Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Early spring is perhaps the busiest time of year in the sports and entertainment space. It features high impact events like the Oscars, Sweeps Week, “March Madness,” the beginning of the MLB and MLS seasons, and the NFL Draft. All of this is in addition to the improving weather outside (except in LA!) and a bigger focus for most of us on family commitments, which makes time management a challenge for everyone, and forces all of us, including the highest impact brands and properties, to find ways to cut through the clutter and achieve strong personal and business objectives.
Here is a look at our latest developments in sports and entertainment:
Major League Soccer. There is perhaps no faster growing sports property in North America than Major League Soccer. Their highly successful franchises in Seattle, Philly and now Vancouver and Portland, have made them the envy of all sports leagues in terms of launches in the past 20 years. Their cornerstone franchises in New York and Los Angeles are also mirroring the expansion franchise growth, which makes for a very exciting time. One of MLS’ biggest areas for activation remains in the digital space, and we are pleased to work directly with the league to develop and launch two fantasy games that we all think will help them expand their fan activation platforms and continue to make them a leader in brand growth - the MLS Salary Cap game that allows fans to compete in free and cash competitions (http://games.mlssoccer.com/scm), and the League Manger game that allows fans to participate in a “draft and trade” fantasy game featuring their favorite MLS athletes for the first time ever (http://games.mlssoccer.com/lm). The MLS project was just featured in Technorati, here is the link: http://technorati.com/sports/article/mls-kicks-off-into-the-digital/
American Idol. We all know what a game changer American Idol has been in popular culture. Everything Idol has touched has been a success, yet there is always a need to attract and engage fans even more. Therefore we are proud to have worked with Fox to create and launch a new engagement platform for the show that allowsfans to predict winners and answer trivia questions over the course of the American Idol season. We think this will help make a great property even better, and set the standard for fan engagement in entertainment. Please check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/idol_predictions/ and see if you can predict who will be safe next week!
Fortune League for Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). In January, we launched our first meta-game for a major MMOG based on SOE’s EverQuest II game. By creating a “snackable” game accessible inside of Facebook, we have created a way for fans to interact with the EverQuest brand in short bursts when they are unable to engage in full usersessions. We have also opened up new revenue streams via virtual goods and have created a way for sponsors and advertisers to connect with EverQuest users in new ways. Perhaps most importantly, it re-engages existing users with opportunities to earn rare and unique prizing that they can use inside of the “actual” EverQuest world. The game is live at http://apps.facebook.com/fortuneleague. We also received a nice write up on the site “Inside Social Games” at http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2011/03/21/fortune-league-fantasy-sports-league-everquest2-style/
The NFL. Even with talk of a lockout, football remains king in the world of fantasy sports. From NCAA spring football to the coming NFL Draft, no athletes have put themselves on the year-round map more than those who patrol the gridiron on fall weekends. As a stand-alone offseason event, the NFL Draft has morphed into a multi-faceted, all encompassing three-day sports and entertainment extravaganza. The interest in the draft pulls from fans, brands and all levels of media, as stars are born and franchises altered. To capitalize on this obsession with the NFL Draft, Fastpoint has partnered with “First Round Exchange” to provide a unique, draft-based fantasy game. Unlike other draft prediction games, First Round Exchange will let fans “in the know” capitalize on their knowledge of underrated and overrated draft prospects, and will certainly enhance the draft experience for all who play. The game can be found at http://football.firstroundx.com/scm
March Madness. Our work would not be complete in the spring if we didn’t continue to refine our engagement platforms with the NCAA Tournament. This year marked the second time we launched enhanced bracket games for MySpace, again helping the property offer enhanced content to its strongly engaged audience. The link is http://www.myspace.com/myspacebracket. And my Kentucky Wildcats are still in it!
MLB and Facebook Migration. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we are making our core fantasy sports games available andplayable on Facebook. This will give every one of our partners a tremendous edge in being totally integrated with a global audience who are using the world’s most popular social networking platform for engagement. Please check out our Salary Cap Baseball games on FB at: http://apps.facebook.com/baseballsalcap/
All of these elements again show the fluidity of our business and the ways we can engage multiple partners on different platforms that best suit their needs. Whether they are established media properties like US Weekly and the Bachelor or entities that are just beginning to see significant momentum, like Major League Soccer, Fastpoint Games can not only provide a unique solution, we can provide the best solution, on budget and with measurable results. And those results will help whomever we work with to effectively cut through the clutter.
We will have more news in the coming weeks, but I wanted to take a few minutes to update you now, wish you the best as spring arrives, and encourage you to sample some of our new offerings. We would appreciate your feedback on these games, and all of our work, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you again for all the support!
Kelly Perdew | CEO | Fastpoint Games
New offering from one of the world’s fastest growing game developers enables any independent publisher the ability to brand their own high impact fantasy football game at no cost
LOS ANGELES, CA—(Marketwire – August 25, 2010)- RotoHog, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative fantasy sports and entertainment game operators and developers, today unveiled their latest product offering, a syndicated version of their award-winning, Fantasy Football Salary Cap game for independent publishers. The new game is first in a series of sports and entertainment games to be syndicated in the coming months.
As consumer content engagement continues to shift towards niche sites and games, RotoHog recognized the opportunity to extend its games-as-a-service model to deliver a turnkey solution for publishers who search for new ways to engage and monetize their audiences without the expense of licensing or managing a game themselves.
RotoHog has been developing and operating custom and configurable games for some of the world’s leading media and sports companies, and in so doing has developed a highly scaleable, sophisticated gaming platform. “We are excited to be offering an accessible gaming solution for an expanding market,” said Kelly Perdew, RotoHog CEO. “Our syndicated model will provide our associates an engaging, branded game experience and introduce new audiences to the quality of our games.”
The syndicated Fantasy Football Salary Cap game launches this week with SportsFanLive, the premier sports content and social network, dozens of independent bloggers, and Weplay, the leading online youth sports network participating.
Publishers that join the RotoHog’s Associate Program, will have access to personalization and marketing tools to co-brand the RotoHog games and share in the revenue generated by their audiences.
RotoHog is currently accepting applications and inquiries for their syndicated Football Salary Cap game. For more information go to http://bit.ly/clAVJ9 or email Associates@RotoHog.com.
‘Apprentice’ champion turned fantasy sports website into major player by adjusting the game plan.
By Alfred Lee, LA Business Journal link: Game Changer Story with Photos
Monday, June 21, 2010
Today, RotoHog hardly bears a resemblance to the fantasy sports website Kelly Perdew took the reins of in June 2008.
The Westchester company has recently made a name for itself as a creator of fantasy games for other businesses, including Sporting News, NASCAR and Us Weekly. But it was initially launched in 2006 as a stand-alone game site that could compete directly with fantasy sports giants like ESPN and Yahoo Sports.
The 43-year-old Perdew was brought on as the company’s new chief executive two years ago with one main objective: to make it profitable. His resume included running companies such as amateur sports website Eteamz.com, but he’s perhaps best known as the winner of season two of the NBC reality television show “The Apprentice.” He beat other contestants for the chance to work for Donald Trump under a 14-month contract.
Almost immediately after arriving at RotoHog, he put into motion a complete transformation of the company’s strategy.
“I don’t think a lot of people could have pulled it off,” said Kent Smetters, who co-founded the company with his partner David Wu. “Kelly evolved the model into a different kind of company.”
Rotohog.com went live in early 2007 offering fantasy leagues for the National Football League, Major League Baseball and other sports with a twist. To make the leagues more competitive and protect against bad trades among contestants, each player was valued in a unique stock exchange.
However, despite raising about $9 million, the site struggled for nearly two years. The problem? Perdew saw that bigger competitors such as ESPN had a captive audience by virtue of their news content, whereas at the end of the football or baseball season, RotoHog’s users left the site.
“They had spent a significant amount of money to drive eyeballs to the website,” Perdew said, “but there was no path to profitability.”
However, Perdew knew that ESPN and other competitors such as Fox Sports were running their games on older computer platforms that would likely need significant upgrades in a few years. He saw an opportunity for the company to reposition itself from a fantasy sports website to a games provider for other brands, moving from a consumer model to a business-to-business model.
“So I said, OK, we should become a platform that could basically replace their entire back end,” he recalled.
Not only that, Perdew moved for the company to expand its games beyond sports to broaden its appeal to other industries that want to use online games to interact with their customers.
After selling RotoHog’s board on the idea, Perdew had the company hunker down for a year while it developed a new Internet platform that could serve as the template for scores of websites.
Within the first three months, he had let go of 25 of the company’s 40 employees, many of whom had been hired to build content for a website that was no longer the focus. But the head count went back up to about 30 as he hired a new team of software developers.
“Don’t mention that time to any of the guys here,” he said, referring to the turmoil.
In September 2009, after more than a year of development, RotoHog launched its new platform. In the 9 months since, it’s developed 37 games for other companies, including those in the entertainment, consumer brands and gaming industries.
Among the games are one developed for ABC reality television show “The Bachelor,” which features trivia questions and gives out sponsored prizes, encouraging users to go back and watch old episodes online to get the answers. Another for Us Weekly allows fans to guess who will be featured in the magazine.
“I think more brands and more webites are looking at different ways to engage readers, and gaming for a certain demographic is interesting,” said Romina Rosado, executive producer of UsMagazine.com.
The company has also been working on a fantasy game on Facebook for newly launched Bloomberg Sports, which sells sports analysis to fans and fantasy players. The game will challenge users to pick successful hitters and will go live by the end of June.
Bill Squadron, the head of Bloomberg Sports, said the idea behind the game was to encourage users to buy the company’s baseball analytics for a leg up on the competition.
“Hopefully that’ll both let them know about it and drive sales of that product, and at the end of the day that’s the real goal we have,” he said. “You’re going to see a big number of major brands experimenting with this in different ways.”
RotoHog hasn’t yet reached profitability, but Perdew said the company is “this close.” Competitors such as Fanball also provide fantasy games for other companies, but Perdew claims no other providers cut across as many industries.
Another edge appears to be Perdew himself. He said the recognition from being on “The Apprentice” has helped the company get exposure through media coverage and speaking engagements. It’s even helped get meetings with potential investors.
“We’re pretty much able to get to anybody we need to talk to about stuff,” he said. “It’s a nice icebreaker for discussions. People are always asking me what’s up with Donald’s hair. I never answer that question.”
CORE BUSINESS: Creates and manages online games for varied clients.
EMPLOYEES: 30 (up from 15 in 2008)
THE NUMBERS: More than $1 million in revenue in the last 12 months.
I hope this note finds you well. It has been some time since we updated you on the progress we are making with RotoHog and our new partners and applications, and with three of our newest partners launching games two in last two weeks for World Cup and one in the very near future for baseball, we wanted to provide you with an update on our continued progress as one of the world’s fastest growing and most efficient developers of white label games for high level media properties both in sports and entertainment.
When I last wrote, we had just launched two very successful games in the entertainment field, one with US Weekly (Season 2 is starting soon: http://bit.ly/bQnAc1) and the other for “The Bachelor.” Those games have been very successful as brand extensions both for the magazine and for the reality show series, and they have led to another series of games that will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
However as you know our biggest focus has been in the sports world. Our continued work in producing games for NASCAR.com, Pro Football Weekly, Turner Digital and NBA.com has led to more work in the space, with the afore mentioned new partners. In the last few weeks we have been able to secure a deal to develop a Facebook game for BloombergSports, the recently launched consumer arm of one of the world’s most successful business data analysis brands. This new game, which will be launched in the coming weeks, will take Bloomberg’s new consumer baseball analysis product and give all the data a new fan-friendly platform that can be used by millions of followers and fans of baseball on Facebook. It will be a fun and very easy application that we think will expose this high functioning and very elaborate product BloombergSports has created to a new, wider level of engaged baseball consumer, and we are very proud to be working with them on the project.
Our other two new developments are for the coming World Cup. The first is another Facebook application, this one with Sports Illustrated allows fans to handicap their favorite countries throughout the World Cup draw, giving a new legion of digital soccer fans the ability to enjoy the world’s largest sports spectacle online like never before. You can play it here: http://bit.ly/91NADw.
Our second World Cup application is on a more global level with hi5, the largest social entertainment site for games in the world. We launched “The World Futbol Challenge” for hi5’s 50 million global users. The game, which is featured on hi5.com leading into the start of World Cup, is a confidence “pick em’ game, which gives the user the ability to earn added points in a pari-mutuel-like pool for picks they feel are the real value. Make your own picks here: http://bit.ly/bCR7La. Both these games for our two new partners continue to support our plan of global expansion for all of our games.
Soccer is the fastest-growing sport outside the United States in the fantasy space, and by working with these two premier brands to build their games, we are confident that our position on a global basis will be just as strong as we currently are domestically. When the world’s media companies look to build games, Rotohog will be their partner of choice.
Again these are just some of the new projects we are undertaking as the spring continues along. We are having another solid quarter in challenging times, and are looking forward to continued expansion both in sports and entertainment as the year plays out.
As always, thanks for your support and input, it is invaluable as we grow our business and it is very much welcomed. If there is anything we can assist with or questions we can answer please do not hesitate to ask.
Hello Friends and Colleagues:
March is perhaps the most interesting time of year for sports and entertainment fans in general, as virtually every sport or area of entertainment is engaging its audience at some point. From the NFL Combine to the start of baseball, as well as March Madness, NASCAR and soccer in the sports world to the Academy Awards in entertainment, there is perhaps no busier or more exciting month on the calendar. For all of us at RotoHog, the levels of fan interest and engagement at this time of year are never higher, and all the projects we are now involved with are reflective of both what the consumers are looking for and where we have grown as a company in the sports and entertainment space. Here are some great examples of all the fan engagement areas we are touching in such a busy month:
BASEBALL. In baseball, spring training is now in full bloom, which means fantasy baseball is now upon us. Our crowd favorite Stock Exchange Baseball game is available for those of you that like to “play the market” and we have launched our first ever League Manager Fantasy Baseball game here: http://www.rotohog.com/corporate/baseball/ League Manager 2010 offers traditional commissioner style draft and trade products to the fantasy enthusiast at a reduced price and we also offer our first ever Salary Cap Baseball game on RotoHog. All games include cash competitions!
BASKETBALL. In college and NBA hoops, we launched the March Madness NCAA bracket application for MySpace (Go Wildcats!); and we continue to run the very popular NBA Stock Exchange with our partner Turner Sports.
NASCAR. As NASCAR continues to rev around the country, our recently launched NASCAR Stock Exchange game is doing well on Turner’s NASCAR.com platform.
I’m proud to say our team has created, developed and launched 26 games on our new platform since the last football season.
ENTERTAINMENT. We continue our expansion into the entertainment vertical with the March 2nd launch of the Us Weekly Celebrity Fantasy League. The game challenges user knowledge of which celebs will be making or breaking news. To get in on the action, users create a team of 25 celebrities they think will be in the news the most during a given week. Each week players put 10 stars from their team that they think will make the magazine and be featured on UsMagazine.com on the Red Carpet, while the other 15 hang out in your Dressing Room.
Those are just the latest projects on top of all the other work we are doing building and implementing games and applications for our partners around the world. With all this great work and expansion across so many platforms, we have added some new members to our team, including Jeff Daniel, who recently joined us after helping ESPN and FOX Digital build their fantasy platforms. Jeff’s addition gives us another experienced leader who can help us continue to manage and expand all the work we are doing with such a wide array of partners.
As we have said in the past and it continues to be true, we are still just getting started. A recent piece in the Sports Business Journal pointed to the continued growth of casual gaming, an area in which we will be expanding over the next few months. The World Cup and other international events will provide us with some great opportunities to show the versatility of our platform, and we are looking forward to also expanding even more into the entertainment space. We have seen interest growing for games like we are running for Us Weekly and The Rose Ceremony game we just finished with our TV Network partner.
Yes, March is a very crowded and exciting month for the sports and entertainment fan, and we share that excitement from a business perspective. Our recent work has again shown that our model is working and growing, and we know that will continue with more exciting news and new partners in the coming months.
As always thanks for your time and support, and let us know what else we can do to assist you. Enjoy the games!
CBS, Rotohog Win Accuracy Awards
CBS Sports set forth the most accurate football player rankings in 2009, while Rotohog was tops in stat projections for both baseball and football.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Sara Holladay, the Fantasy Football Librarian, and Donnie Campbell of
TheMostCredible.com handed out those awards Wednesday at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference.
CBS topped a field of 48 participants — more than double the entries from 2008 — in the second season of the FSTA’s partnership on the Accuracy Challenge. Fantazzle took home last year’s award.
Rotohog’s wins each came in new categories.
Although the competition is obviously done at this point, Holladay and Campbell welcomed anyone who wasn’t included to submit their 2009 preseason rankings and/or projections now to see how they stacked up.
July 1, 2009
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Approximately two months ago I sent along a first quarter “progress report” letter to keep everyone up to date with all the new developments at RotoHog, as we expanded our partnerships and secured the necessary additional funding we would need to take the business to a new level. At the end of the letter I mentioned that more good news was coming, and today I wanted to pass along the latest advances we have made in the business as we continue to make the company into the most innovative fantasy sports gaming developer for major brands and professional sports entities.
Our leadership position in this very competitive marketplace is expanding almost daily. Just in the last few weeks we have been able to announce:
• A landmark partnership with The Sporting News, where RotoHog will build, activate and market all online fantasy games for one of the most established online properties and storied names in sports and entertainment publishing. http://tinyurl.com/necqpo
• A partnership with Chris Russo and the folks at Fantasy Sports Ventures, the fastest-growing independent site on the web, to build games for FSV’s extensive list of sites and ever-evolving business partners, brands and sponsors. http://tinyurl.com/n2kkju
• A strategic partnership with online news and content provider Operation Sports to produce, manage and market their 2009 Stock Exchange Football Game. Operation Sports is a leading news and content provider focused on the sports video game industry with over 100,000 members. http://tinyurl.com/cszvzh
These new deals, in addition to our existing partnerships with the NBA, Turner Sports, FOX en Espanol, Pro Football Weekly, the AVP and others, give us the widest range of strategic partnerships to develop and build games in the industry today, and the best part is we are just beginning to establish our brand.
In the next few months we expect to continue to grow partnerships with additional media entities around the globe, as we shape RotoHog into the ultimate destination for brands who want to provide “best in class” and innovative gaming applications to their loyal subscribers ubiquitously on their sites, mobile, and social media channels.
Once again, we want to thank you for your support and interest, and as always, if there is anything we can help you with, please let us know.
And please come play our famous Stock Exchange Football Game here http://tinyurl.com/nhfw96.
President & CEO, RotoHog
By ERIC FISHER
Published June 08, 2009 : Page 27
See full article here.
Fantasy outfit RotoHog has struck a multiyear deal with Sporting News to power the media outlet’s suite of fantasy games.
Beginning with fantasy football this fall, Los Angeles-based RotoHog will develop and operate a set of free and fee-based fantasy games under the Sporting News brand for football, baseball, golf, hockey and motorsports. Of particular note is how the pact aims to extend Sporting News’ fantasy reach into social media and mobile networks, using technologies that allow assets from the games to be easily distributed from SportingNews.com onto platforms such as Facebook and the iPhone.
“In order to take our games to the next level, we wanted to align with somebody intensely focused on the space, was committed to a strong [business-to-business] solution, and wasn’t satisfied with developing the same old off-the-shelf products,” said Jeff Gerttula, vice president and general manager for online at Sporting News.
For RotoHog, the deal extends a run of activity this year that includes a somewhat similar deal with Fox Sports en Español, an alignment with ticketing outfit RazorGator, and the closing of a $2 million round of Series B venture capital funding. “This is a very strong testament to what we’re doing and the platform we’ve developed,” said Kelly Perdew, RotoHog chief executive. “We’re very excited to be partnering with an iconic brand like this and are pleased to be able to have good things like this happening in this economy.”
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