By Barry Janoff
August 29, 2016: NFL players enjoy their fans and NFL fans love to chatter on social media about football, both real and fantasy.
So Pepsi, whose parent company, PepsiCo, is an official partner with the NFL, has combined all these elements in the first episode of its new “Zone Reads” series, "NFL Players Tackle Fantasy Football."
The season-long series will consist of nine "amusing digital episodes featuring NFL players reading some lighthearted, fun tweets," according to Pepsi.
"At Pepsi, we love football and we love social media. It's alive fest," say the players to open Episode 1, followed by text that reads, "Inspired by Fans, read by players."
The players here include Jordan Reed, Tyler Lockett, Antonio Brown, Brian Cushing, Odell Beckham Jr., Donte Moncrief, Nick Mangold and Delanie Walker. They each are show talking about NFL Fantasy Football as a text box next to them "translates" to social media speak.
Pepsi has tapped into a demographic as strong as the NFL's fan base. Some 75 million people will particiapte in fantasy football leagues this season, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Assn.
"Honey, it's Fantasy season," Lockett says, echoing a text from a real fan. "We need to start paying the Internet bill again. Hashtag: It's Worth It. Hashatg: Beeeeeeeeyuuuuuuubleeeaaaa…"
Reed then takes over reading a fan's text. "Hey, @Real_JordanReed. I just drafted you into my Fantasy league. Are wee real life best friends now?"
Brown then reads, "Stoked that @AntonioBrown84 is gonna rack up TDs for my Fantasy team and side steps for my samba squad," referring to his on-field and Dancing with the Stars moves. "Hashtag: DanceBaby."
Cushing then talks to Beckham Jr. via a fan's text.
"Yo, @OBJ_3, just drafted you in fantasy. Training camp starts today. (It's me clicking a mouse). Hashtag: ComputerChairQuarterback."
Moncrief shares one fan's desire. "I wish they had those scrolling fantasy stats at the bottom of every show, screen, wall and surface."
Mangold shares another fan's thoughts. "I have officially done more research for my fantasy team than I did for my dissertation. Hashtag: EducationInWinning. Hashtag: NerdLife."
Text directs fans to "Share your social media posts with @Pepsi all season long."
Pepsi has a partnership with 15 NFL teams and 33 players and returns in 2016 as the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award for its 15th consecutive year. The brand also sponsors the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which this season will take place in Houston's NRG Stadium on Feb. 5.
Back to Home Page