April 2nd, 2010

FSB Daily 4/2: Grogans, Blabbelon, EPL, Bloomberg, SportsGrid

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

A roundup of items recently posted on the FSB News page.

Sometime in the middle of March, Dan and Kelly Grogan officially parted ways with Athlon, which bought Grogan Sports back in 2006. Dan told FSB.com that the split was brought about by “a difference in business philosophy.” At this point, we don’t really think it’s worth chasing details on either side about why this happened. The bottom line is this: The Grogans have been around this industry since before most people probably would have recognized it as an industry. They’re influential fantasy folks with many friend among many different fantasy companies. We wish Dan and Kelly the best in whatever their next step may be. For it’s part, Athlon has built a highly respected brand in sports publishing and has seemed to further embrace fantasy over the past couple of years.

Other news:

- This news release from Blabbelon caught my eye. Blabbelon is a Web service that allows for voice chatting without having to download software. The particularly interesting thing about the recent news release is that it specifically targets fantasy players, even though there’s no mention of fantasy on the Blabbelon site. Based on that, it seems apparent that Blabbelon realizes the potential to partner with sites that host fantasy leagues and/or drafts.

- Despite making up less than 5 percent of the player population, Australians are apparently dominating Britain’s biggest fantasy “football” competition, centered on the English Premier League.

- Martha Mitchell of Texas was chosen to manage a team (along with her daughter) in Bloomberg’s pro-am “expert” competition and was featured on a Houston TV station as a result.

- Mediaite plans to launch this month a site that will offer a different kind of sports rankings. In addition to taking player performance into account, SportsGrid.com will consider factors such as franchise values and Twitter followers to basically compare the market value of figures throughout sports — not just the athletes. Among the companies supporting the effort is RotoWire.

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FCFI Looks to be Premier College Expert League

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Channeling the efforts of Tout Wars for fantasy baseball, some leaders within college football’s wing are trying to create a premier gathering for the “experts” in that area.

The Fantasy College Football Invitational merges several existing “expert” leagues and is starting up with the backing of some significant sponsors. To wit:

  • Athlon Sports will provide free league-management.
  • Fantasy Trophies will provide a free trophy for the winner.
  • LeagueSafe will manage entry fees and donate any interest the account accrues.
  • MockDraftCentral will host the draft.
  • SportsJudge.com will handle resolution of any trade disputes.

The entry fee makes this effort different from many “expert” gatherings, as every team will be required to put up $100. After any necessary costs are covered, 75 percent of the remaining pot will go to the champion’s charity of choice. The league runner-up will decide where the donation of the remaining 25 percent will go. The charity-donation model derives from a league run by Vince Mullins of FantasyCollegeBlitz.com last season.

Randy Burgess of Insider Sports Media (and new site LeagueRunners.com) is organizing the effort. He reports that 12 fantasy sites have confirmed entry so far. Anyone else interested in participating should e-mail him at [email protected]. More details can be found here.