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SBD/Issue 237/Sports Media
Bloomberg's Decision Maker To Be Seen In NFL.com Fantasy Games
Published August 24, 2010
Bloomberg Sports last night announced its new fantasy football analytics product, Decision Maker, will be integrated into NFL.com's relaunched fantasy game, the result of a new partnership with both the NFL and NFLPA. The application, free to NFL.com fantasy players, uses a proprietary algorithm to determine which players have the most likelihood for success in a given week, taking into account recent and historical performance, health, opponent, weather and numerous other factors. The product builds upon Bloomberg's existing fantasy sports efforts in baseball, and the NFLPA deal will enable the use of player images in Decision Maker, something that many other fantasy football games do not have. "There was a very good confluence of interests between our wanting to expand into football and the NFL relaunching their game," said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports. "We're very excited, and think this is going to be the best fantasy football tool out there on the market." The online application will also be sold for $7.95 to players in any other fantasy league besides NFL.com, and Bloomberg is seeking additional partners to help distribute and promote Decision Maker. "We're leveraging a lot of assets to rebuild NFL.com fantasy, and this definitely helps us show another differentiated element to our game," said NFL Dir of Business Development for Digital Media Kevin LaForce (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
FANTASY FOOTBALL A BIG BUSINESS: CNBC’s Darren Rovell reported it is “hard to get the exact numbers, but people spend about $800 million in the fantasy business and that does not include entry fees." The most popular websites for fantasy football are ESPN.com (43%), Yahoo.com (31%), CBSSports.com (25%) and NFL.com (17%), along with the "fantasy football information business, about 20% of which is subscription based, the rest is supported by ads." Fantasy Sports Ventures CEO Chris Russo, whose company owns individual fantasy football sites, said for "consumers to want to pay for content of any kind in a day where so much is for free, the content has to be incredibly deep, incredibly rich, incredibly detailed." Rovell: "Many companies have started branded fantasy football games, and it's no wonder why given the incredible demographic that fantasy sports provides." Fantasy Sports Trade Association President Paul Charchian: "The profile is not what a lot of people think. The fantasy sports player is predominantly male … (and) white-collar. The average income for fantasy players is $90,000 a year and fantasy players over-index as spenders and consumers" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 8/24).