Tag Archives: fantasysports

DraftKings, Arena Football League Launch New Fantasy Sports Game

courtesy AFL

DraftKings and the Arena Football League (AFL) have partnered to launch a new daily fantasy sports game ahead of the AFL’s 2019 season. Customers can now submit contest entries and get even closer to the fast-paced action on the turf that begins April 26th. This AFL offering is the 12th daily fantasy sports category for DraftKings, making the company the leader in available sports among fantasy operators.

“The fast-paced games of the AFL and zeal of its fans will enable a new customer base that loves sports just as much as we do to interact with our products,” said Greg Karamitis, SVP of Fantasy Sports at DraftKings. “The AFL is, and will continue to be, excellent partners in enhancing the entertainment experience for these dedicated fans every weekend for the 2019 season.”

With the AFL expanding its presence from four to six teams in 2019, DraftKings’ data capabilities will source game and player information at every moment of play for fans to leverage in their daily fantasy selections. Customers can enjoy special DraftKings Classic and Showdown modes for AFL contests, constructing lineups of six players while staying within a $50,000 salary cap range and designating a “captain” slot that grants one player a bonus multiplier. Classic contests will require selecting players from more than one game, while Showdown contests must include players from each team.

“We are very excited to be working with DraftKings and know our fans will love playing the fantasy football games DraftKings developed for the AFL,” said Randall Boe, AFL Commissioner. “We want the AFL to be the most innovative league in sports and working with leaders and pioneers like DraftKings is a great fit.”

As football represents the most popular sport on DraftKings, this expansion into Arena Football League daily fantasy contests helps further diversify offerings and address customer demand. Additionally, the DraftKings Sportsbook will offer fans the opportunity to wager on games throughout the AFL season. To engage with the new product, players can either head to www.draftkings.com or download the DraftKings app via iOS and Android. 

FanDuel and DraftKings reportedly in merger talks – Bloomberg

DraftKings and Fan Duel are in merger talks, Bloomberg News is reporting.
The two biggest players in the Fantasy Sports space have been discussing a merger for some time, according to Bloomberg, which is citing sources.
The private companies have been battling various state regulators over whether fantasy is really just a form of illegal gambling. New York, for instance, banned the companies from doing business earlier this year.

FANTASY: Employees at fantasy companies bet at rival sites with inside information
Read more here.


Attorney General Tells Daily Fantasy Sports to Stop Taking Bets in New York

The New York State attorney general on Tuesday ordered the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, to stop accepting bets from New York residents, saying their games constituted illegal gambling under state law.

The cease-and-desist order by the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, is a major blow to a multibillion-dollar industry that introduced sports betting to legions of young sports fans and has formed partnerships with many of the nation’s professional sports teams. Given the New York attorney general’s historic role as a consumer-protection advocate, legal experts said the action will most likely reverberate in other states where legislators and investigators are increasingly questioning whether the industry should operate unfettered by regulations that govern legalized gambling.

In 2006, Congress tried to crack down on illegal online sports betting. Today, Internet wagering is thriving, and a new business that resembles gambling, fantasy sports, is winning millions of players and stoking controversy. The Times, with the PBS series “Frontline,” investigated illegal gambling in the Internet age.
Fantasy sports companies contend that their games are not gambling because they involve more skill than luck and were legally sanctioned by a 2006 federal law that exempted fantasy sports from a prohibition against processing online financial wagering. That view is increasingly being challenged as fantasy sites have begun offering million-dollar prizes and bets on individual sports, such as golf, mixed martial arts and Nascar races, magnifying the element of chance and making the exemption more difficult to defend.

On Tuesday afternoon, as news of the attorney general’s order began to trickle out, DraftKings sent an email to its players, saying, “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is considering preventing New Yorkers from playing daily fantasy sports,” and added: “Hey, New York, protect your right to keep playing daily fantasy sports. Contact the attorney general today!”

Sabrina Macias, a spokeswoman for DraftKings, said, “We’re disappointed he hasn’t taken the time to meet with us or ask any questions about our business model before his opinion.” She said the company had 500,000 users in New York State.

Eric Soufer, a spokesman for the attorney general, disputed Ms. Macias’s account, and said the attorney general’s office had multiple meetings with representatives from DraftKings before the order was issued.In a statement, FanDuel said: “Fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York state law. This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, co-workers and players across the country.”




FanDuel Joins The UK Play

FanDuel Joins The UK Play
The line between gambling and daily pay fantasy may have clouded again in recent days as FanDuel joined FraftKings in applying for a gambling license in the U.K. The join the leader in the European pay fantasy business, Mondogoal, in having legal betting opportunities in the UK. The plan is to launch a European product in 2016 and is a departure from their long-talked about business of staying U.S. focused on football and the NBA.
“I think it’s an interesting proposition,” CEO Nigel Eccles said. “Candidly, we’re going to test the waters, but it’s an unknown. Everyone needs to prove that there is a market outside the U.S.”
“It may not even be a daily fantasy product. I told the guys, come to me with a skill-based product in the U.K. that you think will work,” said Eccles. “We think that sports is universal, but the way people engage with sports is different, and the right game for them might be different in every country.”
FanDuel’s first entry into a regulated gambling market comes on the heels of Eccles’s acknowledging that the days of unregulated fantasy sports in the U.S. are almost over. There’s some question about whether the economics of fantasy sports will work once regulation cuts into the profit margins. Mondogoal says it pays 15 percent of its gross revenue in the U.K. in taxes and that about 20 percent of its costs go to regulatory expenses.

DraftKings Expands Soccer Offering, teams With OPTA For Data

DraftKings Expands Soccer Offering, teams With OPTA For Data
DraftKingshas teamed up with sports data provider Opta to supply all its live soccer performance statistics, a big step in their engagement in the sport.
Opta will provide live data coverage for all three leagues that DraftKings currently offers; Major League Soccer, Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
As well as Opta providing data going forward, historical statistics have also been added to improve the current game.
“DraftKings partnership with Opta marks one of many steps we are taking to adapt our product as we work to serve and excite new audiences around the world,” said DraftKings vice president of games, Mark Nerenberg. “Opta’s renowned sports data and analysis capabilities will enhance our games, making them more dynamic for our fans and further establish our offerings as the true leader in DFS.”
Perform VP content, North America, Angus McNabs added: “The daily fantasy space has shown some real innovation in recent times and we are delighted to be working with DraftKings, one of the leaders in this field. I am looking forward to continuing this relationship and giving their fans the best possible experience.”

Marino, Montana To Host World Fantasy Championship

Marino, Montana To Host World Fantasy Championship
FanDuel announced that Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Dan Marino will serve as hosts of the 2015 World Fantasy Football Championship weekend in San Diego on Dec. 12-13. The WFFC consists of 120 fantasy players who will compete in a one-day league vying for the first place prize of $3 million. “Joe Montana and Dan Marino are hands down two of the most recognizable players in the history of football. By bringing them together for the FanDuel World Fantasy Football Championship, we’re offering an experience that our users wouldn’t have access to otherwise. The finalists will have the opportunity to test their skills with two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play and then come back the next day to compete for FanDuel’s largest payout to date of $3 million.” said Nigel Eccles, CEO of FanDuel.

DraftKings and FanDuel, Where Did The Ads Go?

DraftKings and FanDuel, Where Did The Ads Go?

If you were one of the millions watching the National and American league Championship Series last week, you couldn’t miss the perpetual ads for FanDuel and DraftKings? Were they touting baseball, which was winding down to a precious few games and really had little opportunity for even daily fantasy play with the World Series on the horizon? Nope, it was all about football. The natural assumption, given the buying patterns past, would be that the big audience watching the Mets and Royals in the World Series would have much of the same, lining the pockets of Fox salespeople and continuing the big event drumbeat that the two biggest players in daily fantasy sports have kept going.

The result? Almost nothing. Watching the World Series, you would think DFS had been wiped from the broadcast advertising world; no ads, no billboards, no credits, no nothing. Except for maybe one or two random spots that were seen, DK and FD said adios to baseball. Was it planned, or was it in response to the criticism the industry had been received in the past month, criticism that has brought largely unwanted political attention to DFS in particular.

“Our strategy on advertising was to have a strong presence in the market for the two weeks prior to the start of the season and the first week of the season. Since then, we’ve been scaling back every week and we plan to continue to do so,” said Janet Holian, DraftKings’ chief marketing officer, in a statement in the Wall Street Journal on October 20. DK did finish their promotion for subscribers to go to the World Series, part of their partnership with Major League Baseball, and there was some in-stadium digital signage in both Kansas City and New York, but other than that, crickets in the Fall Classic.

Will the big spends come back as football heats up? Or is the heat in the industry having an effect that is hitting the advertising world hard? Is a cold turkey stop the norm, especially with football going strong and FanDuel’s second-most targeted sport, basketball, just getting going? Some found the quick and sudden shutoff more than a bit questionable.

“Taper down is one thing but to go from a full out blitz that was getting negative feedback in the business community to total radio silence during the biggest and most visible week of the year is very strange,” said Ray Katz, a well=regarded sports marketing executive and professor at Columbia University. “In the NLCS and ALCS their ads (DraftKings and FanDuel) for football where everywhere. I think it is much more a result of the negative battle they are now in the midst of and the thought that staying quiet is better than continuing to boast about massive payouts and spend through massive cash outlays when both companies are embroiled in controversy. If I’m selling sports I’m sure I’m not too happy that the spigot has suddenly gone dry, and I will be interested to see when it is turned back on. It looks like future investments may be on hold until things get a little more clearer on the business front.”

In reality both companies have kept up a smaller but still visible radio presence on outlets like Sirius XM, and DraftKings just completed an extensive onsite activation platform at the NFL London Games. FanDuel continues to do it’s in-market programs with its NFL partners, and a look at the start of the NBA season can still find signage of both companies on display in arenas. But the steady and expensive stream of ads that ran one after the next throughout every big game and event? They seem to have been removed from the marketing spend, at least for now.

How the curtailing of the ad spend has effected play and performance remains to be seen for the long run. According to for the fifth consecutive week both DraftKings and FanDuel posted positive net revenue for their NFL guaranteed prize pool contests, even though the website SuperLobby also said FanDuel to lowered the guarantee for its headliner Sunday Million contest for NFL Week 9.

There is no doubt that the lobbying and posturing for DFS will go on for some time, as politicians continue their investigations into all areas of gaming, pay fantasy and gambling. For the short term, keeping those ads to entice casual players away from the widest audience in a large scale might be the best marketing the two heaviest hitters can do for the business.

Police Thyself Fantasy Sports

Police Thyself Fantasy Sports

Can the Fantasy Sports Industry police itself? The answer appears to be we are going to try with some outside help. As broken by Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick today, The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), announced today that it will form the Fantasy Sports Control Agency (FSCA) and appoint Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris to chair the independent agency charged with creating a strict, transparent and effective system of self-regulation for the businesses that comprise the fantasy sports industry.

According to the press release:

The FSCA will be empowered by the FSTA to create a system consisting of four principal parts:

Standards: Develop a system of standards for the fantasy sports industry founded on transparency, integrity and ethical behavior.

Company Controls, Processes, and Leadership: Every FSTA member company will be expected to respond to the FSCA’s standards by establishing a system of controls and processes to ensure compliance. In addition, every member company will be expected to appoint a senior leader reporting to top executives and overseeing compliance efforts.
Auditing Policies and Procedures: Implementation of a sound, regular auditing process to measure and report on company compliance.

Enforcement: Establishment of a system that provides incentives and public recognition for compliance with FSCA guidelines and penalties for failure to comply.

“The issues and opportunities facing the fantasy sports industry can be best addressed through an independent agency supported by the industry and its members,” said Secretary Harris in the release. “The FSTA will continue to work closely with state and federal lawmakers and regulators as we develop and implement strong integrity programs. We are confident that an independent control agency can prevent any unethical, dishonest, or unfair behavior. In the process, we can save lawmakers and regulators the cost and effort of intervening so that they can expend their limited resources on bigger and more societally important challenges.”

The announcement comes after the entire industry has been under fire for a series of improprieties surrounding the two biggest players in the space, FanDuel and DraftKings, who allegedly had select employees using information obtained to increase their chances of winning. This caused all involved with fantasy sports to come under fire from elected officials in numerous states who questioned the legality of Daily Pay Fantasy vs. sports gambling. Questions remain as to whether all fantasy companies, who do not have to be FSTA members to operate, will abide by the coming standards and practices, but it is a strong step in the right direction for clarity and uniformity, and brings a level of professionalism to the industry which has seen unprecedented growth in the past two to three years.

The Three Takeaways From Hashtag Sports first-ever Hashtag Sports Fest

The Three Takeaways From Hashtag Sports

Last week, Hashtag Sports hosted its first-ever Hashtag Sports Fest, drawing digital leaders from across the country to the new Brooklyn Expo Center in New York City. The conference was a change from the traditional sports conference; it reflected the venue with a younger, more fluid vibe replete with food trucks and dunking basketballs, but the professionalism was certainly not lost.

1.Storytelling Is Priority One; But It has To Be Organized

“Our goal is deep storytelling with athletes that compliments the media landscape elsewhere,” said Jaymee Messler, CEO of The Players Tribune in their afternoon panel on how they continue to evolve as a platform. Messler’s thoughts were echoed on other panels throughout the two day event.

“You have to be able to communicate your messages in a coherent feed, not as one offs for everything to be effective,” added Twitter’s Danny Keens. “The continuity of the messages is what will make for successful engagement.

A narrative is nice, an organized narrative is what works.

2. Mobile Is Where The Money Is Going, Or Should Be.

Whether it was in questions about connectivity with the Barclays Center or how Bleacher Report engages fans, it was clear that mobile usage by teams leagues and brands is turning into priority one. “Before we post any story we look at how it plays out in mobile,” added USA Today’s Jamie Mottram, one of the co-founders of “For The Win.” “Of it doesn’t play well on a mobile device then we are doing it wrong.”

Keens, head of sports partnerships at Twitter, added that 90% of the video posted on the social-media platform is consumed on mobile devices. The engagement level was similar, if not bigger at Bleacher Report, where GM Dorth Raphaely noted that 80% of his site’s traffic comes from mobile and, at peak sports moments especially where consumption is with a younger audience, could go as high as 90-85 percent.

The days of the desktop first are gone.

3. eSports Entice

“You can engage a young audience at a fraction of the dollar engagement of traditional sports,” said Dan Ciccone of rEvXP. “For brands looking to find a way in, that’s really impressive and if done right, can be very powerful.” The combination of immersive experiences like Virtual Reality will also play a key factor according to some speakers. “We look at the clear picture and the crisp sound that we have created with a cardboard device connected to your phone, and you see what the possibilities are going to be going forward,” said Danny Glantz, head of AIG’s sponsorship marketing program when talking about their Rugby World Cup experience, the HAKA360.

While few could talk exactly to how brands can engage and to what extent, it was clear that eSports of today is what MMA and X Games were 10 years ago.

Storytelling through a mobile environment with a cohesive message; great points to take away from two solid days.

FanDuel and DraftKings scandal: Fantasy Sports Employees Bet at Rival Sites Using Inside Information


A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets on information not available to the public.

Last week, a DraftKings employee admitted to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games, a move akin to insider trading in the stock market. The employee – a midlevel content manager — won $350,000 at rival site FanDuel that same week.

The incident has raised questions about who at daily fantasy companies has access to valuable data, how it is protected and whether the industry can — or wants — to police itself.

The leagues have been swelling in popularity, their advertisements blanketing football game broadcasts.

Continue reading more at source.

Full credit to source: New York Times accessed here http://nyti.ms/1LcSdTy

American Pharoah and Other Summer’s Top Stories

By Terry Lyons @terrylyons, Contributing Columnist for @TheDailyPayoff

In the eastern USA, it’s getting dark at 7pm, the networks have concluded their endless broadcasting of meaningless NFL preseason games and, for you Steely Dan fans out there, the Wolverine is on its way towards Annandale.

Which means, summer is almost over.


There’s been plenty of news posted on The Daily Payoff during the past two months but maybe, like me, you’ve been preoccupied, reading those trashy paperback novels, listening to the sounds of summer at the beach or watching the Red Sox stumble to another last place finish.

To be sure you’re up-to-speed, I’m shaking the sand out of the beach chair and my reporter’s notebook to review a few important occurrences which took place during the past two months while we were all Gone Fishin’.

1. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah took the track at Monmouth Park for The Haskell and did not disappoint a New Jersey record 60, 983 horse racing fans who turned out to see the champ continue his winning ways after a 58-day lay-off from the historic win at the Belmont Stakes. Pharoah then was saddled up for The Travers at Saratoga and the track’s reputation as the “Graveyard of Champions” remained intact as longshot “Keen Ice” upset the triple crown winner. On October 31, all eyes will be on American Pharoah at the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland which is expected to be the colt’s last race before heading out to stud and a cool $150,000 per pop. What a horse! What a life!

2. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined jurisdiction over the plight of Northwestern University football players seeking to register as a union. The unanimous decision by the NLRB avoided involvement in the hot potato of “student athlete” rights as they pertain to the NCAA, but it noted the ruling pertained to State-run universities and did not address private schools. The issue of paying collegiate players to play remains a possibility and the case it likely to be appealed to Federal Court.

3. Speaking of Federal cases, DeflateGate was resolved, at least temporarily, when Judge Richard Berman of the US Federal Court, Southern District of New York vacated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. The judge also took the NFL to task on various procedures of its flimsy Wells Report and subsequent hearing before “Cop-Judge-Jury” Commissioner Roger Goodell. Remember, it all began on January 18, 2015 and could have been resolved by January 20 with some foresight by the NFL and the Patriots. Overall, the entire process has been a colossal waste of time and, ultimately tax-payers money. While it’s now subject to the NFL’s appeal, the entire ridiculous fairytale was possibly a giant smoke-screen left to cover the NFL’s more problematic player image headlines, like Ray Rice and several other domestic violence cases.

4. Although dozens of popular and admirable athletes, executives and administrators have passed away in 2015, some taken far too early, it’s important to recognize the passing of former NY Giants star Frank Gifford. Known to so many as the chiseled and competent anchor of Monday Night Football from 1971 to 1998, Gifford passed away from natural causes on August 9th, a week before his 85th birthday. He was lauded for his pioneering role in transitioning from athlete to broadcaster. Rest in Peace to Giff.

5. Before the 2015 NFL season kicks-off, the two industry leaders of Daily Fantasy Sports, Draft Kings and Fan Duel, will have spent a combined $110 million dollars – just on TV ads, with a reported $86.2 million attributed to Draft Kings, according to combined reports by ispot.tv and Kantar Media. Those figures do not – repeat NOT – include the millions spent on radio, digital and traditional billboard and print advertising deals. As the popular and DFS friendly NFL season kicks-off on September 10 and continues with its full schedule on September 13, the barrage of advertising done by Draft Kings and Fan Duel, already ubiquitous, will reach spending levels only approached in prior years by the beer companies. Jason Robbins, CEO of Draft Kings, and Nigel Eccles, the head of Fan Duel, can both be crowned as the most powerful men in sports in 2015.

6. On August 25, the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the State of New Jersey to uphold prior verdicts that NJ’s plans to authorize sports betting were a violation of the federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The court’s ruling points any future movement in the legalization of sports betting to Congress. Vocal NJ State Senator Ray Lesniak will need to ramp up efforts at the Congressional level, not via his own’s state government, to make any further progress. In the past, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who opposed the efforts in NJ, has written that he and the league support a federally legislated and regulated law to allow sports gambling. The late August ruling will shelve the issue for years to come, unless you believe Congress can actually get something done?

7. Boston 2024 is no longer. Since I dedicated an entire column to the issue on July 8, I will spare readers from past details of Boston’s inept bid and the politics surrounding every decision. Instead, I must note the lost opportunity of hosting an Olympic Games has most Boston and Massachusetts residents singing “Hallelujah,” while some of us wonder if our generation will accomplish anything of significance or just continue to complain about everything and do nothing? The US Olympic Committee and the City of Los Angeles quickly moved forward and have plans to nominate LA as a potential host of the 2024 Games, but the City of Angels will face very stiff competition from the likes of Rome and Paris for the IOC’s blessing to host the youth of the world in 2024. My money is on Paris.

Yahoo’s Strategic Play Takes A Kick At DraftKings

By @TheDailyPayoff

Yahoo’s latest move could get them a leg up on DraftKings in the pay fantasy soccer space.

Last month Yahoo announced and then launched its daily pay fantasy platform, with an eye on using its deep roots in fantasy to take some of the larger space away from rivals Fan Duel and DraftKings. The move is aimed at carving its own piece in what is hoped to be a large daily pie as we move closer to the start of the lucrative NFL season.

However an interesting twist, reported by Darren Heitner of Forbes on Monday, could give a glimpse into another area which has suddenly become hot in the pay fantasy space, soccer.

Heitner reports that Mondogoal, the company with an established gambling license and growing ties in European soccer pay fantasy, has entered into a revenue sharing partnership to operate Yahoo’s pay soccer fantasy platform when European soccer gets going later this month. The strategic move, according to the story, put Yahoo immediately into the global soccer game ahead of DraftKings, who only recently applied for the required gambling license to operate in the UK.

It is a smart, quick strategic partnership that could score huge traffic for Mondogoal and their existing partnerships with clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea and AS Roma, and it gives Yahoo a much-needed operational partner to operate a game in a sport they don’t have a platform for, while they continue to push the already lucrative NFL and coming NBA market where they already have traction in the States.

Heitner’s full story can be seen at http://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2015/08/03/yahoo-adds-daily-fantasy-soccer-signs-revenue-sharing-deal/

@TheDailyPayoff :New Minor League Fantasy Game Could Be A Hit…

@TheDailyPayoff :New Minor League Fantasy Game Could Be A Hit…

For the most part fantasy sports…from season long to single day and micro games…are all about the stars of today, and building your roster. Every variation comes along with the same theme; do the homework, and win now, or play along with all the numbers and win down the road. Is there room for a deeper dive with a simple game for uber fans interested in the stars of tomorrow?

Enter into the mix the first fantasy game for minor league baseball, called Future’s Fantasy. Using the deep resources now available from MLB and MiLB, the game lets the millions of baseball fans who like to follow the stars of tomorrow have a chance to really play GM and bank on those names from short season A to AAA and how they are doing today.

There is certainly enough data to make the game interesting, and there are millions of fans who go to minor league game for the experience and sometimes end up leaving wanting to know more, or be involved in, the game that they are watching. Then there are also the players of traditional baseball fantasy who want a little more, and can always use some help for their teams next year. That’s where Future’s Fantasy comes in. Now there are some issues of course. The stars of MiLB play in a controlled environment, limited innings pitched and at bats, and there is sometimes little telling who will move up and down, and the switch to new ballparks and surroundings can certainly throw things off.

However for a new spin in a crowded space, launching a game on minor league baseball fantasy has a chance. There is depth of talent and a market for fantasy baseball, and the creators have gotten the buy in from the parent organization to make it work. If they can get some scale it also has a nice selling add-on for MiLB, an organization that is always looking for more spin on the revenue side.

A smart chance to create a niche in a crowded space.

On MLS All-Star match day, Opponent Tottenham Joins The Fantasy Sports Family

On MLS All-Star match day, Opponent Tottenham Joins The Fantasy Sports Family

On Wednesday night as the MLS All-Stars get set to meet the Tottenham Hotspur in Denver, the elite Premier League club, and now a partner in business of the NFL, announced they are joining the pay fantasy business.

Tottenham Hotspur and soccer fantasy platform Mondogoal announced an agreement, which will debut in time for the start of the 2015/16 Premier League season at www.mondogoal.com/spurs.

The Mondogoal platform will be promoted across Tottenham Hotspur’s popular digital channels, including a website with 1.5m unique users per month and an Official Facebook page with nearly 7 million followers, and an estimated global fanbase of over 400 million..

“There is no doubt that fantasy football gaming is a growing engagement platform around the world, and we are proud to be able to offer this innovative opportunity to our fans through a partnership with Mondogoal,” said Aidan Mullally, Head of Business Development, Tottenham Hotspur said in the release Wednesday morning.

Mondogoal is licensed to operate globally and is the only daily fantasy sports site available for cash play in multiple major markets around the world with specific emphasis on the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland, and Brazil. In 2014-15, Mondogoal ran the largest fantasy soccer pot ever in the UK with 26 year-old Alex Haywood, from London, winning the £10,000 first place prize. They have agreement with several clubs including Chelsea and Liverpool, and will now add Tottenham t their roster. Mondogoal runs contests on a daily or matchday basis for La Liga, Premier League, Serie A, Major League Soccer, Ligue 1, the FA Cup, European Championship Qualifiers and the prestigious Champions League, Europa League and World Cup.

For a full set of contests visit: www.mondogoal.com

DraftKings closes on $300M funding round

DraftKings closes on $300M funding round

Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings has closed on a $300 million Series D round of venture funding, valuing the company at more than $1 billion and extending a historic wave of investment into the space.Fox Sports led the round, joined by MLB, the NHL, MLS, Madison Square Garden and Legends Hospitality.

Existing investors including Atlas Venture, The Kraft Group and The Raine Group also participated, with Raine serving as the financial adviser on the deal. The funding for Boston-based DraftKings closely follows a $275 million Series E round earlier this month for rival FanDuel that valued it at more than $1 billion.


■ Investors: Fox Sports, MLB, NHL, MLS, Madison Square Garden, Legends, Atlas Venture, DST Global, GGV Capital, The Kraft Group, The Raine Group, Wellington Management Co.

■ Investors: KKR, Google Capital, Time Warner Investment, Turner Sports, Shamrock Capital, NBC Sports Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Pentech Ventures, Piton Capital, several undisclosed NFL and NBA team owners

The deal additionally includes $250 million in marketing commitments for DraftKings on Fox platforms over roughly three years.

read more at SportsBusinessJournal – written by Eric Fisher

Fantasy Soccer On the Rise? @TheDailyPayoff

Fantasy Soccer On the Rise?

While most European clubs are making their offseason friendly visits to far away ports of call in Asia and North America, MLS continues to play through the summer, heading to its all-star game in Colorado next week, where the league’s elite players will match up this year against Tottenham Hotspur. Regardless of where soccer is being played this week, it looks like the fantasy aspect of “The Beautiful Game” is suddenly rising quickly.

This past week Univision Deportes entered the fantasy soccer business, with a game based on Mexico’s Liga MX, which kicks off its season Friday and is the most-watched league in the U.S according to Univision numbers. The program will offer prizes including personalized soccer scarves and weekly cash payouts of $100. A grand prize at the end of the season includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the network’s sports-awards show Premios Deportes and a spot in the 2016 fantasy talent league.

Whether the followers of Liga MX will take to fantasy soccer is up for debate. Soccer in North America and its fantasy offerings have been slow to take hold in comparison to baseball, football and basketball, and the majority of the success in fantasy soccer has come from one company, Boston and UK based Mondogoal, which has taken the route of partnering with many of the elite clubs in Europe to build pay fantasy offerings, creating a game for global fans, many of whom can already bet legally and understand the gaming/gambling process, as well as to the growing number of American fans who are interested in pay fantasy and can now connect even closer to their favorite clubs like AS Roma, Chelsea and Liverpool among others. Mondogoal also had a very successful launch with pay fantasy games for both Women’s World Cup as well, further strengthening their soccer-specific offerings for a worldwide audience. Their stance on applying the American pay fantasy model to the massive club followings appeared to be, and still appears to be unique and well thought out in the space, with more deals expected in the coming months.

However as the week came to a close Friday, yet more fantasy soccer business news arose, as Major League Soccer announced a partnership with DraftKings in both the United States and Canada. While neither unique nor exclusive, the partnership will give DraftKings yet more marketing coverage on the continent, again with the hope that a wide blanket will create an affinity with more casual players new to the fantasy marketplace.

Whether fantasy soccer can reap an ROI in North America for DraftKings or even Univision remains to be seen. The sport does not have the deep analytics that other team sports has, and the audience in the U.S., although growing, is still behind the other four professional sports in terms of media interest and fan engagement. Still the risk for both companies is relatively low, and if the market comes and fantasy soccer in the States takes off, they have the model to reap the benefits. If not, it is a small venture with little lost.

“The increasingly popular daily fantasy sports space is a proven fan development tool that we’re excited about,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures in a statement. “You’ll see deep integration within our many digital platforms and you’ll see a number of club deals. We are delighted to partner with DraftKings to give our passionate fans another innovative way to experience the sport that they love.”

The move for DK is consistent with their philosophy of trying to be everywhere in every sport to lure casual fantasy players to a pay model. While Fan Duel CEO Nigel Eccles has been steadfast in his insistence that his company, with the largest number of daily players, will stick to refining its model for the NBA and the NFL, Jason Rollins has led Draft Kings to deals ranging from the UFC to now MLS, as well as fantasy golf and their ever-growing investment in MLB pay fantasy as well as massive marketing spends around events like the Belmont Stakes. The company has also applied for a license to run a business in the United Kingdom, which could also signal an interest in growing its soccer offerings outside of North America for the first time. Right now, it is believed that Mondogoal is the only company licensed both in the U.S. and the UK, but the model appears to be changing for other players willing to get their kicks in the marketplace.

Does the sudden flurry of activity mean fantasy soccer is now a comer for business? Not yet, but it will be intriguing to see if media or large players in the space invest more in soccer as the fall comes and global interest turns closer to the world’s elite clubs. If that niche can continue to be exploited then maybe, just maybe, fantasy soccer will become a more lucrative bet. For now, at least for North American soccer, it is all a hedge.

The Double Standard in Sports and Gambling

By Terry Lyons @terrylyons, Contributing columnist @TheDailyPayoff

The landscape is riddled with double standards, hypocrisy, deceit and public posturing. No, we’re not calling out the politicians and law-makers, we’re talking about sports and sports gambling.
The North American sports industry has a lot of different policies on gambling. Let’s list a few.
There’s a policy for sports gambling in Nevada.
There are federal policies for Delaware, Montana and Oregon that allow for lottery-type games and parlay tickets. There was a similar policy for New Jersey, but state legislators failed to move on that loophole back in 1992 and are now trying to carve out an entire new approach for sports wagering while they continue to offer other forms of gambling and poker-play online to Jersey residents and in-the-flesh in Atlantic City.
There are policies for horse racing. There are policies for Off Track Betting parlors affiliated with horse racing.
There are policies for Native American tribal casinos.
There are different policies for many of the Canadian provinces, some of which have NBA or NHL teams and many which offer parlay wagering similar to offerings in Delaware.
There are policies for international games played, ever so frequently, in London, Mexico and other global destinations by the major North American sports leagues.
There are policies for international play where the Man United’s, Real Madrid’s and FC Barcelona’s along with the FIFA’s and FIBA’s of the world all have top-level bookmaker sponsorships with fully established and, in many cases, public companies like William Hill or BWIN.
There are policies for players.
There are policies for coaches and managers.
There are policies for front office and league personnel.
Some of those very policies drift over to the fantasy sports world where the leagues, their teams and broadcast outlets are making bold and strategic moves to cash in on the craze. The message conveyed is that it’s quite all right to take equity positions, rake in tons of sponsorship dollars, create fantasy gaming lounges and signage, but it’s hands-off for the players, coaches and office-workers.
I’m okay with that. In many cases, contest rules call for employees and their immediate families to refrain from entering the contests to allow the paying customers every possible chance of winning the big prizes without so much as a doubt that an “insider” would have access to the same jackpot.
But here is where the hypocrisy train leaves the station.
For one New York minute, don’t you think the owners, trainers, grooms and jockeys, roaming the back-stretch, have a few bucks on the races?
And, it’s not just horse racing we’re focusing on, here.
It’s perfectly acceptable for professional and amateur golfers to put down a few bucks on practice rounds or trick shots and nobody thinks twice. All in fun, and usually for stakes as low as $1 or maybe as high as $20, Phil Mickelson will have the gallery roaring with laughter on a missed “up and down,” as he did last August at the Barclays Championship in New Jersey.
While Mickelson’s antics with the fans, surely done all in fun, are no different than what takes place on nearly every weekend, on every hole of every golf course in the land, his more – shall we say – aggressive gambling on the NFL and other sports, done legally in Las Vegas, might be of more concern.
Why is Pete Rose vilified for his gambling on baseball and other sports, but Mickelson and Floyd Mayweather are beloved for their frequently boasts about a big hauls in Vegas on specific games or a successful futures bet?
Why can Maurice Jones-Drew be the voice of Fantasy Radio on Sirius XM satellite radio one day but Tony Romo and a group of NFL players were not able to attend a fantasy sports convention organized by a Vegas hotel promoter? Meanwhile, by the way, the NBA Summer League, USA Basketball training camp and the league meetings were putting up the tents at the Wynn Resort.
When basketball’s World Cup or the Olympics roll around, FIBA’s official sponsor BWIN will be taking action on the game in all corners of the earth, sans the almighty U.S.of A.Come this September 20th, BWIN will be taking wagers on the European Championship (qualifier for the 2016 Rio Summer Games) where pros and amateurs roam the courts, but should  someone mention wagering on college basketball-aged players in North America and ghosts of Henry Hill will surely hunt you down and haunt your Uncle Paulie.
At least, the NBA’s progressive Commissioner Adam Silver has come out to publicly state his long-range viewpoint and his desire to properly prepare for and regulate gaming, preferably on a Federal level rather than going State-by-State or Province-by-Province (in Canada) with different laws on the books. Silver’s NBA made a strategic equity play to back DFS provider Fan Duel and many sports Venture Capital funds – some of the coffers backed by team owners in all of the sports – are lining up for strategic plays in gaming, igaming and tech.
Isn’t it time for the hypocrisy to end? Isn’t it time for the commissioners of the four major pro sports of North America to come to terms with the issue, following Silver’s giant-step lead from his self-penned article in the New York Times? Isn’t the facade of DFS gaming just the taxiway to the promised land of full-scale sports wagering worldwide?
In a truly global economy, shouldn’t the gaming laws of the United States and Canada reflect the laws of Europe, Asia, South America and Australia?
Don’t bet on it happening anytime real soon.

Topps Offers Fans Ability to Create Custom Trading Cards

Topps Offers Fans Ability to Create Custom Trading Cards

Consumers Can Create Their Own MLB and MLS Trading Cards For The First Time

NEW YORK (July 15, 2015) — The Topps Company, Inc., official licensee of Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball, today announced a revolutionary new digital offering for fans which will give everyone the chance to create his or her authentic looking and customized trading card on Topps.com.

“We have tried for years to come up with a way for fans to create their own official product that looks and feels exactly like what we create for leagues like MLB and MLS, and we are pleased to say that the time has come,” said Jeff Heckman, Brand Manager for Topps. “Now fans will have the opportunity to get their own Topps trading card just like their favourite players they grew up collecting and we feel they will quickly become a ‘must have’ for all looking to enhance their fandom or create a special gift that will last a lifetime.”

Fans will initially be able to select to use one of the following Topps card designs; 2015 Topps MLB Series 1,1952 Vintage MLB or 2015 Topps MLS. Fans will be able to upload their picture and enter their name on the front of the card, choose a MLB or MLS team logo or upload a logo for their own organization and on the card back, fans will be able to enter their hometown, choose a position, and fill out a brief description.

The cards will be delivered in packs of 8, with the same quality look and feel of the MLB and MLS cards. The packs will retail for $9.99 and will be available to be customized and purchased immediately on Topps.com.

Barclay’s Center Doubles Down With Fantasy Partners

Barclay’s Center Doubles Down With Fantasy Partners

by @joefav Joe Favorito

While other arenas like Madison Square Garden and The Staples center have sought exclusive deals with one daily fantasy provider for the building and for their newly created fantasy lounges, the Barclay’s Center has tried to split the both, and interestingly they have done it not between rivals Fan Duel and DraftKings, they have gone outside with their incoming Islanders deal to announce a deal with yet another provider in the space; Draft Ops.

A three year deal between the team and Draft Opts, their first partnership in any of the four sports, was announced this week. It includes the entitlement of an ice-level premium seating area and an activation space on the main concourse level. The Club will extend from the glass through the first five rows on the rink’s west side and will expose fans to the Draft Ops platform on touchscreen displays and HDTVs.

Then you have the Nets, the building’s principal tenant, who has signed a deal with NBA partner FanDuel. While all the signage will switch, the new lounge will remain branded and active with Draft Opts, giving the upstart some additional space even with FanDuel gaining the signage while the Nets are home.

It is perhaps the most unique partnership for a building to date, and will create an interesting case study for other single buildings with multiple tenants going forward, especially with the concept of a “fantasy lounge” being relatively new, and casinos, who have long rumored to be going into the pay fantasy space already well invested with most professional teams from a marketing standpoint.

Welcome Draft Ops, the pay fantasy pool has gotten a little more crowded.

FanDuel Goes To The Desert For Hoops Partnership

FanDuel Goes To The Desert For Hoops Partnership

by @JoeFav

While DraftKings plays front and center around all the goings-on with the MLB All-Star festivities this weekend, FanDuel will be hooping it up in Las Vegas, according to Jon Lombardo of Sports Business Journal.

“FanDuel will activate at the venues from a branding standpoint,” said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA in the SBJ article, adding that the company, one of the NBA’s newest partners, will use the Summer League as a testing ground for the coming NBA season.

FanDuel joins Adidas, Gatorade, Panini and Samsung as league partners activating around the events at The Thomas and Mack Center.

The activation at Summer League fits right in with the strategy CEO Nigel Eccles has set forth for the company, focusing their marketing dollars and attention on two key sports, football and basketball, as the center for retention and growth. It also makes for a nice extension of all the activity going on around Las Vegas this past weekend, as the UFC again had one of its biggest events of the year, drawing thousands to the city and its resorts, many of whom fit the Fan Duel demo even if UFC is not a primary target for the company.

The week will also serve as a great discussion point for Fan Duel, with many NBA team executives in Las Vegas for casual meetings and other projects surrounding many of the league’s young stars, many of whom will be front and center for Fan Duel during their marketing and activation this fall.

The Samsung NBA Summer League runs for the next 10 days.