Fantasy Genius Online Community The Latest Innovation From NFL Digital Media
The NFL has unveiled Fantasy Genius, an online community "designed to spur participation in fantasy football," according to Dawn Chmielewski of the L.A. TIMES. The site "enables novices to seek advice from more experienced participants and pose questions about whether to accept a proposed trade, start a particular player or draft" one player over another. Fantasy Genius is "one of several new offerings" from the NFL Digital Media team that "oversees the league's presence online and on mobile devices." Since taking its digital media operations in-house in '07, the NFL has "assembled a team of 150 people recruited from Silicon Valley start-ups, sports networks and the worlds of investment banking and data analysis to create a presence for the NFL across multiple screens." The goal is to "meet the fans any time, anywhere, with the content they want." NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein, who will step down next spring, said, "It's critical in this day and age to have a relationship with your fan base. It's in the best interest, not only of our fans, but for the NFL, to have a direct consumer relationship. Much of what we do in the digital space is trying to enhance that." Chmielewski noted since taking things in-house, the NFL "has seen annual visits to its properties quadruple, to 1.2 billion, and the number of fantasy football players triple." NFL Mobile GM Manish Jha said that some of the "biggest opportunities are on mobile devices." His team last year "introduced a companion app for the NFL Network's 'Thursday Night Football' that offers real-time polling, statistics and live reports from the sidelines." The NFL has "dabbled in next-generation mobile technology." Its "Catch Deion" app used "image recognition to trigger a virtual dance performance by Hall of Famer Deion Sanders when people pointed a smartphone camera at Sanders' image on a poster at a Dick's Sporting Goods store" (L.A. TIMES, 7/30).