By Barry Janoff
August 11, 2014: Prior to the start of the 2013 NFL season, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants headed up a campaign for DirecTV that was anchored by a faux MTV-style commercial-video, "Football in Your Pants." For real, that spot has received more than eight million YouTube views to date.
This season the sibling NFL quarterbacks star in a multi-media campaign for DirecTV's new Fantasy Zone channel, anchored by a faux MTV-style commercial-video, "Fantasy Football Fantasy."
Peyton and Eli have brought along some guest stars, including Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, New York Jets running back Chris Johnson, members of the Broncos offensive line and Peyton and Eli's dad, former pro quarterback Archie Manning.
DirecTV describes the Fantasy Zone as "a live fantasy football show available exclusively to NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers every Sunday afternoon during the coming NFL regular season."
Some 41 million people in the U.S. and Canada are active in the fantasy sports category, generating nearly $2 billion in league and transactions fees in the U.S. alone, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Assn. About 70% of that comes from fantasy football platforms.
According to DirecTV, "The Fantasy Zone channel will provide timely game-to-game fantasy analysis and statistics powered by NFL.com Fantasy along with multiple, revolving on-screen tickers offering real-time stats, highlights, projections and key player updates."
“NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV strives to provide NFL fantasy players with even more content to help manage their teams. We’ve added a variety of unique features to our fantasy offerings over the years and creating DirecTV Fantasy Zine is the next logical step,” Daniel York, chief content officer for DirecTV, said in a statement. “Our Red Zone Channel in NFL Sunday Ticket Max has been part of the sports viewing experience for millions of NFL fans every Sunday. We believe DirecTV Fantasy Zone will have no less of an impact for the legions of fans who love fantasy football.”
Peyton Manning recently signed with Nationwide Insurance, now an official NFL partner. He also has deals that include Gatorade, Papa John's (including ownership of several locations in the Denver area), and Buick. He tops the list of NFL players with about $13-$15 million in endorsements, according to industry analysts.
Eli also has deals including Dunkin' Donuts, Gatorade, Citizen Watches and Toyota. He earns about $8 million in endorsements.
The DirecTV spot begins with Eli walking into a living room to find his brother seated on a sofa in front of a large-screen TV.
"Hey Peyton, you watching football?" Eli asks.
Peyton, who must have be preparing for a Monday or Thursday night game that week, replies, "I'm watching DirecTV Sunday Ticket's new Fantasy Zone channel. It's a whole channel dedicated to nothing but fantasy football. It's like a fantasy football . . . " he says. And they continue in unison, " . . . fantasy!"
Which leads to a rap that likely — and some would say mercifully — will not be duplicated, including cars, cheerleaders, football players, a trip to outer space, a flying horse, the aforementioned guest stars and a rap mix about Fantasy Football Fantasy."
The spot ends by directing viewers to Fantasy Zone channel. (See the full spot here.)
Peyton's Broncos' teammates used the spot to play a prank on their quarterback when the rap song blasted out over the loudspeakers while the team was on the field exercising. (See the video here.)
For those with a need to rap like the Mannings, here is the DirecTV Fantasy Zone video rap:
"Fantasy. Fantasy. Football fantasy. If you like football, then you like fantasy. Yeah. Back at 'em.
"There's a fantasy channel that you gotta see. It's a fantasy football fantasy. Like catching' a football that came from me. When you open it up, there's nacho cheese. Like an end zone that ends in a waterfall. A shower that shower's you in tine footballs. It's a football fantasy like no other. Like having a best friend that's your quarterback brother.
"You get constant updates. And constantly lift weights. You keep track of the players. I keep putting' on layers. You watch your points rack up. I make this car back up. This fantasy channel it's so brand new. It's the greatest thing that'll ever happen to you.
"Like Chris Johnson giving you a Johnson (hair)do. While Broadway Joe and your Mom make stew.
"Sometime's I have this fantasy. I'm going to go so wild and free. On a horse that has wings. And we fly up into space. But then the music drops out. there's no sound in space. But my Dad's in space. Because it's my football fantasy. it's like football sandwiched in fantasy. All this talk is of sandwiches is making me hungry."
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