SBJ/20090928/This Week's News

Fantasy Sports Ventures buys games of its own

Fantasy Sports Ventures, which debuted in 2007 as an information portal for fantasy sports, is making its entry into actual fantasy gaming after purchasing 25 games from independent outfit RealTime Fantasy Sports Inc.

The games included in the deal are generally more casual, pick ’em-type games as opposed to full-season, commissioner-style contests, and they will be deployed primarily around major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four. They also will be customized for each site in the FSV network in which they will reside.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal was described as a joint venture in which FSV also extended its affiliate agreement with RealTime Fantasy Sports, more commonly known as RT Sports.

FSV’s network of fantasy information, sports content and research Web sites is nearing 500 destinations.

CHRIS RUSSO
FSV CHIEF EXECUTIVE

“This is going to allow us to create a lot of custom programs for advertisers and give them the kind of deep integration they’re after,” said Chris Russo, FSV chief executive. Russo cited the Burger King-sponsored Beat The Streak game operated by MLB Advanced Media as a forerunner of the type of sponsorship deals he now seeks with the newly acquired games.

RealTime Fantasy Sports has done similar, custom-built fantasy games for companies such as Topps and Gillette.

The move continues the broadening of FSV’s overall profile. The company in June created a social-media division in partnership with RotoHog, Watercooler and Sky Social Media.

Meanwhile, FSV also has struck a three-month deal with McDonald’s to sponsor a Twitter aggregation for which it collates fantasy football tweets from many of its key network sites.

Located at FSV’s FantasyPlayers.com, the aggregation features fantasy analysis and other content from areas such as KFFL.com, TheHuddle.com and Fantasy Football Today, with others to be added during the course of the football season.

The effort represents another example in which a major brand has attached itself to Twitter activity, though Twitter itself has not yet developed a revenue model. Sports Media Ventures Inc. recently struck sponsorship deals with Samsung and Capital One tied specifically to Twitter aggregations.

Soft-launched with the start of the NFL season, the FSV aggregation drew more than 1 million visitors during its first week of operation, according to internal FSV metrics.

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