they have superior expertise, so any avenue you can give them to expound on their football knowledge will be a winner. Consider running a blog on your league web site, and let the winner this year be the featured blogger next year. Lots of possibilities here!
These ten ideas are just seeds to get your imagination flowing. Put on your thinking cap and come up with some unique rewards for your fantasy football league.