Category Archives: Marquee

Willows Hotel & Spa at Viejas Casino & Resort

On Veterans Day, November 11th, 2019, Viejas Casino & Resort will launch the Heroes Club, a one-of-a-kind benefits program designed to give back to those who serve as well as their dependents.

More military personnel reside in California than in any other state, and San Diego County contains the greatest concentration of military personnel inside California. In addition, with the county’s shared border with Mexico and the whole of California’s increasing threat of seasonal wildfires, San Diego County is home to a prevalence of border patrol agents, law enforcement, and first responders.

”All of us here at Viejas are honored to launch the Viejas Heroes Club appreciation program this upcoming Veterans Day,” said Jim Wild, General Manager of Viejas Casino & Resort. “Because we feel an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for the brave men and women who serve our country and communities—not only because San Diego is full of service members, but also because of the significant number of Native Americans who have served.”

“A call to service is a Native American tradition,” said John Christman, Chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. “And one example of this dedication to the community is our reservation’s first-class fire department, which has a shared service agreement with San Diego County.” In fact, over half of the medical and fire emergency calls into the Viejas Fire Department are for incidents outside of the reservation. “And when it comes to military service, members of our tribe have served in all branches of America’s armed forces, and many of our tribal members are decorated, military veterans.” Viejas also holds a special place in America’s military history as California’s very first all Indian VFW Post is located on the reservation. At the time of its founding, VFW Post #7637 was the second all Indian VFW Post in the entire United States.

Today, the Heroes Club appreciation program at Viejas Casino & Resort continues the long-standing Viejas tradition of honoring service members and their dependents. The Heroes Club enrollment is available to veterans, active and retired military, law enforcement, first responders, and border patrol. Eligible Viejas Guests may sign up for the Heroes Club at any myViejas desk inside the casino.

Members of the Heroes Club will receive a BOGO buffet on Wednesdays and an automatic myViejas Players Club silver card upgrade, which includes great discounts on dining, shopping, and the spa. In addition, Heroes Club members and their dependents are eligible for $5 Free Play Cash from Sunday–Friday, a Sunday bingo package, and a bowling discount. Goes Live – Targets Regulated US Sportsbetting Market

Tom Brady (Keith Allison)

Cyprus-based online performance marketing firm Multibrands Digital has successfully launched its global sportsbetting odds comparison and tipster service – and promises to create value for all “Players” in the business, both bettors and gaming operators.

Following a 3-year successful run with its Swedish product, Multibrands Digital has finally gone global with – much to the delight of it’s international fan base that had been patiently waiting for this move. 

Opening its doors 3 weeks ago, has already seen 30 000 visitors find their way to the site. offers users a comprehensive odds comparison service, expert betting tips, objective sportsbook reviews, in-depth sports data and statistics, a place to keep your own spreadsheet and track your game in detail, and much more. Most major sports are covered, but new ones are added on a regular basis, with eSports next in line. Sports data, odds and statistics are provided by data provider Sportradar – a global leader in its field – and integrated into the services on the site.

“Informed customers are good customers”, says Christoffer Erngren, COO of Multibrands Digital. The times of over-the-top and complex bonus offers as the main way of attracting new customers are more or less over – even more so in regulated markets. We believe the future belongs to services comparing actual product offering like markets, game types and odds, rather than campaigns and bonus offers. As well as giving the user powerful tools to keep track of and improve his or her own game.” 

User interest so far indicates a promising future. At the moment the platform boasts 3000 spreadsheets, 1000 new bets per day posted by its users and close to 10 000 registered members. The site prides itself on maintaining a high level of transparency, as this is key for the tracking of bets, spreadsheets, compiling data and measuring ROI. As an example, the site’s tipsters can’t go back and change bets they have “locked in” in their spreadsheet – adding credibility to the data and the service.

“Our tipsters are carefully selected based on verifiable track record, our data carefully curated, and our platform continuously developed and improved to provide our users with the best possible service. Our ambition is very clear, and that is to become a leader in this field, in multiple markets all over the world. Collaborating with our tipsters via their own social media channels, we are making use of the influencer marketing model, giving us great reach and traffic from a large number of countries already. We plan to focus our efforts on English speaking markets in general, and on the regulated US market in particular”, concludes Erngren. 

Multibrands Digital has recently been approved as an authorized vendor/affiliate in the state of New Jersey and is currently working with a handful of operators there. The company is also looking at other American states that have either regulated or are close to regulate online sportsbetting, for further expansion.

With a successful launch and an ambitious roadmap – including an app for AppStore and Google Play currently in the works, where users will be able to subscribe to their favourite tipsters and get notifications whenever they post new content – is firmly on its path to levelling the playing field for all “Players”. 

Chattanooga Football Club Surpasses $500,000 Mark In First 30 Days of Public Offering

Chattanooga Football Club, a growing, disruptive and innovative established club in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) today announced that they have exceeded the $500,000 dollar mark in the sale of limited public stock in the club in the first 30 days of the offering. They are the first American sports team to do so since the securities reform laws passed in late 2016 allowed such investments. Proceeds from the limited offering of 8,000 shares will support the club’s move from amateur to professional players and year-round operation.

“We remain impressed and overwhelmed with the breadth and scope of this project means not just for Chattanooga FC, but for community sports clubs in America in general,” said said Tim Kelly, club chairman. “We have not done this frivolously or in a vacuum; this is an investment in a soccer club with solid business and community ties and a vision for success on and off the pitch, and we know that is key in trying and succeeding to this point. The ROI on this investment, big or small, is in the people and the community. We are nowhere done, but we are proving the concept works, and that’s very exciting.”

While a majority of the investment is local (within the Chattanooga metro area), a significant amount (44% of the people, 37% of the dollars) are from beyond that area. That includes investment from over 44 states and 10 countries, as far away as Japan, Australia and Africa.  Some of the bolder face names to come public with investing are former MLS star and current NBC Sports Premier League commentator Kyle Martino and Stephan Szymanski, author of Soccernomics and Money in Soccer, and a highly respected professor at the University of Michigan.

Founded in 2009, Chattanooga Football Club has drawn nearly 350,000 fans to its games at Finley Stadium over the course of the last ten seasons. In 2019, the club will play an extended season with professional players in the NPSL Founders Cup, and fully launch the league in 2020.

With the passage of the Jobs Acts in late 2016, Section CF crowdfunding allows non-accredited investors to make investments in corporations from a simple, online platform. Chattanooga Football Club is the first sports team to offer shares, and one of only a handful of teams to ever offer public ownership. While the practice is common in the rest of the world- even mandatory in the German Bundesliga- it is rare in the US. Cutting Edge Capital, a strategic capital consulting company has advised on the process.

Fans and interested investors can go to for full details on the stock offering.

New Research Reveals 90% of Casino Visitors Practice Responsible Gaming

With American acceptance of gaming at an all-time high, casino gamblers are actively practicing responsible gaming, according to new research released today by the American Gaming Association (AGA). Bettors report setting budgets, sticking to them and being aware of available responsible gaming resources at significantly high rates.

According to the research:

  • 9 in 10 casual bettors set a budget before they visit a casino;
  • 90 percent of those visitors report success in tracking their spending; and
  • 8 in 10 casual casino visitors and 9 in 10 avid casino visitors are aware of responsible gaming resources.

“Responsible gaming is our industry’s top priority,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “This research indicates that our unwavering commitment to responsibility is resonating with our customers. But success in this key area will never mean our work is done, and we look forward to continuing to work with gaming regulators, our partners in the fight against problem gambling and our employees to ensure customers continue to engage in this form of mainstream entertainment responsibly.” 

This research comes on the heels of a recent AGA study that highlighted continued growth in acceptance of gaming. That research indicates that 88 percent of American adults view gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment. Americans also have a positive view of the industry’s role as a community partner, with 80 percent of people recognizing gaming’s role as a job creator, and 6 in 10 Americans believing casinos help their local economies.

“Gaming has made great strides over the past few years with the public increasingly recognizing our industry as the community partner and economic driver we know it to be,” continued Miller. “I look forward to working with our members and all interested stakeholders to build upon this great momentum in the years to come.”

The U.S. gaming industry commits more than $300 million to responsible gaming annually, supporting education, training and rehabilitation programs across the country.

Last year, AGA launched the Responsible Gambling Collaborative, convening a renowned group of thought leaders, stakeholders and academics to chart a new course on the complex issue of responsible gaming.

AGA members adhere to the association’s Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct which guides industry commitments to responsible gaming and is updated annually to reflect new developments and industry innovations. In 2018, AGA updated the Code to enhance provisions on sports betting and responsible advertising.

MethodologyToday’s data comes from two separate polls completed in late 2018. Data on Americans’ acceptance of gaming comes from our survey of American’s attitudes toward gaming and was conducted by the Mellman Group of 1,000 registered voters, both online and on the phone. Data on casino visitors’ responsible gaming practices comes from a survey of 2,014 past year casino gamblers. This survey was conducted online by BrandOutlook.

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.

Rousey’s Loss Is A Gain For Brand UFC

Make no mistake that the UFC is still a dominant and evolving global brand in sport, especially in key younger male demos that crave action and engagement. The biggest crowd ever to see the promotion, over 54,000, filled Etihad Stadium in Melbourne Saturday night to see the sport’s biggest crossover star Ronda Rousey, meet American boxer Holly Holm.
Take the opponent out quickly and move on, is what was expected for the former Olympic judo champion, just like she has done before. What the crowd and the UFC got was headlines, shock, a new rivalry and a new champion, as Holm knocked Rousey out in the second round. Disaster for the brand equity of an undefeated champion? Maybe, but in reality a loss might be the best thing the UFC could have gotten.
Like all mature brands, there is a tendency from time to time to get caught in a routine of success without looking for more innovation or testing new boundaries. 54k showing up in Oz is a great example of if things aren’t broke, don’t fix them. However a story even as fresh as Rousey’s, can get stale for casual followers over time. A hot new book, a controversy with a coach, innuendo here and there, a movie career are all great for her brand, but sometimes undefeated can get a bit boring. As the late Jay Larkin used to say, the best brands are driven by competition, you always need an Avis for your Hertz. We also love the comeback trail and the new story line, and that all happened this weekend for the UFC in Melbourne.
Now thankfully for the UFC their anxious followers won’t let them the sport sit tight for very long, and if they do sit tight their followers can migrate to other things to keep them engaged (we continue to see first adopters moving to eSports and getting all excited about Daily Fantasy in the U.S.), so the need not just for new ways to activate, but to also have new faces emerge is really important to keeping story lines, rivalries and the business flow fresh. That’s why “The Ultimate Fighter” still remains a key strategic point, and it’s why a surprise title is important for the brand going forward.
One of the inherent problems with marketing MMA is its unpredictability. Over the years, promotions have invested huge efforts into building a star, only to have someone come along with an expertise in one of the disciplines to unhinge the champion. That parity is something few sports have to deal with all the time…the ATP is probably a close second for not having predictable long term star power…so the UFC investment in recent years has been on veterans and the careful matchmaking of rising stars.
Only a few years ago legend Anderson Silva was an established star with huge credibility in the MMA world but not mega-marketing potential in the mainstream in the U.S. Polished and effective, Silva was a great fighter, but not someone who could be loved by English-speaking Madison Avenue. He also lacked a great deal of edge or controversy that some other mainstream brands could gravitate to. Was he a successful ambassador for the sport in emerging countries? Absolutely. Did he resonate with casual fans, especially with partners like Fox ? Not so much. His loss to Chris Weidman helped re-engage American fans, thrust wrestling (Weidman was an accomplished college wrestler) back into the conversation and gave the UFC new storylines they needed at that point. Same thing here, only probably to a bigger level because of Rousey’s mega-stardom away from The Octagon.
So now you have a new belt holder in Holm. A boxing champion, her win will again raise the discussion of “boxers can beat MMA stars” which has gone on for years, and will probably help lift boxers back into the spotlight, both male and female. Can, in an Olympic year, boxing take advantage of the spotlight for a new UFC titleholder as well by talking about crossover appeal? It certainly would be smart to do. She has a strong but not over the top personality, which will resonate with mainstream MMA fans. She is American, so there is a tie to marketing in and around the heart of the UFC business, which will be an added perk for a brand like Reebok, now heavily invested in the space.
Add on her surprising KO of not just a champion but a marketing star, and the build that the UFC can now do with a rematch, and Holm is a great fit to help the UFC re-engage and move forward yet again. Fans love a little controversy, they love undefeated (she is), and they love the hype of the rematch. Their new titleholder fits all those things.
For sure there is probably a little long term equity risk in investing in Holm for some brands looking for long term planning. But for the short term it is all good news for the UFC, a brand which is rock solid but always in need to find what’s next in the marketplace.


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.”



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.

Three NBA Owners Gamble On Future Analytics

Three NBA Owners Gamble On Future Analytics

Ted Leonsis has never been one to shy away from opportunity, and he has been very bullish on the legalization of gambling in a city, Washington, that has hid from the issue despite the fact that the municipality itself could use the tax infusion sports books good bring in as much as, or even more than, most of its neighboring states.

So it wasn’t a great surprise that this morning, broken by Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick, came the announcement that Revolution Growth, the fund chaired by Leonsis, along with two other NBA owners of note, Mark Cuban and Michael Jordan, had made a $40 million dollar investment in Sportradar, the international data company that has emerged on the scene in the past nine months as not just the challenger, but the rising leader, in the business of leagues and analytics in their battle with incumbent STATS LLC. The deal was the latest win for Sportradar, with its US. Hub in Minneapolis, that also includes taking deals for data away from STATS for the NHL and the NFL as well as for NASCAR. What makes the deal even more intriguing is the fact that Sportradar abroad, works closely with bookmakers to provide data, giving Leonsis and company a unique partnership, should, or maybe when, sports gambling becomes league in the US outside of Nevada.

” I think a more regulated, what’s happened in Europe, where people will be able to bet. And regulating gambling I think is something that will happen here in the United States.,” Leonsis told Stephanie Ruhle at Bloomberg “GO” this morning. “ I think the states want the tax revenues. I also think you get the unsavory part of the industry away because you’ll know where the money is going. You’ll be able to do a lot better servicing for the customers. Think of the numbers, there’s $8 billion a year that legally in Las Vegas on the NFL. There’s $88 billion bet in an unregulated way, more than 10 times.”

What makes the deal even more interesting than just Leonsis are his partners. Jordan, now working to right the Bobcats, has never been one to shy away from gambling, while Cuban, known to place a poker bet now and again, has been averse to the notion of in-arena gaming, feeling that it would become too much of a distraction to fans trying to follow his Mavericks. In reality, especially with the continued stance of Commissioner Adam Silver and the ongoing scrutiny fantasy sports are receiving both at the state and the federal level. Both the Bobcats and Mans owners are seeing the potential money train, and like smart investors, are looking for the first, and most economical road in. With the NBA analytics partnership coming up soon as well, the investment by three owners may also give Sportradar an inside track into also unseating STATS in the hoops world as well, paving the way for potentially more investment from the deep pockets of NBA owners as data consumption and interest by fans grows.

While all of the legalization of sports gambling is still years away, either on the state or federal level, Tuesday’s infusion of capital into analytics by not one but three NBA high profile owners, could be a game changer as well evolves.

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

While NFL Goes To London, Lines Up Fan Duel, Palumbo Says Hearing Coming

While NFL Goes To London, Lines Up Fan Duel, Palumbo Says Hearing Coming

On Friday came the announcement that DraftKings, now with a UK gaming license in place, signed a multi-year deal with the NFL for promoting its London games, a city where gambling is legal and betting lines on this Sunday’s matchup will be front and center with bookmakers, right alongside The Premier League and the Rugby World Cup .

According to the a press release, Draft Kings will host events outside of Wembley Stadium prior to all three games, with additional events at Trafalgar Square on Saturday, October 3 and on Regent Street on Saturday, October 24. At these events, fans can take part in a series of American football skills challenges to win merchandise, prizes and money-can’t-buy experiences.

And of course, DraftKings advertising will also appear during the broadcast of NFL games on Sky Sports TV in the United Kingdom.

This latest announcement again shows the changing landscape, especially with the massive marketing dollars being spent right now by DFS. As of this weekend, 28 of the league’s 32 teams are partnered with either DraftKings or FanDuel and FanDuel sponsors a regular segment at Is the NFL now more aligned because of the dollars and the increasing fan interest? Or are we still in the originally proposed one year review period, with deals and investments now going well beyond what seems like a trial period?

What is clear is that DFS and the NFL is front and center, and those one year” look and see” deals the NFL have imposed will be escalating as long as the dollars remain flowing.
As his home state Jets are playing abroad on a rainy weekend, New Jersey Congressman Frank Palumbo again was incredulous at what he called the continued hypocrisy of the money going into DFS and the lack of dollars flowing into the coffers of states if sports gambling was regulated. “It continues to be ridiculous, as the leagues are making more and more money from partnerships and advertising in what is becoming more and more a large business that is in effect, gambling while they continue to fight states like New Jersey in the courts,” Palumbo said. “The money that the leagues are making may be going to pay the legal bills of all the lawyers engaged in lawsuits to block what is a fair proposal to legalize sports betting, where it could be going into areas that will help the community (through taxes collected). Everyone is making money except the states on this.”

While Palumbo was not aware of the latest deal with the NFL and DraftKings overseas, he was aware of the fact that DraftKings now has a legal betting license in the UK, which in his opinion again blurs the line between “fantasy” and legal sports betting. “The loophole was created not for the massive amounts of money that everyone from the leagues, and now the players (referring to the NFLPA deal with DraftKings this week) and the teams are benefitting from, it was created for casual fans who wanted to engage in fantasy sports with little to no cost,” he said. “This is now a massive multi-million dollar business and we need to look at it and make some hard decisions on where these dollars should be going.” Palumbo’s well documented fight maintains that the legalization of sports betting will put money back into municipalities through taxes and would help bring organized crime away from sports gambling. On Thursday at the NYVC Sports Advertising Week event in New York, Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis estimated that the figure in illegal gambling on a football may be as high as $800 billion, compared to the $8 billion legally wagered in Las Vegas on NFL Sundays. Like Palumbo, Leonsis felt those dollars could help offset costs with everything ranging from improving infrastructure to maintaining school programs.

As far as what’s next for Palumbo’s fight on Capitol Hill, he said that a hearing is expected in the coming months before winter recess, and could be as early as the next month, with a bipartisan group looking very closely at the DFS issue with professional sports and then deciding on potential next steps not just on fantasy but on sports betting as well, either on the state level or on a full federally regulated program.

“What we are suggesting is very fair for all involved, and will hold people accountable,” he said. “Many of the leagues continue to say they are not involved in gambling, yet there are millions being spent every week that they, especially the NFL now, are taking advantage of, and you can’t have it both ways.”

Rugby, soccer or NFL this weekend in London? Safe bet all will have wagering, and that’s no fantasy.

College’s Reality; To Take Fantasy Or Not?

College’s Reality; To Take Fantasy Or Not?

A few weeks ago as the Daily fantasy business mushroomed with the start of football season, many were wondering if North America’s second-largest sports property, college football, would be prime for growth. Companies like DraftPot, a step below the behemoths FanDuel and DraftKings, were offering up games and looking to activate on college campuses to find ways to get more millennials involved on busy weekends, and why not pull in DFS college games at the bigger schools as well.

On the revenue side, the NCAA has been anti-fantasy, which did not stop small games from being launched using college data, but it did prohibit major schools with massive following from officially engaging in college-specific DFS. What it did NOT do was stop colleges from taking broadcast advertising revenue from the massive troves of DraftKings and FanDuel, who continue to mine the football and sports crazy world for more subscribers. Will all of that change?

At the annual meeting of the Division I Athletic Directors Association in Dallas on Tuesday, many NCAA leaders spent time discussing the legality of DFS and how to best handle a practice that the federal government deems legal, but the NCAA universally considers a threat to the integrity of college sports.

While NCAA bylaws prohibit any kind of fantasy engagement, a 2013 NCAA survey of student athletes found that 20 percent still participated in some kind of fantasy sports. The recent spend by DFS has raised more issues with college administrators, with Larry Scott, the Pac-12 Commissioner being the first to potentially say no on a conference level to the ad dollars coming in from DFS if that company offered college games in addition to tis advertised NFL, MLB and NBA products.

However while the rhetoric flies, only the SEC Network has actually pulled its daily fantasy ads, but even that move may not be more than window dressing. ESPN, which owns and operates the SEC Network, has a lucrative and exclusive deal with DraftKings and has been its most public ambassador of advertising, with a multitude of ads and multi-platform branding efforts.
There also is the question of revenue. While major conferences bask in the glow of College Football Championship money, those outside the big five need new streams of income, and DFS advertising dollars thus far have been too big, and too valuable to ignore for broadcast. Like other “vices,” beer for example, where there was a hard line once, the line is now blurred, and with the changing legal battle that line may also blur with college athletics and fantasy.

Integrity as a stance by the NCAA s one thing, whether the dollars can meld that integrity will be another.

NFL, Madden and Twitch; The Model Crossover Relationship

NFL, Madden and Twitch; The Model Crossover Relationship

The world’s most powerful sports business league and the most powerful streaming platform in eSports are joining forces to promote the most powerful professional sports game on the planet. The National Football League and Twitch today announced a partnership for a wed series around Electronic Arts pro football monster game, Madden NFL 16.

EA Sports Madden NFL Live will begin today, with new episodes airing weekly on the NFL’s website and on Twitch at noon ET. Replays will air on the NFL Network on Fridays at 4 p.m. ET. NFL Media host Adam Rank and former running back Maurice Jones-Drew will host the series, along with popular Twitch broadcaster and top-ranked Madden player Scott “Coltrane” Cole. Episodes will break down Madden tips, updates to player rankings and the game’s Ultimate Team mode, and Madden-themed recaps of NFL action. The show will also feature special guests including current and former NFL players, and celebrities.

“With the growing appeal of live video game content and our community’s love of the Madden NFL franchise, we wanted to find a fun and creative way to tie everything together with the two most relevant and iconic brands,” John Imah, Twitch’s executive producer for Madden NFL Live told USA Today.

Twitch, which was purchased by Amazon last year for nearly $1 billion, has more than 100 million viewers and 1.5 million broadcasters, and this marriage with the NFL is the first, and maybe the smartest way to marry the growing space of eGaming with a mainstream audience. Conversely the popularity of Madden will drive more interest and awareness of eGaming to a traditional sports audience as well, without having to recreate a platform in the way Turner and IMG/William Morris will attempt to do in 2016. Marrying the marketing power of the NFL with the eSports size of twitch creates a kickoff partnership that may be the best, and potentially the most replicated by other leagues, alliance in this fast-growing world where eSports goes mainstream and traditional sports looks to capitalize.

TDP Exclusive: Vulcun Looking To Seize The eSports Fantasy Niche

Vulcun Looking To Seize The eSports Fantasy Niche

This past week the two phenomena chasing the sports and entertainment industry, eSports and Daily Pay fantasy, came crashing into each other as both DraftKings and Fan Duel announced deals or initiatives to put themselves into the space, and Turner and IMG/William Morris Endeavor announced their own deal to create a “league” in the space.
At the same time another startup in the melded world of ESports Fantasy was making their case at the OnDeck Sports Conference in New York. It is Vulcun, an up and running esports Fantasy business run out of the Bay area.

Vulcun allows you to win money playing daily fantasy eSports on titles like League, DOTA2, CS:GO, CoD and more. To date this year Vulcun has distributed over $7 million in prizing to 150,000+ winners. We caught up with Ed Chang is the VP of Business Development at Vulcun to talk about the space, the opportunity and where it is going.

Vulcun appears to have seized a suddenly very hot niche, what is the value proposition offered vs. the larger traditional daily fantasy companies entering the market? What makes you work better?

I believe that we understand eSports better than the other large players. We understand that it’s not as simple as duplicating the fantasy football or basketball playbook. We’ve also managed to nail down the community part much better than the others and it shows in the amount of engagement on our different properties at all times.

Egaming is very much not the traditional sports play. Why would fantasy egaming work?

Why wouldn’t it? Anytime there’s actionable stats there’s the potential for fantasy. Each game has kills, assists, deaths and its own unique stats like flag captures, minions killed, gold spent, mana crystals unused, damage per round, etc. Not to mention the worldwide appeal of eSports, with huge fan followings and hundreds of millions of eyeballs

How is the audience different from say, football or baseball fantasy? Younger, global?

Generally 18-34 year old males. eSports is truly global, as opposed to sports like American Football (huge in the US), soccer (bigger in Europe and South America), etc. Also, eSports world championships (like the League of Legends World Championships, The International for DOTA2, Majors for CS:GO) bring the best from all around the world and happen yearly.

Who are the players and properties people should watch for?

Currently the top eSports are League of Legends, Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, DOTA2 and Hearthstone. Titles to keep an eye on are Call of Duty:Black Ops 3, Halo 5 (both studios are making huge investments in eSports in 2016), Vainglory (first mobile game in my opinion that has a chance to be an eSports) and Rocket League (just really fun).

Is there a worry that a young audience would not have the access to cash that a traditional Daily Pay Fantasy player would have?

The demographic that DFeS has is very similar to DFS. At the end of the day, with the DFS model you’re reliant on a small group of whales/sharks (those losing and winning lots of money on the platform) and an ocean of fish (people that play infrequently or rarely in small amounts).

There is a misconception that “egaming” is one entity, when in reality it is more like the Olympics. Fans of DOTA don’t play or follow World of War Craft, like skating fans may not follow skiing. How do you scale egaming fantasy as a business with that in mind?

eSports is also like your Olympics example, where when I’m sitting on the couch watching and figure skating is over and curling is on, I’ll watch some of it. Sometimes, hockey comes on instead and I’m hooked. Anecdotally, I’ve seen us be able to convert League of Legends into Call of Duty fans because League isn’t in season and they want something to play. With our digital skins stuff we’re doing, we’ve gotten thousands of users to purchase Counter-Strike because they’ve won items and wanted to see what the fuss is about.

What are some of the success stories in egaming fantasy? Whats games have seen an uptick in fantasy?

Earlier this year we had the first $100k DFeS winner ( and today we have many. We’ve given . One semi-surprising game that we’ve seen surprising numbers on is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It’s a huge franchise, but most of the anticipation is for Black Ops 3 coming out, and the MLG league was the only one that was running, but numbers have been great.

You talked about owned currency and the purchase of items by fans. That is something that traditional fantasy does not have. How does that factor into the value of running an egames fantasy business?

It allows us to do a lot more. As our focus shifts beyond being a one-trick DFeS pony, we’re in a world where we can give rewards that are arguably more valuable than cash without dealing with supply chain or shipping and handling issues. We’re getting closer and closer to our goal of being a platform making eSports 100X more fun.

Has a lot of research gone into seeing if the fans want to play fantasy or is it more anecdotal at this point?

I’m not sure the method to the madness that Ali and Murti (co-founders of Vulcun) used to arrive to the conclusion of building the FanDuel/Draftkings for eSports in the first place but our numbers back up our funding and the hype. One of our core company values is speed – speed in building products, speed in getting things done and also speed in quickly figuring out if something’s working or not.

What is the esports fantasy market now vs. where you think it will be in two years, and why?

According to this report it’ll be $20mm in entry fees on 600,000 users. I think it has the potential to be 5-10x as big, due to current eSports growth numbers and the entrant of big players.

What do you think about the Turner announcement this week? Do you think egamers will actually migrate back to broadcast after so many have said that platforms like Twitch are where the fans are?

I think most people who have been involved in eSports long enough have a similar approach – cautiously optimistic. We’ve been here before and we’ve been burned before with DirecTV and the CGS. I think it’ll be difficult to bring gamers back to broadcast — all industry studies show that the younger generation is cutting the cord. Less than 10% of my friends currently pay for cable and I think that number will continue to trend downwards and I don’t think 2 10-week CS:GO seasons a year is enough to convince someone to shell out $50+ a month.

Lastly for Vulcun, what would make for a successful business story a year from now?

We’ve successfully transitioned into an end-to-end eSports platform. And we buy DraftKings.

Is USADA Tipping The Odds In Boxing?

Is USADA Tipping The Odds In Boxing?

There are no more conflicted sports than boxing, Promoters cut their own deals, manage fighters on both sides of the card, control purses and rarely do the boxers themselves, other than the biggest stars, get their fair shake on the business side. One of those exceptions is Floyd Mayweather Jr. who will fight Andre Berto this Saturday in Las Vegas in what will be another solid payday despite lackluster overall interest in the fight. However big names still bring big dollars on the gambling side, and the sportsbooks in Las Vegas should make a nice bit of change as the champ steps into the ring on a weekend when football is back as well.

However as the fight comes about, another conflicted and dark cloud appears to be rising over boxing, the work that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is or isn’t doing to test for PED’s, and then how that process is being conveyed in and around fights to the public.

Longtime boxing writer Thomas Hauser takes USADA to task in a lengthy story on SB Nation this week (seen here : , detailing how before the May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather didn’t comply with World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, and received a retroactive exemption for the IVs from the USADA almost three weeks after the fight.

For 20 days after the IV was administered, USADA chose not to notify the NSAC about the procedure. Finally, on May 21, USADA sent a letter to Bennett and NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar, with a copy to Top Rank (Pacquiao’s promoter), informing them that a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) had been granted to Mayweather, who didn’t apply for the TUE until 18 days after his fight against Pacquiao. The issue is less with Mayweather, and more with USADA, who in many instances, the latest being with the UFC, where they are paid to work for the governing body and potentially for the promoter, which creates massive conflicts as to how things are actually being governed and communicated to the public.

From a gambling standpoint the use of PED’s and the lack of clarity can cloud the odds for a fight, and creates the air of impropriety around a sport that is already shaded in mystery and innuendo. The debate about USADA’s practices is certainly not going to go away, and will be amplified even more in the coming weeks with the release of “DOPED: The Dirty Side of Sports,“ which will debut on the premium channel EPIX on September 30 at 8:00 pm. Produced by Andrew Muscato and Bobby Valentine, the film takes a longer look into the issues in and around the Anti-Doping business, with Hauser and others, including former champion Paulie Malignaggi, laying out there issues with doping, clarity of testing and conflict of interest in boxing, while other loud voices in the field speak to issues on the Olympic level and in sports like baseball.

Is the current USADA problem something which can be cleared up, or will it continue to drag boxing back into cloudy waters. While big fights like this weekend’s will draw eyeballs and gamblers, the issue of fight fixing, or insider information when it comes to injury and PED’s, is something that speaks to a larger issue in sport; namely who is monitoring the monitors?

Jags, FanDuel And A Glimpse At The Future of DFS Marketing

Jags, FanDuel And A Glimpse At The Future of DFS Marketing

The land grab continues between FanDuel and DraftKings in finding ways to engage casual fans for daily fantasy. Until now, a great deal of that money went directly to ads and traditional marketing spends, along with some untraditional ones like Floyd Mayweather’s shorts and the saddle of American Pharoah. However with Fan Duel more committed to just two key properties in the US, the NBA and the NFL, we are starting to see larger and bolder activations to engage fans in market and build a core following.


With partner Horizon Media, FanDuel has started their market-by-market partnership extensions with NFL clubs, the first of which is with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Called  “FanDuelVille at EverBank Field”:  The Ultimate Home of Fantasy Football, the team and their partner have re-branded the north end zone deck at EverBank Field, home of the now-famous Smart Pharmacy Spas and cabanas. FanDuelVille will allow all fans at EverBank Field access to the space, which can comfortably hold 3,000 fans at once, with the ability to watch the live game experience from any area in FanDuelVille on the world’s largest video boards.

Once they enter FanDuelVille, fans at EverBank Field will have access to unique free daily fantasy football games and experiences, live fantasy football statistics and scoring updates.  FanDuelVille will also give fans entry to the biggest and best party scene in professional sports, including multiple bars with signature cocktails, a live DJ and emcee, as well as significant promotional opportunities for fans to win all-inclusive premium hospitality experiences.

“We asked the question, ‘Where is fantasy football’s utopia?’ The undeniable answer was here at EverBank Field, with the perfect mix of live professional football, unparalleled entertainment, and one of the best fan experiences in the National Football League,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping in a release.  “FanDuel agreed and FanDuelVille was born.”
At the end of each Jaguars home game, FanDuelVille will become the “FanDuel 5th Quarter,” a post-game party to which all fans are invited to enjoy live music, afternoon and evening NFL football games, and interactive experiences with Jaguars personalities, Jaxson de Ville, and members of the ROAR of the Jaguars.

“As a Jaguars partner, we were ecstatic with the creativity the club showed in helping us find a true home for our product,” said FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles added. “FanDuelVille exemplifies the type of entertainment experience we try to deliver to our customers on a daily basis and marries our signature product to create an unbeatable live experience.”
For a team constantly looking to make a splash under owner Shahid Khan, the FanDuel kickoff this weekend is a smart one, and gives both the team and FD the opportunity to mix and match and see what can be adapted to the other activation platforms across the league that will be created in the coming months.
The next step in DFS marketing has arrived.

@TheDailyPayoff – Trying To Find A Winning Sports Quotient…

Trying To Find A Winning Sports Quotient…

by Joe favorito @JoeFav
With all the sites on the web today clamoring for a voice, as well as traffic, it can be tough to find a niche that can break through. However two Ivy League grads have created a platform built around unique analytics and storytelling that is gaining solid traction, views and attention. Meet The Sports Quotient, a digital media company that provides a platform for intellectual conversation about sports. SQ is home to over 100 analytical young sports writers, led by CEO and Penn grad Zack Weiner, and COO and Yale grad Robert Hess, who is a story in himself as a chess Grandmaster.

We caught up with Hess to find out what makes SQ tick, and how it sets itself apart.

What was the thinking behind launching the site?

The Sports Quotient was officially launched on September 5, 2012. We wanted to form a community of college-aged sports enthusiasts who also excel as writers. In general, the sports journalism field is dominated by older men. But the younger generation is also spearheading the analytics movement, delving deeper into advanced statistics to determine how impactful players truly have been. We wanted to give these incredibly knowledgeable sports writers the voice they deserve. We named ourselves The Sports Quotient because we aspired to be a source of intelligent analysis, a site fans would come to enhance their sports knowledge.


What has the response been?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have been well-received by many other publications, and, more importantly, we’ve built an incredible community. Our writers are constantly in communication with one another (they send hundreds, if not thousands, of GroupMe messages every day) and we have nearly 40,000 extremely engaged Twitter followers with whom we are frequently interacting.

You have a wide variety of writers, where do they come from and how do you find such a great flow of contributors?

Our writers and editors (and video analysts and editors) hail from over 70 universities. We have a strong reputation as a company that deeply cares about and respects the writers we bring on. We’ve been thankful to see writers choose The Sports Quotient over other companies because of our dedication to each and every member of our staff.

What type of stories are you most proud of on the site this far?

Interviews are always a great source of pride for us. We enjoy humanizing athletes. On top of that, we’ve published numerous in-depth articles detailing why players might or might not be as good as you think. Writers also use statistics for predictions, analysis of league trends, team performance, historical comparisons, etc. We certainly pride ourselves on analyzing advanced metrics in a way most other sites fail to.
What are the biggest challenges in growing the site?

We’ve faced many challenges these past three years. It’s certainly been difficult to balance friendship and business. On top of the personal challenges, sports media is a crowded market and you have to constantly be thinking of fresh and unique ideas and services to differentiate yourself. It was really hard to build up an initial fan base, craft our own voice. But over time we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, built a community oriented on teamwork, and dealt with the highs and lows.

You have a unique background in competitive chess as well. How has the strategic side of being a chess grand master help you in the business world?

I think the cliché would be to say that I’m always thinking a few steps ahead. But this isn’t too far from the truth, either. There are always enticing deals that seem like the correct move upon first glance, but when you actually take a step back from the excitement and think about the long term, the deal doesn’t seem quite as sweet. I also think my background allows me to predict what stories will be well-received and helps me adequately prepare before big events.

What has been the most effective way SQ has grown so far?

Word of mouth. Our writers truly love SQ and that often does the job for us – they’re our greatest marketers.
Where and how do you get your information. What sites do you like, who do you like to read in general?

Our writers enjoy the usual suspects: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Grantland, Fox Sports, etc. For stats and data: Pro Football Focus, 82games, RealGM, etc. Twitter of course helps us learn about breaking news as it is happening. For industry knowledge, we keep up with TechCrunch, VentureBeat, etc. We are always reading and learning.

What advice do you give to young people trying to find their voice in the content world?
Think about what you can bring to the table that’s different. Always consider how is your voice adding value and not creating noise? What do your favorite writers do that you love, and how can you take the best of all worlds?

What’s next for the site and the business? What can people expect to see this fall?
Our football (and futbol) and basketball coverage will be more extensive and in-depth than ever before. Some of our writers are even working on interesting models. We’re going to continue to grow, provide new forms of enriching content, and continue to raise our readers’ SQ.

@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.

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.