November, 2009

FSB Daily 11/28: Footballguys, Fantazzle, Nova,

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- has partnered with to provide NFL information and analysis as part of the new “entertainment” site’s Lexycasts.

- has weekly games open for basketball and hockey season and recently struck up a promotional partnership with Giants receiver Steve Smith.

- and Baseball Daily Digest have reached a content deal that will feature Nova’s baseball news updates and fantasy material on BDD’s site.

-’s Jonathan Bales takes a look at what it takes and what it means to switch your fantasy league over the point-per-reception scoring.

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter (FSBcom).


Fantasy Meets Reality for a Couple of Players

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Scroll to the bottom of this recent article in the Detroit Free Press about the Motor Sports Hall of Fame (zzzzz … ), and you’ll find a couple of fun fantasy-related quotes from NFL players.

Tony Gonzalez apparently has some family members who own him in their leagues and feel the need to have heart-to-hearts when he isn’t living up to their standards: “They try to sit me down like they’re my coach: ‘If you’re not going to perform, I’m going to have to cut you. I’m going to have to sit you down this week.’ ”

Dallas receiver Roy Williams doesn’t need family to do the benching. He’s sitting himself in pursuit of fantasy victory: “It’s hard to do, but I’ve got to do it. I’m trying to win.”

If that isn’t a mark against his fantasy value (especially a time when he’s producing better than he has in about two years), I’m not sure what is.


Can Fantasy Help Figure Skating Reconnect with Fans?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Admit it. You’re a longtime fan of figure skating, but your love has been tested by questionable judging and all-out corruption scandals.

Well, according to folks (or at least this one) who follow the sport much more closely than we here at do, figure skating has made strides in cleaning up the judging process and is reaching out to get fans reinvested. One tool in that reconnection is a new fantasy game.

Canadian figure-skating site has reportedly gathered a small following for its contest, drawing 1,500 registered users for Grand Prix Series Fantasy Challenge.

The game follows the sort of weekly award model that has become increasingly popular in the fantasy football industry over the past couple of years and focuses so far on prizes geared more toward skating’s female-centric audience. Skin-care products, cookware and cosmetics have been among the early giveaways.

Now, figure skating will certainly appeal more to residents of the Great White North, where ice is a way of life rather than something that mostly impedes our driving once a year. Nevertheless, FLW’s fantasy fishing game has showed us that a sport needn’t be the world’s most popular to gain a fantasy following.

Of course, there’s an enormous difference between playing for a million dollars and vying for a home makeover kit.

The key point to take away from this is the use of fantasy in a seemingly unlikely situation to try to engage an audience. For what it’s worth, ESPN used to run figure-skating competitions opposite “Monday Night Football” before taking over MNF. Might the sliver of the sports market that tuned in there be in play for fantasy figure skating?

The skating game gains at least a bit more relevance with the approach of the 2010 winter Olympics in just a few months.


Is ‘The League’ Good for Fantasy Anway?

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Regardless of how FX’s “The League” chooses to treat fantasy football (or not) in its episodes, I’ve come to the realization that the show itself might be a good testament to the strength of our industry after all.

I have to admit that when I saw “League” co-creator Jackie Marcus Schafer listed as the keynote speaker for the upcoming FSTA winter conference, my initial reaction was along the lines of: “Cool, maybe someone can ask her why they’re not interested in fantasy football.”

After I actually put a bit more thought into it, though, the stated subject of Schafer’s address — “the creation of their program and Hollywood’s perception of the fantasy sports industry — brought me to the new realization.

I was excited at the outset about a program that planned to center on (or at least heavily involve) fantasy football in its subject matter and was disappointed to see football get short shrift in the first two episodes (which is how far I made it before quitting the show). Perhaps, however, it’s just that short shrift that displays fantasy’s growing clout.

Here’s a new sitcom entering what has always been an extremely competitive market (TV) that doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to prove yourself. The show creators decided that fantasy football was the way to sell their platform, to hook a potential audience. The material has proved that they have no real message to convey on the fantasy front, so one has to assume that those folks simply believed drilling into the fantasy well could foster broadcast success.

Now, we’ve increasingly seen in recent times where companies create and/or partner with fantasy games online to engage potential customers and encourage Web traffic, and we’ve witnessed too many instances of non-fantasy contests claiming to be fantasy to entice participants. Having a television show trying to position itself by calling out to fantasy players, however, seems to be another step up the leverage ladder. If the show succeeds, perhaps we’ll see others from the entertainment industry trying to tap in.

We’ll see what Schafer has found out about fantasy’s standing (and perhaps understanding) in Hollywood, but from here the rise simply looks continuous.