May, 2010

That Looks Like an FPA Endorsement

Monday, May 31st, 2010

When he spoke with upon launching the Fantasy Players Association, president Scott Atkins said the group would not set out to endorse certain fantasy sites, games or products. In that case, he should avoid lines such as this one from a recent media release.

“… President Scott Atkins calls new look ‘the best fantasy football site, bar none — and I’ve seen a bunch.’”

It’s a fairly innocuous quote, attributing Atkins with calling the redesigned Draft Sharks site the most attractive out there, and we know how press releases tend to work. The company producing it gets all the info together and seeks out someone it knows within the industry to say something nice about the subject of the release — the more credible the source the better.

Without the FPA, Atkins’ credibility would rest on his experience as a fantasy and/or status as a host on The Fantasy Sports Channel. Each is a fine credential but also not unique from a fair number of other individuals within the industry.

The fact that the release mentions Atkins’ FPA presidency (confusingly, but it’s there) speaks to it being pinned as a badge of credibility.

As stated earlier, this is a pretty minor endorsement, but what’s to keep any operator from any other site or game from reading it and thinking, “Cool, I know Scott. Maybe I can get him to put out a good word for my product.”

The same could just as easily be applied to any of the 11 other individuals on the FPA’s board. Such requests will only increase if the association can build its stature and tenure within the industry.

The point here is not to go after Atkins. admires the goals of the FPA, and Atkins seemed to go out of his way to build its integrity in selecting his board and launching the initial site. If the FPA is to achieve its goals, however, it will have to be careful about endorsing or aligning itself — or even seeming to do so — with certain fantasy sites and companies.


Footballguys App Came Together in 6 Weeks

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

The iPhone app released recently by enjoyed a strong debut and has engendered a pretty positive response so far. Developing such a product must have taken a decent chunk of time, right?

“The app went from a thought to fully developed in about 6 weeks,” Footballguys co-owner David Dodds told, saying that the thought was first mentioned in March at his company’s retreat to Tennessee. “At that time our guys had no idea how to develop an iPhone app. We discussed a simple news app there and went home and ordered Bruce (Our C++ Windows coder) a Mac and the Apple programming books. He started with the basic examples and caught on quickly.”

The app has a fairly large amount of fantasy functionality, which Dodds said basically serves as a smaller version of what visitors can do on the Footballguys website.

“We obviously had to change some things because of the tiny space, but most of the time we were able to just create a slightly different mini version that displayed the data,” Dodds said.

Although users don’t get access to Footballguys articles, the app does connect you with items such as player news, the daily e-mail newsletter, podcasts and team depth charts. So what does giving that info away to iPhone users do for Footballguys from a business standpoint?

“We think it’s a great marketing tool,” Dodds said. “On our first day as a download over 1,900 people downloaded this app. It shows the capabilities of what we have real well.

“Our eventual plan will be to release a premium version (with slightly more functionality) for a small fee (likely 99 cents).”


FSB Daily 5/28: Picklive, FF Champs, ESPN, Footy

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

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

- Picklive has announced a free public launch of its immediate, short-term fantasy model to run alongside the World Cup. For those who like the increasing prevalence of daily and weekly fantasy games but can’t stand that unbearable wait for the day to actually end will be able to play “7.5-minute” fantasy matchups during soccer matches and change their lineups as play goes on.

- After selling in 2006, cousins Ian and Jon Millman recently teamed up with Andrew Miller to buy the content-and-services provider back.

- Yahoo! is rolling out a global sports campaign to accompany the World Cup, including a pick-em style game called World Soccer 2010.

-’s regional sites have garnered plenty of play — particularly during ESPN broadcasts — and drawn many noteworthy writers from newspapers and websites in the areas they serve. The company has now rolled out locally focused iPhone apps to extend the targeted style of coverage.

- This London-based outfit is looking for a similarly British developer for a “fantasy football” site. We can only guess by the location that by “football” they mean “soccer.”

- The guys in charge of Fantasy Knuckleheads have put together a widget that pulls content from a number of fantasy sites. We don’t know exactly which sites are included, but it seems a fair assumption that the Knuckleheads would draw from their own list of recommended outlets.

- The “OCD Chick” is the latest addition to Fantasy Sports Ventures’ Fantasy Players Network.

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


FSWA Gets Hall of Fame Process Rolling

Friday, May 28th, 2010

We first passed along the news more than a year ago that the Fantasy Sports Writers Association was putting together a hall of fame. Frankly, it’s a concept that the group has been kicking around for much longer than that.

Well, this month, the whole process is really getting going. The FSWA has begun collecting applications for candidates to constitute the first Hall of Fame class. FSWA President Mike Beacom said that the initial hope was to wrap up the nomination process at the end of May, but that the window is likely to be extended.

“The No. 1 priority of this process is to do things the right way,” he said in the May newsletter. “As was the case with our writing awards, I expect we’ll learn a few things this first year and use those lessons to grow in future years.”

There probably is no single right way to launch the first year of voting and determine the inaugural class. Although fantasy sports have only fairly recently leaped into the public conscious, there are many people who have been working hard for years to advance the field — and the knowledge of their readership.

“We have a lot of Emmitt Smiths and Jerry Rices,” Beacom told, referring to the number of first-ballot quality candidates that the FSWA’s Hall committee must sift through.

Beacom acknowledges that probably not everybody who deserves to get in right away will do so in the first year. If the FSWA wedged 20 or so fantasy veterans into this first group, what would that mean for year two or three.

Although the association hasn’t settled on an exact count for the first class, it has always been keen to limit the numbers enough to make selection a special honor for each set of inductees.

To be eligible, any candidate must have at least 10 years of experience in the editorial field of fantasy sports. (This is, after all, a fantasy writing hall of fame rather than one meant to encompass the industry.) Candidates can be nominated by someone else or submit their own entry, which would be preferable in most cases.

“A few people have expressed concern over the self-nominating process, but here is why it’s important: no one knows one’s history better than that person,” Beacom stated in the newsletter. “The goal is to educate our committee members so that they can fill out their ballots.”

That committee is made up of FSWA members who don’t sit on the association’s board. The committee will whittle the total list of applicants down to a group of finalists. A candidate will need to appear on a certain percentage of ballots in the next round of voting to earn a spot in the class. That threshold has yet to be set, but the FSWA has enlisted the help of a college statistics professor to create a proper formula. will be sharing the names of candidates, finalists and, of course, honorees as they become available.