Tapping into the fantasy sports trend and the run-up to the pro football season, Circuit City has begun sponsoring a new YouTube channel dedicated to fan analysis of pro trades and performances.
The “Circuit City Presents YouTube Fanalyst Channel,” which launched Aug. 11, offers a roster of eight fantasy football experts—some of whom have already gathered online followings—who will deliver videotaped commentaries every week with suggestions and predictions fantasy sports leaguers can then use. The channel is located at youtube.com/fanalysts.
The consumer electronics chain is also soliciting user-generated content in a search for a “real Fanalyst” to add to the lineup. Entrants in the “Circuit City Join the Squad” contests can upload a three-minute video of themselves giving “entertaining and informative advice” to fantasy football players and make their way into the final popular vote for a ninth Fanalyst on the channel.
To submit content, people must log into an active YouTube account and upload their videos at either the YouTube channel or at circuitcity.com/fanalyst. Contest administrators will select 100 semi-finalists from among the applicant pool by Sept. 15, and Circuit City judges will narrow that group to 10 finalists. Clips from those ten will be posted on the YouTube channel by Sept. 23 and the popular vote will stay open until Oct. 5.
The contestants garnering the most votes in that final round will get a regular weekly slot in the YouTube Fanalyst channel rotation.
“Despite fantasy sports’ massive following, the world has lacked a go-to online destination for dynamic, multiple-perspective Fantasy Football content,” Chris Di Cesare, YouTube marketing head, said in a statement. “With this channel, Circuit City offers fans unique Fantast Football video content from multiple points of view all produced by the fans for the fans.”
“The Circuit City Fanalyst You Tube channel provides a new way for us to engage our core customer base and challenge them to become part of our online community,” said Brian S. Bradley, senior vide president for multichannel marketing at Circuit City.
Content requirements for the “Join the Squad” contest are rather strict in some areas. For example, copyright and trademark laws bar entrants from using pro football logos or photos of players in their uniforms in their content. Instead, Circuit City has provided a downloadable kit with permitted graphics, including a generic stadium backdrop and the company logo. People are also barred from using individuals’ names without permission; how that will impact commentary remains to be seen.
But in other ways, the rules may not be that hard to follow. For example, the judges will be looking for both football insight and entertainment value in the UGC submissions. Since one of the current Fanalysts, Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, includes a Rip Taylor impersonation in his commentary, the “entertainment” bar is presumably set fairly low.
The YouTube Fanalyst Channel features extensive branding by Circuit City, including the distinctive red-and-white logo at the top. Users who click on one of the rotating clips in the video carousel will also see a Circuit City display ad that clicks through to the product page for HDTVs.
Further down the Fanalyst Channel page, visitors are encouraged to “Live the Game in HD” and to click through a link to a Circuit City page offering advice on setting up a home theater, including HDTV, surround audio, and Blu-ray and DVD players.
Users can also text to a shortcode to get mobile updates on both Fanalyst site content and the “Join the Squad” contest.