March 18th, 2010

FSWA Presents Yesteryear Challenge for Members

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The Fantasy Sports Writers Association announced last week via e-mail that it has partnered with Yesteryear to offer the Fantasy Writers Retro Challenge to all of its members.

The Challenge is an eight-week season of Yesteryear’s primary game, which is based on stats of all retired NFL players. Play begins on March 29 and includes one game a week, applying the actual stats of the players you select to simulate scores.

FSWA president Mike Beacom sees it as another opportunity to bring the FSWA membership together in competition, like the association’s Industry Insider Leagues for baseball and football. Participants can play the normally pay version of the game for free, with the winner getting a football signed by 25 NFL hall-of-famers.

For Yesteryear, the benefit is clearly to get its product in front of as many fantasy-industry writers as possible — with the goal, of course, being that they go on to spread the word about this new game.

FSWA members interested in playing (or any fantasy writer interested in joining the FSWA) should contact Beacom.


Yahoo! Finds Value in Buying Over Building

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’m not the slightest bit an expert on acquisitions. However, I have to think a key factor in many cases must be the ability of the smaller company to bring with it an established good or service that the larger firm would’ve otherwise had to build from scratch.

That, of course, was the primary motivation for this week’s announced deal that saw Yahoo! buy Citizen Sports.

“When we really sat down and looked at what we were doing in the social space and where we were trying to get, we ultimately decided that what they already had is superior than what we would have been able to do in the short term,” Yahoo! media vice president James Pitaro said in this article from “We haven’t been as active on Facebook as we should be. It’s a top priority for our media businesses.”

Aside from seeking to enhance its social-network presence simply because of the massive audience involved, Pitaro said Yahoo! sees Facebook and similar sites as competitors for fantasy players. That doesn’t refer to the fantasy applications hitting social networks these days, but rather the limited leisure time that is so often spent on such pages.

Reaching that audience is important for bringing in new players who might not otherwise come to Yahoo! fantasy games on their own.

The other key area of this deal is smart-phone apps. Yahoo! has put out its own iPhone products for fantasy football and fantasy baseball, efforts that will reportedly be combined with Citizen’s offerings going forward. The acquisition, however, brings the multisport application Sportacular under the Yahoo! umbrella.

“It’s fantastic,” Pitaro was quoted as saying, speaking of a concept that Yahoo! had discussed pursuing. “We don’t have to go out and build this thing.”

On the other side, the Paid Content report says that Citizen was not looking to sell but realized that it had “created shareholder value.” The article also says all 30 of Citizen’s employees will join Yahoo! once the deal is finalized.