News and Insights

Why the Cousins Fantasy Football League Matters

October 17, 2023

The Cousins Fantasy Football League is serious business in my house.

Each week during the NFL season, my 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter are texting, calling, and making horrible trade requests with their cousins all for a shot at the title, and most importantly, having their name etched forever in history on the prized fantasy trophy “Uncle G” created six years ago.

The NFL Red Zone has become must-watch TV in our household and Sunday is spent following ALL their players in real time.

In fact, on a recent Sunday in the car, my daughter screamed “I see you Patty Mahomes, I see you Patty!” after he threw a TD pass and added to her fantasy score.  And if an NFL player is not performing?  I would not be surprised if the players hear my children screaming at them through the screen on how they are completely blowing it for their fantasy team.

Like I said, this is serious.

A proud moment as a father was when my daughter went on a magical fantasy run last year and won the championship – taking down all her boy cousins.  Along with receiving the rights to the CFFL trophy for the next year, she gave a thrilling acceptance speech at this year’s fantasy draft – telling her cousins they all stink, and she is going to win it again this year.

My children and their cousins are not the only ones playing fantasy sports.

In 2022, there were more than 62.5 million people playing fantasy sports in North America.  Fans are looking to be more engaged and want to be part of the experience.  There are countless TV programs, sites, and podcasts providing news, insights, and endless analysis, all devoted to helping you pick and manage your fantasy team throughout the season. alone had a record 11.6 million players for their fantasy football this season.

And that is why I love sports.  The power to bring people together.  The experiences and memories they create for fans of all ages.

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in sports for more than 25 years, many of those with the NBA and now here at FINN Partners.  There have been countless memories along the way.

I’ve stood courtside at numerous NBA Finals watching the crowd go wild and the pure joy of seeing your team win it all. I’ve seen firsthand the power of basketball to unite people around the globe in places like India, Africa, China, and throughout Europe.

And here on the FINN Consumer Lifestyle and Sports team, we are working with innovative companies like Cosm that are creating all new ways for fans to experience the excitement of sports.

Cosm is building 90-foot diameter domes across the country to bring fans “courtside” at NBA games and in the “Octagon” for UFC through “Shared Reality.”  Over the summer, our team hosted more than 30 UFC media at Cosm’s Experience Center in Salt Lake City to be the first to ever see the UFC in “Shared Reality.”

To say it was a jaw-dropping, immersive experience would be an understatement, and I can’t wait for Cosm’s first venue to open next summer next to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.  Shared Reality is going to be a game-changer for the fan experience.

The FINN team is also working with the soaring National Women’s Soccer League. Behind Commissioner Jessica Berman, the NWSL’s incredible transformation has resulted in a groundbreaking season, including a record number of fans attending games.  Fearless partners like Ally Financial are changing the dynamic in the NWSL and across women’s sports, and with expansion teams coming to the Bay Area and Boston, more fans will have the opportunity to experience why the NWSL is so special.

Our friends at Sense Arena are also creating memorable experiences through VR.

The company is giving hockey and tennis players of all ages and abilities, from beginners to professionals, the opportunity to use their VR training platform.  We’ve guided Sense Arena through numerous partnerships including the NHL, ATP, and many top colleges around the country.  We’ve had the opportunity to work with tennis legend Martina Navratilova and pro tennis player Casper Ruud and are on the verge of announcing partnerships with a budding NHL superstar and top draft pick of the PWHL.

As a former hockey player, I wish I had the ability to use a VR hockey training tool. My hockey game definitely needed some help!

For me, sports have always been a big part of my life. I’ve enjoyed the experiences of competing and being on a team, being a passionate fan, and working in sports.

And I know as serious as the Cousins Fantasy Football League may be now, and continues as a tradition for years to come, that the experiences and memories for my children and their cousins will last a lifetime.

John Acunto, Senior Partner, Consumer Lifestyle and Sports

John joined FINN in April 2020, after spending nearly 20 years at the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he directed business and international communications. During his time at the league, John managed the development and implementation of communications strategies for digital and social media, fantasy and sports betting, esports, television partners, international business, and partnerships with many leading companies including Facebook, MGM Resorts, Nike and Verizon Wireless. John played ice hockey at Saint Michael’s College and is an avid surfer and snowboarder.

TAGS: Consumer & Lifestyle, Sports Marketing

POSTED BY: John Acunto

John Acunto