August 18th, 2009

FSB Daily 8/18: Best Buy, Accuracy Challenge, College Hoops

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- Electronics retail chain Best Buy will be presenting a weekly fantasy football game this season. Among the few details currently available on the game’s early sign-up page are that celebrities will be involved as weekly competitors, prizes will include laptops, game consoles and other such products that you can typically find at Best Buy. FSTA president and LeagueSafe founder Paul Charchian said via Facebook that he has been working with Best Buy in this effort. We’ll have more in the coming days on what to expect. Best Buy previously partnered with Fanball on a fantasy football game in 2004.

- The FF Librarian has opened up the fantasy football rankings accuracy challenge for this season. Anyone who publishes rankings before the start of the regular season can submit his or her efforts to [email protected] to be included. Check here for a full explanation. Last year’s winner was Fantazzle.

- There aren’t too many avenues for a fantasy player to pursue college basketball, but one is the Big Chief Challenge on with Perry Missner, friend to, former World Fantasy Games associate editor and one of the few writers out there devoted to fantasy college hoops.

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Fantasy Players Can Now Insure Their Seasons

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

So, did you hand over your league-entry fee last year about this time, draft Tom Brady early and then promptly watch your season end along with his?

“The Tom Brady injury was the starting point for FSI,” Henry Olszewski, co-creator of Fantasy Sports Insurance, told “As a fantasy player and insurance agent, I did field a few questions in jest from friends asking if there was any coverage for a fantasy player getting hurt.”

Olszewski and his peers at Intermarket Insurance Agency took the questions a bit more seriously, though, and began developing the idea last September. Less than a year later, the venture has been launched for the start of football season.

The concept is just like that of other insurance setups: Clients pay a percentage of their league fees to insure their money-league teams against season-altering injuries. FSI offers three specific options …

Package 1 — One “key player” misses 10 of the first 15 games

Package 2 — One “key player” misses eight of the first 12 games

Package 3 — Three “key players” miss a total of 18 games in that 15-game window

Lest there be any confusion over who qualifies as a “key player,” the company has set up a list of 50 players from which to select for this season (a reasonable list, despite the inclusion of Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson).

“We did a lot of research about the business side of fantasy sports and realized there was a far greater dynamic here then we initially thought,” Olszewski said. “A few of the key steps we took were vetting the concept through legal channels, hiring a website and software developer, researching the insurance market to find an ‘A’ rated carrier to underwrite the program, and conduct some market research to find out if there was a genuine interest in this type of product/service.”

The timing for this launch probably couldn’t be any better. No fantasy owner went into last season planning on the real possibility of a Brady injury, and the quick demise of his 2008 season drove home the point that every player is one play away from being out of the lineup. As Olszewski pointed out, recent tough economic times have also made many of us tighter with our money. For some, the opportunity to insure their league-entry fee might assuage the worry that might otherwise keep them from playing.

In addition to its standalone business, Fantasy Sports Insurance is also seeking partnerships with fantasy-game providers, such as the deal it struck with Fanball just last month. That revenue-share agreement, Olszewski says, places banner ads for FSI on and allows Fanball customers to purchase insurance straight from the game pages.

Although football figures to sit at the center of any success the company might find — thanks to its popularity and penchant for injuries — Fantasy Sports Insurance plans to launch its service for the upcoming basketball and hockey seasons as well, and the 2010 baseball season. Olszewski says NASCAR and soccer versions are also in development, and the site carries a tab for golf at the top of the page.

Olszewski says the underwriting agency, Lloyd’s of London, has been a partner for a while and offers “a similar type of disability coverage to professional sports team owners.”