Yahoo is looking to reassert itself as the "OG of fantasy sports" in a new ad campaign called "Feel the Wins," developed in partnership with the company's new creative agency, Sid Lee.
Although Yahoo was one of the early powers in fantasy sports, where consumers pick teams online and compete in seasonlong leagues, it has been besieged by competitors including CBS and ESPN, which can promote their fantasy products using their extensive media platform, and upstarts DraftKings and FanDuel, which let players pick new teams every week.
Sid Lee, part of Japan's Hakuhodo, won the business following a competitive pitch process this spring. Omnicom's BBDO New York previously worked on a project for Yahoo around Fantasy Football. Representatives from BBDO declined to comment.
The "Feel the Wins" campaign, which began last week, is designed to provide a new image for Yahoo's fantasy sports franchise, said Daniel Chandler, executive creative director and partner at Sid Lee. The agency created three spots for the campaign, which will run on TV and online as a lead-up to the beginning of NFL season. Mediavest Spark is handling media for the initiative.
Chandler said Sid Lee worked with Yahoo to break the usual stereotypes in advertising around fantasy sports, like seeing a group of guys in an office in front of a water cooler at work talking about sports results or friends at a bar having banter. Today, Chandler said, fantasy sports is much more about gifs, memes and "smack-talking each other" over the internet and mobile devices.
And that smack talk can even be a "win" for fantasy sports users. Rather than just focusing on the big winner at the end of the season, Chandler said the campaign celebrates little wins or "fist bumps," such as landing a well-timed piece of trash talk or winning your weekly match-up.
Sid Lee plans to have some "real-world activations" on Aug. 27, which Yahoo will turn into a bit of a "draft day" for fantasy players as the start of the NFL season approaches on Sept. 7, in cities around the U.S. so that people can get involved and potentially hear from some Yahoo experts.
"Feel the Wins" will evolve into an ongoing social media campaign with some other original content as the real season progresses, Chandler said.
The campaign is also one of the first big initiatives since Verizon formed Oath from its AOL and Yahoo acquisitions, said Chandler. Oath means Yahoo can use some of AOL's properties like The Huffington Post and Techcrunch.
"This is going to be an interesting case for them to show the power of collaboration as Oath," said Chandler.