Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope this note finds you well and that you are enjoying the early fall, especially the fantasy football season that is well underway and keeping us at RotoHog so busy these days.
Our last few months have again brought some tremendous news and unprecedented growth for our company, and we wanted to give you a quick update on what we are up to and what’s coming next. Even in this challenged economy, it is becoming clearer every day that fantasy gaming is a great outlet for both the ardent and casual sports fan, and we are very excited to help those gamers, and the media partners that are presenting those games on very large platforms, quench that thirst for quality play and information.
Some highlights of our recent activity include:
• Fantasy Football: We have launched our multi-sport game solution for Sporting News (http://www.sportingnews.com/fantasy/football), one of the largest fantasy gaming platforms in the industry, as well as football games for Los Angeles Times (http://football.latimes.com/), ProFootballWeekly (http://www.profootballweekly.rotohog.com/), Rallycast (https://www.rallycast.com/rallycast/index.jsp), Operation Sports (http://fantasy.operationsports.com/), and Military.com (http://football.military.com/scm/).
• NBA.com: We are currently building and deploying games as part of our continuing partnership with Turner Sports and the NBA, and will launch the third season of the NBA Stock Exchange game on NBA.com this coming week with some spectacular new features. (http://www.nba.com/fantasy/)
• Military.com Partnership: One of the most passionate groups for fantasy gaming is the US Military, and we have launched a new platform for the highly-trafficked website Military.com, starting with football and carrying into other sports and events. It is a great opportunity to give something back to a core audience that is particularly meaningful to me and which is passionate about the product and can get some real rewards out of the prizes that will be built into the competition.
• Financing: Even in this challenging economy we continue to find new investment dollars, which is the clearest proof of our viable business platform in this highly competitive space. This month we closed an additional $2 Million from Mission Ventures, which gives us even more bandwidth to grow as a brand.
• Media coverage: We were recently featured in the September issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. In case you missed it the link is: http://entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2009/september/203140.html
• Venture Industry: I am honored to be a keynote speaker at VentureNet (http://www.venturenet.org/) this year. The conference is always exciting, has sold out the last 10 years, and I recommend it for anyone raising money or starting a technology business in Southern California. Here is the code for a significant discount if you are interested in attending:
-Discounted rate: $99 ($100 savings off the non-member rate)
These are only a few of the latest developments and we will be implementing and announcing many more deals in the near future. We expect more partners and properties to be joining us in the fourth quarter and into 2010, as we grow market share and visibility as the best in class for developing and marketing innovative games for some of the biggest and most passionate players in the industry.
As always thanks for your time and interest, and if there is anything we can do to assist you or answer and questions, comments or opportunities please let me know.
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
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.
We raised almost $200K on the live auction and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (right) and Jeff Gordon (left) were awesome! In addition to being phenomenal NASCAR drivers, they have huge hearts for charity! Check out www.NGYCP.org for more information on the charity. Thanks, Kelly
What do you think of the B2B look and feel? Should have the new site up for formal feedback in the next week.
I will be on a panel this Friday talking about “The Future of Sports Business” at the University of Florida School of Law. See agenda and other speakers here.
Over 90% of all jobs are found through networking. That’s right, over 90%. Don’t believe me? How did you find out about your current job? Did someone in the company know you? Did one of your friends or colleagues tell you about the job? In all likelihood one or more of these things occurred. Eight years ago (after the Internet bubble burst!) I co-founded and led as the CEO an event production company called The Layoff Lounge. We produced more than 150 events for job seekers, recruiters and hiring companies. There are some steadfast rules to networking that I employed in these settings and they have shown remarkable results. Here are five tips for networking effectively:
1. Get Out There. Whatever it is you’re trying to network for…a job, more sales, or even a soul mate…you have to get out there to be seen and grow your network so that you can assist others and they can assist you. Find all of the events in your area related to your target and get involved with them. You are guaranteed not to meet anyone sitting at home watching television! This is the first step to successful networking.
2. Listen. Networking isn’t about telling others what they can do for you. You need to listen carefully in order to figure out the best way to help someone else. By helping someone else, you’re actually helping two people – both the people you are connecting. And guess what, they’ll feel indebted to you for the assistance and you’ll be at the forefront of their mind.
3. Focus. Don’t try and tell everyone your life story! Boring… Before any networking function you attend, determine what exactly it is you want to accomplish. Make an actual list of the 2-3 things you want to accomplish and stay focused on them during the event. Obviously, that doesn’t mean you should ignore a great opportunity if it presents itself but wasn’t on the list. If you really focus like a single rifle shot, you’ll find that you will have much better luck and be more productive networking than when you go into the event with no plan and a shotgun spray approach.
4. Follow Through. If you say you’re going to help someone by connecting them to someone with a potential job or someone with a shared interest, do it. If you say you are going to call them before Thursday, do it. Otherwise, don’t say it. The worst thing you can do is offer to help and then renege. This network that you let down is the one that is supposed to help you when you need it. If you don’t perform, they’ll see that and never connect you with something you need.
5. Use Technology. There are various networking sites that allow you to search you very own network more effectively than trying to remember everyone you know. My favorite is LinkedIn because it is easy to use and has always provided me with great contacts. Facebook can work but is more of a social environment than a work environment. Regardless of which one you use, get online and create your profile so that others can find you. Make sure you are accurate and you keep it up to date.