May 18th, 2009

FSB Daily 5/18: Fantasy Chess, MLBAM

Monday, May 18th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- So, if chess is for geeks and fantasy sports are for geeks, what does that make one who plays fantasy chess?

- MLB Advanced Media has been awarded a federal patent for its geolocation tool, which allows it to determine your exact location to make sure you’re not within your team’s local broadcasting range. Anyone else find this technology mildly unsettling?

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Fantasy Draft Master Could Find Tough Market

Monday, May 18th, 2009 just announced its presence and its centerpiece too, “UberRank,” a few days ago. From what we’ve seen, though, the tool could have a tough time drawing users.

The concept is to draw from a variety of fantasy football player rankings around the Web and provide one aggregate list to customers. The sample list on the site shows 53 sources of information for the compilation, and the price for the season is a very reasonable $9.95.

The only problem is that the service is already offered for free by Fantasy Football Nerd. Now, the Nerd consults 19 outlets rather than the 50-something of FDM, but at what point does the input become overkill.

If you believe firmly that more sources strengthen the product, then you should know that UberRank is out there. This industry has many examples of users paying for content and products when similar free versions exist, and I certainly wish no ill to the brothers who created UberRank.

In this case, though, I’d have a tough time justifying the expenditure.


FSV Builds College Presence

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Fantasy Sports Ventures has worked quickly in its roughly three years of existence to build a strong online presence centered in the fantasy sports market. Now the company is raising its stature in the college space, in which football is the clear leader.

Earlier this year, FSV made deals with a bevy of college sports sites that had previously been affiliated with SportsWar, which decided to shift gears and end those relationships, according to Sports Business Journal.

“We see a really big upside in the college space, particularly as it relates to sponsor activity,” FSV founder and CEO Chris Russo told SBJ. “There were more than 50 companies this spring that activated around the NCAA basketball tournament, and there are similar amounts of sponsor interest among other facets of college sports, particularly football.”

Many of the sites — including,, and — appear to be geared more toward general sports coverage and/or talk for specific programs or conferences, rather than fantasy-centric.

However, those sites join a Fantasy Players Network with sites such as College Fantasy Football Insider and The CFFB, which are specifically aimed at the fantasy college game. Besides that, it’ll be a short trip for the kind of avid follower that populates a Georgia Bulldogs fan site to fantasy college football — which sure looks like the next big growth area for fantasy.

“By adding 400 sites together, you have enough scale. You really become relevant to advertisers,” Russo told’s Sarah Talalay for her The Business of Sports blog. “Marketers want to be around passion points. People care about fantasy sports. That’s a hobby and an avidity. More and more money is going to continue to move from traditional media to new media.”

And more people appear to be on their way to fantasy college football, making it a good place to buy virtual real estate.