Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Feb 06

Huffington Post Interview - Kelly Perdew and RotoHog

by Kelly Perdew Apprentice, Donald Trump, Entrepreneur, Fantasy Sports, Football, Leadership, RotoHog.com, Sports No Comments

Catching Up With Kelly Perdew, The Apprentice Season II Winner and CEO of Rotohog.com

Peter Robert Casey

First media credentialed microblogger in college hoops history

Posted: February 2, 2010 03:16 PM

As the fantasy gaming space evolves more and more into the mainstream, no one is more positioned to be a leader and innovator in the space than RotoHog.com Chief Executive Officer, Kelly Perdew . Kelly’s entrepreneurial experience and vision, as well as his track record of success, puts him in a very unique position in a space that most media experts see as emerging as a viable, long term financial investment in the sports and entertainment world.

Rotohog.com, an industry leader in the creation of fantasy sports platforms for leagues, portals and major media companies like the NBA (official fantasy basketball game provider), Pro Football Weekly (commissioner and exchange football games) and Brazil’s ClicRBS (the largest online fantasy soccer game in the country) has quickly carved its spot in a crowded field under Perdew’s guidance.

The former Army Ranger is one of the veterans in the relatively new fantasy activation space, and his track record of delivering successful results with solid start-up planning is almost unparalleled in the business. Prior to taking the reins at RotoHog.com, Perdew turned two start-ups, one in the grassroots sports area and one in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, into the leaders of their genre. First, as president of the largest amateur sport portal on the web — eteamz.com - he oversaw the strategic build of a company which addressed the needs of recreational athletes and teams to connect, and is now serving more than three million amateur sports teams as part of Active Networks. Then as president of ProElite.com; he created an online social network that was among the most innovative in the highly popular sport of MMA. Under his leadership, ProElite, Inc. raised over $40M, including $5M from CBS, inked a three-year exclusive deal with Showtime for airing its fights and televised the first network primetime MMA fight on CBS.

Although known to the public mainly as the winner of the second season of the NBC hit TV show “The Apprentice,” and as the author of the critically-acclaimed book “Take Command, 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump,” Kelly’s real success has been behind the scenes, building and managing forward-thinking and innovative emerging brands. In addition to his three successful digital ventures, he has been a Manager at Deloitte Consulting in the Braxton Strategy Practice and served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer and Airborne Ranger. He has also held numerous leadership positions in such companies as the Trump Organization, CoreObjects Software, K12 Productions, and eteamz.com.

Perdew has a BS from the US Military Academy, West Point, a JD from the UCLA School of Law, and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He also hosted a show on the Military Channel called “GI Factory,” and is a celebrity spokesperson for Big Brothers/Sisters and The National Guard Youth Challenge Program. Kelly received a Presidential Appointment to the President’s Council on Civic Participation and Service in June 2006. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Here’s a transcript of my conversation with Kelly:

PRC: West Point grad. Army Ranger. Winner of Donald Trump’s celebrated reality show, The Apprentice (Season II). JD/MBA from UCLA. Author. Successful entrepreneur. The list goes on and on. You’ve accomplished a lot in a little time. What inspires you?

Kelly Perdew : Fear of failure? (Smiles) Seriously, I love the hunt and the entrepreneurial spirit that these times present and games and sports really are still like the Wild West in the digital space. We have just started scratching the surface of what can be done, and fantasy gaming (not just for sports, but for entertainment, social and even regulated gaming) is really a very interesting place to be right now.

PRC: How did your military academy background and Ranger training prepare you to succeed under pressure on such a large stage (national television)? What is the single-most valuable piece of advice that Trump instilled in you?

Kelly Perdew : I wrote a book titled, Take Command: 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump, that specifically outlines why I think my military leadership background has helped me in business and helped me succeed on the show. I was very fortunate to be able to attend West Point, where they actually train leadership as a course of study. It is an amazing institution and they do a great job at training leaders, not just for the military, but for a lifetime of service to the country.

Donald taught me to think big. Too frequently people look at a problem and then frame the solution in a very small and specific way. Donald does a great job of solving problems in a very big way. He is also a master at using the media to his advantage - a very important tool in business.

PRC: Working for Donald Trump and the Trump Organization is a fantasy for many MBAs. You’ve moved on, but the fantasy concept didn’t go away. Talk to us about RotoHog.com, your fantasy gaming platform, where you serve as CEO. How did you position the company and your entrepreneurial experience to become a leader in the fantasy sports activation space?

Kelly Perdew : Upon my arrival at RotoHog 18 months ago, we looked at the assets we had and determined where the best position would be for the future. RotoHog has developed two amazing assets - a highly configurable gaming platform that is scalable and flexible and a team of game designers that can create very compelling games for our clients and their end users.

We have invested a lot of time and money in the platform and the team can solve any objectives for our clients (growing and engaging their user base, monetizing, exploiting social media and mobile environments, and we can do this in any language). We have created partnerships with major brands who need help accomplishing their objectives. It has worked very well for clients like Turner Digital, Fox Sports International, NBA, AVP, The Sporting News and now NASCAR and others. They can concentrate on what they do best and leave the below the line to us.

PRC: Fantasy gaming has evolved from its modest beginnings. RotoHog has worked with some very successful brands as you just mentioned. What unique value does your product offer to clients?

Kelly Perdew : The flexibility of our gaming platform allows us to configure very compelling games for our clients and we do it very quickly. The rotohog team can build and integrate a game for our client within 2-3 weeks. This gives our clients the ability to respond very fast to their sponsors for promotions, campaigns and we also provide very deep activation hooks in the games for the brands. These games are fully integrated into the clients’ sites, have open APIs for bi-directional sharing of information with social media sites, and can have features that monetize the user base.

The bottom line is we provide best in class game applications that are fun, scalable and adaptable to the audience. We can build games for any sport, reality show, movie release, social media site, mobile device…really anything with structure data. They run well, they look great and the technology is constantly evolving. For instance, you can see the broad range of capabilities we offer by comparing the NASCAR.com stock exchange game we just launched with “The Bachelor” game we launched for ABC.

PRC: Where is this trend going? What drives the growth of fantasy sports participation?

Kelly Perdew : It is all about fan engagement. For sports, it used to be with board games and baseball cards, now you get to really see what it’s like to build your own teams and really be the coach or the GM. It is going more global very rapidly. Yes football and baseball are still king, but anywhere there is statistical data to be mined and there is a passionate fan base, fantasy will be in play. Also, the styles of games we can provide allow for broader audience appeal - simple games that exist across all media platforms are allowing brands to grow their audience.

PRC: How does RotoHog.com leverage social media for your brand and for your partners/clients?

Kelly Perdew : The great thing about games is the way information spreads virally and some of our partners are the pioneers in the social media marketing space. They literally have millions of people online and engaged around the world every day. So by powering a part of that network with our games we are able to communicate in real time to a worldwide audience any new offerings or innovations that are a part of the gaming platform we continue to grow. All of the games we build can live in a social media environment in part or completely, depending on what our clients’ goals are. RotoHog is a B2B company and our brand to end users is not as important as our clients’ brands.

PRC: What is your vision for RotoHog.com? What does ultimate success look like for the brand?

Kelly Perdew : Success is simple: We succeed when our clients accomplish their objectives. As we focus on delivering compelling games that grow, engage and monetize for our clients, success fill follow.

PRC: How about for Kelly Perdew ? What will your legacy look like?

Kelly Perdew : My wife and i just had twins, so the definition of legacy changes a bit with something like that! (Smiles). On the business front, I love leading and building companies. The RotoHog team is the best at technology delivery, especially in sports and entertainment, and to some day see that we were part of the wave that created fun products for consumers to use as an escape from everyday life, and to further engage with their favorite brands, is pretty cool to me.

PRC: I would have to agree with that. Congratulations on all of your success, and double congratulations on your newborn twins. I really appreciate your time, considering how limited and valuable it is. Thank you!

Kelly Perdew : Thank you for the opportunity!

You can keep with Kelly via Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/kperdew, or by frequenting his blog: http://www.twitter.com/kperdew.

Follow Peter Robert Casey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Peter_R_Casey

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-robert-casey/catching-up-with-kelly-pe_b_446367.html

Feb 06

Interview in Colorado Newspaper - RotoHog and Kelly Perdew

by Kelly Perdew Apprentice, Donald Trump, Fantasy Sports, Football, Leadership, RotoHog.com, Sports No Comments

Pre-game chat with “The Apprentice” champ Kelly Perdew : Are you ready for some football…and roses?

Colorado Springs Sports Relationships Examiner

Andi Brunetto

January 19, 1:28 PM

MSN Health and Fitness reported yesterday that January 18th is considered by at least one study to be the most depressing day of the year. Is this lag in mood due to the weather, holiday let-down, or could it be something even more vital? It seems quite possible that after a weekend of NFL playoffs, you may be facing the reality that your teams, (both real and fantasy) will not be making it to another week. How can you find solace? The answer is utilizing “the best fantasy sports platform in the world”.
. For serious sports fans, there can never be enough connectivity to your favorite teams, a fact not lost on Kelly Perdew , CEO of an innovative venture Rotohog.com. Perdew, was generous with his time during our interview, to give insight into this exciting new enterprise.The former Apprentice season two champion, is taking his talents from the boardroom to the electronic playing field, giving everyone a chance to be a head coach or GM. By recognizing the importance of being connected, whether by mobile device, internet or social networking sites such as Facebook- Rotohog is capable of delivering your gaming needs in ways that sports junkies are craving.
Perdew says the decision to start Rotohog was an easy one, “it’s a natural extension of communication. Fans get sports when they want it, where they want it.” In a world where relationships are largely based on technology, this marriage of sports and tech savy is a match made in heaven. But the social dynamic to this sports portal is just as important as getting your adrenaline pumping over your beloved team .
But the fun doesn’t stop at athletics, Rotohog is bringing together the excitement of fantasy sports with the popularity of roses-no, not the Rose Bowl, but ABC’s the Bachelor…Here are some ways to get involved as a couple, so when you are distracted by your favorite pastime, you can avoid hearing Donald’s famous words, “You’re fired!”.
Do some recruiting: If you are in a coupling that revolves around kick-off times, getting involved with fantasy sports can be a great way to get your sweetie interested. There are a lot of girls who enjoy rooting for a team you like, or maybe just think the Colts have better uniforms than the Ravens. No matter what the motivation, ask you girlfriend or wife to cheer on your picks and she’ll probably end up just as hooked on the game as you. But keep in mind there is a trade-off looming…
The Bachelor draft: Ladies who are passionate about The Bachelor on ABC, can now take part in some serious gaming. Hunnies already have a girl version of a tailgate- getting together to watch Jake Pavelka narrow down his dating pool, while being with friends sipping wine and eating tapas. But don’t let this scenario fool you; there is some hardcore yelling at the TV if Jake doesn’t pick your girl’s favorite contestant. Well now you can be involved in this process via ABC.com. Rotohog has a Rose Ceremony prediction game featured on the website. You become the matchmaker and what’s even better, is as you accumulate points by playing often, you have a greater chance at winning the Grand Prize: a trip for two to St. Lucia.
In the huddle: Perdew, not only a success in business but a family man as well, has some good advice for men who get involved with the fantasy sports boom. In his personal fantasy league, that he has been a part of for years, there is an annual tradition- “the champion of the season gets a trophy, it’s a large mouth bass mounted on a plaque and it must be displayed prominently. For the last two years, it has been in our living room, so some advice is to really be nice to your wife. Take out the trash more often at least!”

By supporting each other’s passions, whether it’s cheering for Perdew’s favorite team ,the Broncos or picking who the Bachelor should send home, you will have a happy coupling and maybe even win some sweet prizes. Kelly hopes next year the Broncos will get some more points on the board, develop a more effective offense and keep the Orange Crush together- but as he modestly states, “ I’m only a fantasy coach”. In any case Rotohog is onto a great way to game with the one you love, while meshing the worlds of tailgating and fantasy dates. This exciting new activity is sure to boost your happiness levels, and before you know it, you may be wearing that Orton jersey while watching Monday night Bachelor.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-27837-Colorado-Springs-Sports-Relationships-Examiner~y2010m1d19-Interview-with-The-Apprentice-season-2-winner-Kelly-PerdewCEO-of-Rotohogcom-Bringing-fantasy-s

Oct 05

My mentor and friend, Luis Villalobos, passed away last week

by Kelly Perdew Entrepreneur, Leadership 8 Comments

I was very fortunate to know Luis Villalobos for over 10 years, as a fellow Board member, business partner, mentor and friend and I will miss him greatly. We grew much closer over the most recent 5 years as he asked me to partner with him in launching the next iteration of his vision to help entrepreneurs succeed: Angel Venture Partners.

He was always been there for me in any business deal, contract negotiation, or fund-raising event with logical, well-thought out, and always accurate advice. Luis came to my last two birthday parties (he knows and gives great wine as presents!), my wife’s and my engagement party, and he came to our wedding in Vegas this last January and took better photos of the event than our photographer! Luis embodied the 10 leadership principles I outline in my book - especially integrity. Luis always maintained clarity in every deal and acted with the utmost integrity. Southern California and the US entrepreneurial community has lost a great man, a great contributor. He will be missed by all.

Here is Luis’ formal bio (it is about 6 months old so there are probably a few more deals he’s in) but it doesn’t come close to describing his true impact on the world:

Luis Villalobos has a proven track record as a direct investor in 63 early-stage ventures – 14 successful exits (4 IPOs and 10 mergers), and 31 ventures remaining active. He has a strong technology background and holds several patents as lead inventor; he formed, headed and sold two ventures; and has mentored about a dozen CEOs. He earned degrees at Harvard Business School (MBA) and MIT (SB Math) where he was a National Merit Scholar.

He was the founder of the Tech Coast Angels, whose 111 portfolio companies have received $782 million in capital. He is a founding Board member of the Angel Capital Association – an organization with 100+ member angel groups. He helped start two other angel groups, East Coast Angels in Sydney Australia, and Camino Real Angels in Texas. He has developed and led over 100 workshops for angel group leaders, angels, bar associations (for MCLE credit), and entrepreneurs – on valuations, due diligence, term sheets, deal structures, venture capital, angel investing, early-stage funding, business plans, patents and intellectual property, and entrepreneurship. Villalobos is frequently quoted in the press regarding angel investing, and is a featured speaker and panelist at entrepreneurial events and conferences.

Villalobos has experience and expertise in IT (telecom, computer architectures, networks, micros, minis, codecs, security, graphics, imaging, compression); artificial intelligence (genetic algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic); software (assemblers, compilers, Visual Basic, application programming, cognitive and recognition algorithms); biotech (degenerative brain disease therapeutics); applications (computer-based education).

Please consider contributing to this fund that his colleagues and friends in the Tech Coast Angels have set up in his name: Luis Villalobos Memorial Scholarship, UCI Graduate School of Business: Send check to UCI Graduate School of Business c/o Luis Villalobos Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Jul 02

RotoHog Open Letter from Kelly Perdew, July 2009

by Kelly Perdew Baseball, Entrepreneur, Fantasy Sports, Leadership, NASCAR, NBA, Networking, RotoHog.com, Soccer, Sports, Volleyball 1 Comment

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.

Regards,

Kelly Perdew
President & CEO, RotoHog

Jun 22

Twitter Beginnings - Great entrepreneurial read

by Kelly Perdew Entrepreneur, Leadership No Comments

I love this article about how Twitter was born. I see time and time again that the right team will find product and/or service for their customers.

LEADERSHIP!

Apr 15

Open Letter from Kelly Perdew, CEO, RotoHog

by Kelly Perdew Entrepreneur, Fantasy Sports, Leadership, RotoHog.com, Sports, Sports Market Ticker No Comments

April 14, 2009

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope you are doing well as baseball gets into full swing, the fantasy volleyball season begins and the NFL Draft starts getting hyped up. One thing we can say is that sports, although not recession-proof, continue to provide great entertainment and value for consumers, and that the fantasy and digital activation space today is what baseball cards and board games were for earlier generations.

For those of you who know me, you know how much I enjoy all the challenges of a start-up. I think that RotoHog and our recent work exemplify both the challenges and the successes of what can be accomplished in this sector. Below is a brief update of some of the success our team has accomplished in recent months, as we transitioned from being just an online fantasy game company to a brand that provides the best B2B platform for fantasy games and tools for providers in the space.

In the last few months RotoHog has:

1. Created an exciting NFL Playoff game for GoDaddy.com to launch their Super Bowl advertising platform, using Facebook as the driver.
2. Created the first-ever Spanish language baseball Stock Exchange game for Fox Sports En Espanol.
3. Implemented two very successful fantasy games for NBA.com, including our flagship product, the NBA Stock Exchange game. As part of this delivery we integrated with Turner Digital’s back end systems and provided a seamless single sign-on for fans.
4. Launched a first-of-its-kind fantasy game for AVP Pro Beach Volleyball on AVP.com.
5. Secured a partnership with Gatehouse Media to work with them on fantasy programming across all of their publications, including Pro Football Weekly.
6. Created a World Cup Soccer 2010 Qualifier Game on Facebook.
7. Opened a branded ticket shop with RazorGator, providing our partners with yet another opportunity to monetize within our customized fantasy games.
8. Launched our Sports Market Ticker™, an application that supplies fans with the derivative data from our stock exchange games just like a real stock ticker – player pricing movements, transaction volumes, etc… — for all the players in that sport league.
9. Successfully implemented a major integrated sponsorship with LG Electronics on our fantasy football stock exchange game.
10. Recruited the best technology and product team in the space made up of experts from the Gaming and Platform industries. Our platform offers multiple types of fantasy games that are easily adapted to different sports and brands with modular components to facilitate integration with partner web sites and international audiences. The technology is further designed for high reliability and scalability in a cost effective manner by using state-of-the art hardware and software development, deployment and operations technologies.
11. Secured an additional $2 Million in funding that will keep our business growing and thriving as we add new partners.
12. Re-branded and launched our B2B corporate site where you can track all of our progress at www.rotohog.com/corporate.

We are also honored to have been selected last week as one of the top 100 emerging companies in digital entertainment and the winner of the “Enabling Tools” category by the AlwaysOn Network. RotoHog beat out over 500 other companies to win the category in its first year of entry.

What I am hoping is that the success we have had with RotoHog is really a sign of both the economy turning around and the acknowledgement by the business community of what many have been saying for the past few years…that the ability to create efficient, monetizable platforms in the digital space, and then marry those platforms to major distribution partners is where the sports and entertainment world is going in order to connect with its fervent fan base.

All this is great news for our company, but we are just getting started and will continue to take an even bigger leadership position in the industry in the coming months, with new partnerships and more innovative deals. 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.

Regards,

Kelly

Kelly Perdew
CEO, RotoHog

Apr 08

ROTOHOG SELECTED AS WINNER OF THE AlwaysOn NETWORK’S “OnHOLLYWOOD HOT 100”

by Kelly Perdew Fantasy Sports, Leadership, RotoHog.com No Comments

One of America’s leading media distribution companies takes home first place in the “Enabling Tools” category

LOS ANGELES, CA—(Marketwire – April 9, 2009) RotoHog, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative fantasy sports operators and developers for major brands and professional sports, today announced that they have been selected as one of the top 100 emerging companies in digital entertainment and the winner of the “Enabling Tools” category by the AlwaysOn Network. RotoHog beat out over 500 other companies to win the category in its first year of entry. The awards will be given out in Los Angeles on April 27.

“Making the list and winning our category is a double honor for our brand, and we are both proud and excited to have both been nominated and then selected,” said Kelly Perdew, CEO of RotoHog. “We have built RotoHog on the premise that we can deliver the best possible platforms with the biggest of partners, and our growing list of brands, combined with winning this award, validates that claim even more. It is another landmark day for our company, and we want to thank AlwaysOn for recognizing us.”

AlwaysOn editors compiled the fourth annual elite OnHollywood 100 list with assistance from KPMG’s emerging business practice, KPMG VC Practice. They surveyed hundreds of venture investors, investment bankers, and technology insiders, who nominated more than 500 companies to determine the OnHollywood 100 winners.

The selection for the “OnHollywood Hot 100” is the latest in a series a positive moves forward for RotoHog. The brand recently completed a partnership with Fox Sports Espanol to host a first-of-its-kind Spanish language baseball Stock Exchange Game, and launched a new fantasy game for AVP Pro Beach Volleybal on AVP.com. Additional partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks.

The AlwaysOn Network is transforming the media business by providing its readers with an open and participatory editorial environment. Borrowing from the underground blogging and social networking traditions, AO was launched in 2003 and has emerged as a leader in the “open media” revolution. The network’s content focuses on the sweet spots in the technology markets where innovation is disrupting behavior and creating new business opportunities.

RotoHog is the leading fantasy sports platform provider, with partners like NBA.com, Turner Digital, Pro Football Weekly, AVP, Fox Espanol, GoDaddy, and LG Electronics. RotoHog is privately held, and based in Los Angeles, CA. Investors include Allen & Co, DFJ DragonFund, Mission Ventures and Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.

For more information on RotoHog, or to sign up for league play, please visit www.rotohog.com/corporate

Media Contact:

Joe Favorito
Rotohog
917-566-8345
Fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com

Mar 24

Interview with Darren Heitner on the SportsAgentBlog.com

by Kelly Perdew Apprentice, Donald Trump, Entrepreneur, Fantasy Sports, Leadership, Networking, RotoHog.com No Comments

Interview by Darren Heitner.

I am a big fan of Kelly Perdew. A mutual friend of ours, Joe Favorito, suggested that I invite the einner of Season 2 “The Apprentice” and CEO of Rotohog to the 2009 UF Sports Law Symposium. I took Joe up on his suggestion and Kelly provided some great insight for everybody in attendance. I then bumped into Kelly at a Super Bowl event in Tampa while he was celebrating his birthday. I am not sure which number birthday it was, but by looking at Kelly, you would not know he was any older than twenty-five. That being said, looks do not matter much. He has accomplished a lot in his young life and is a innovator in the business of sports. Joe Favorito again reached out to me with the idea that I interview Kelly for SportsAgentBlog.com. The result is below.

Darren Heitner: You went from winning the Apprentice to founding a successful fantasy sports platform. Fill in the space between. What are some interesting things that happened at that point in your life?

Kelly Perdew: I HAD A GREAT YEAR IN NEW YORK WORKING FOR DONALD. I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT REAL ESTATE AND EVEN MORE ABOUT BRANDING. I’VE ALWAYS LOVED SPORTS AND HAVE BEEN IN A 12-MAN KEEPER FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE WITH MY TWO BROTHERS AND NINE BUDDIES FOR EIGHT YEARS (OF WHICH I’M THE 2 YEAR RUNNING SUPER BOWL CHAMP - CAN YOU SAY ‘THREEPEAT?!!!” - SORRY COULDN’T RESIST). WHEN THE RECRUITER CALLED AND ASKED IF I’D BE INTERESTED IN RUNNING A FANTASY SPORTS GAMING COMPANY WITH INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS LIKE MISSION VENTURES, DFJ DRAGON, AND ALLEN & CO, I JUMPED AT THE OPPORTUNITY!

Darren Heitner: How has having a law degree been beneficial in your life? Do you think it is necessary degree or even something that should be sought after by sports agents?

Kelly Perdew: CRITICAL THINKING HELPS YOU IN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. BEING ABLE TO BREAK DOWN A PROBLEM TO ITS ROOT DRIVERS AND LOGICALLY DETERMINE POTENTIAL OUTCOMES IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESS. OF COURSE, IT ALSO HELPS YOU KNOCK DOWN THE LEGAL BILLS WHEN THEY COME IN! ;)

Darren Heitner: What are some of the big sports law issues that fantasy sports platforms are currently battling? What do you believe has the potential to create potential legal problems in the future in your space?

Kelly Perdew: THERE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOME TENSION BETWEEN THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND OWNERSHIP OF INFORMATION TO INCLUDE STATISTICS, LIKENESSES, LOGOS, AND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. FORTUNATELY FOR OUR BUSINESS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC/FANS, THE COURTS HAVE CONCLUSIVELY COME DOWN ON THE SIDE OF FREE SPEECH IN MOST INSTANCES. ADDITIONALLY, WHEN AN INDUSTRY REALLY STARTS GROWING LARGER, LIKE FANTASY IS NOW, YOU CAN SOMETIMES SEE MONOPOLY-LIKE BEHAVIOR IN CERTAIN AREAS - I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO START SEEING MUCH CLOSER SCRUTINY OF THE MARKET POWER AND MONOPOLISTIC BEHAVIOR OF SOME OF THE ENTITIES IN THE SPORTS SPACE.

Darren Heitner: You seem to be willing to travel often to speak to those interested in breaking into the sports business. What are some of the reasons why you devote your time to informing others?

Kelly Perdew: I BELIEVE STRONGLY IN GIVING BACK. IT IS ONE OF THE CRITICAL LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES THAT I WROTE ABOUT IN MY BOOK, “TAKE COMMAND: 10 LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES I LEARNED IN THE MILITARY AND PUT TO WORK FOR DONALD TRUMP.” ADDITIONALLY, MOST OF THE EVENTS ARE EXCELLENT FOR NETWORKING FOR PARTNERS, CLIENTS, INVESTORS AND POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES.

Darren Heitner: Should sports agents play fantasy sports? Why/why not? If they play, should they feel bad if they pass over selecting their client for another agent’s client?

Kelly Perdew: EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY FANTASY SPORTS. IT IS FUN AND IT MAKES YOU BECOME A BETTER, MORE PASSIONATE, MORE EDUCATED FAN OF THE ATHLETES, TEAMS AND SPORTS. PICK THE PLAYER YOU THINK WILL GET YOU THE MOST POINTS!

Darren Heitner: Your company just secured an additional $2 million in funding. How were you able to secure this funding in an economic climate that is mighty bleak?

Kelly Perdew: IT IS A VERY DIFFICULT CLIMATE IN WHICH TO RAISE CAPITAL. FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE STRONG AND EXPERIENCED INVESTORS IN ROTOHOG WHO BELIEVE IN THE TEAM, THE VISION AND THE SPACE. ADDITIONALLY THE TIMING OF THE FINANICNG POSITIVELY IMPACTS US AS NOW OUR CLIENTS (TURNER DIGITAL, FOX ESPANOL, AVP, ETC…) FEEL MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE THAT WE’LL “BE AROUND” FOR A LONG TIME WHEREAS SOME OF OUR COMPETITORS MAY NOT.

Darren Heitner: People are obsessed with athletes, which is a major reason why fantasy sports games have thrived. Will we ever see a game that includes sports agents?

Kelly Perdew: I DOUBT IT. THE GENERAL PUBLIC PROBABLY ISN’T THAT INTERESTED IN WHETHER AN AGENT WAS ABLE TO NEGOTIATE A BIGGER SIGNING BONUS FOR THEIR CLIENT ATHLETE. JERRY MCGUIRE MAY BE THE PINNACLE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC’S AWARENESS OF WHAT A SPORTS AGENT DOES. COMPARED TO THE TELEVISED WEEK IN, WEEK OUT PERFORMANCES ON THE FIELD BY THE ATHLETES…A SPORT AGENT JUST DOESN’T REGISTER FOR A FAN. THEREFORE, IT IS HARD TO BUILD A COMPELLING GAME.

Darren Heitner: What would you tell an 18-24 year old who wants to break into the business of sports?

Kelly Perdew: REALLY IT IS NO DIFFERENT THAN OTHER INDUSTRIES - YOU HAVE TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING. RESEARCH, NETWORK, PLAN, AND WORK AS HARD AS YOU CAN. YES, LUCK PLAYS A BIG PART OF THE EQUATION, BUT, LIKE THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID, LUCK IS WHERE OPPORTUNITY MEETS PREPARATION. THE BETTER PREPARED YOU ARE, THE MORE LIKELY YOU’LL BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES.

Mar 13

What Makes Entrepreneurs Successful?

by Kelly Perdew Entrepreneur, Leadership No Comments

Great article in The Economist about what makes entrepreneurs successful…and LUCK is one of the factors!

http://tinyurl.com/ceomgq

Mar 12

RotoHog, Secures Additional $2 Million In Funding

by Kelly Perdew Entrepreneur, Fantasy Sports, Leadership, RotoHog.com No Comments

One of America’s leading media distribution companies to create new online fantasy sports platform for one of the world’s most popular sports

Los Angeles, March 10, 2009

RotoHog, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative fantasy sports operators and developers for major brands and professional sports, today announced it has secured an additional $2 million in funding to expand its business platform and develop new technology for its partners. The funding round was led by venture capital groups Mission Ventures and DFJ Dragon (China Fund).

“We have been able to show that even in challenging times the business model we have built for RotoHog is unique to the marketplace and fills a need that major fantasy game providers have…namely building and delivering innovative games and powerful platforms for a growing fan base worldwide,” said CEO Kelly Perdew. “This additional capital gives us the stability to focus on our long-term strategy, which is to be the worldwide leader in the development of fantasy sports games, games that are scalable, have turnkey solutions and will create new revenue streams for our partners, who include some of the biggest names in the industry, from Turner and the NBA to Fox Espanol and the AVP.”

“We have seen considerable traction and are excited about the focused vision of the RotoHog team,” said Leo Spiegel, Managing Partner Mission Ventures. “DFJ Dragon watches the China market and looks for companies that can exploit those opportunities. The market for fantasy in exploding and RotoHog will be a leader,” said Andy Tang, Managing Partner DFJ Dragon.
The additional funding is the latest is a series of successful moves for RotoHog, a brand that has quickly become a leader in the building of infrastructure for partners, ranging from sophisticated stock exchange and commissioner-style games for the NBA and Pro Football Weekly to casual Facebook and MySpace games with GoDaddy.com and others. RotoHog recently announced a new partnership with the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, and other moves will be announced in the coming weeks.
RotoHog is the leading fantasy sports platform provider, with partners including NBA.com, Turner Digital, Pro Football Weekly, AVP, Fox Espanol, GoDaddy, and LG Electronics. RotoHog is privately held, and based in Los Angeles, CA. Investors include Mission Ventures, DFJ DragonFund, Allen & Co and Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.

For more information on RotoHog please visit www.rotohog.com/corporate.

Media Contact:
Joe Favorito
Rotohog
917-566-8345
jfavorito@rotohog.com

 
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