August 15th, 2010

10 Fantasy Players Get Royal Treatment

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

How did you get into your fantasy league? Did you help form it with some buddies? Get invited after a previous owner left? Simply join a contest online? Well, for the price of a little online interaction, 10 fans will be competing against Broncos receiver Eddie Royal this year.

The second-year wideout, who actively connects with fans via Facebook and Twitter, recently started challenging the public to complete some simple tasks to earn a spot in his 2010 fantasy football league.

“Always tryin to think of ways to interact w u guys and i think i thought of a good one,” Royal posted on his Facebook fan page July 24. “im gonna do a fantasy fball league with 11 of u.. gimme ideas of how to pick which 11 of u will be in the league.”

The first spot went to the quickest response when Royal challenged fans to reply on Facebook by pasting the message “Eddie is going to beat me in fantasy football.” The winner responded less than a minute after Royal’s initial post.

Five others earned spots by being chosen among all respondents who uploaded a video stating why they should be included in the league. Among that group was Chris Ochs, who set up a Facebook account solely to enter the contest (and submitted this video).

“I told my fiancee, Melissa, ‘I’m not going to get it,’ ” Ochs told The Denver Post. “And (Royal) goes, ‘All right, guys, I’m going to do one more for the end of the night.’ And then he said, ‘This guy must really want to be in my fantasy football league because he just joined Facebook and he only has three friends.’ I was ecstatic.”

(The other four winning videos can be found here, here, here and here.)

One other fan won her spot with a video about why the Broncos will “shock everyone” this year, while two others claimed spots by submitting photos sporting Royal’s No. 19 jersey — one of an entire family and the other of an infant actually named.

The final free spot went to the fan who created the best Twitter background for Royal’s page.

“They (the fans) do a good job of supporting us, so I do as much as I can,” Royal said, according to The Denver Post.

With the 12th entry, Royal and the winner will actually be doing something for charity. The spot is being auctioned on eBay, with proceeds ticketed for the Denver branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As of Sunday night, the bidding was up to $550 with nearly a week to go.

We at are not only intrigued by this because it’s a cool example of an athlete really getting involved with fantasy sports, but it’s also a terrific way for Royal to reach out to fans. The explosion of social media has only shortened the gap between fans and the athletes they often revere, and it’s easy to like a guy who embraces that closeness.

Here’s hoping Royal enjoys a better fantasy season this year than he did in 2009.