Friday, May 14, 2010

NFFC Expanding To Eight Cities In 2010

Tom KessenichMay 14, 2010 at 12:13pm
Subject: NFFC Expanding To Eight Cities In 2010
We’re happy to announce that the NFFC will be expanding to eight cities in 2010. They are:

Las Vegas at the Bellagio Resort & Casino
New York at Citi Field
Chicago at Trackside at Arlington Park
Boston at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Boston
Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the Kelly Room, 50-yard line
Dallas (site still to be finalized)
Denver (downtown, site still to be finalized)
Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Hilton downtown

We will also offer the NFFC Classic and Primetime online for those who still can't make it to the live events. But we are doing everything in our power to offer the live events at fun, fun locations where drafting against your league opponents face-to-face is still the most exciting part of the game.

Now, all eight events and online will host the main events on Saturday, Sept. 4th simultaneously at 1 pm ET/noon CT/11 am MT/10 am PT. Right now only Las Vegas, New York and Chicago will have Friday Auction Championship Leagues and Draft Champions Championship leagues. However, if there is enough interest in any of the other cities to expand to Friday events, we will do it. We have not officially reserved space for Friday in those locations, but they are available and we will staff them if demand is there. But right now we are pushing our three main locations for the entire weekend of events -- which include 14-team Ultimate and Super Leagues on Sunday, Sept. 5th -- with the other locations hosting just the main events.

We know this is aggressive, but when Liberty Media officials flew to Las Vegas in March to see our NFBC events, they loved the idea of the live events concept. They loved what they saw. And they wanted this to grow more than it has been under previous management. They wondered why we weren't doing baseball in more locations. They pushed us to become more aggressive and to grow our football event beyond what we are projecting. If we could get 300+ for the NFFC Classic in years past in just three cities, why not push for 300+ and beyond in more cities? So we're taking their lead and making this happen.

We have very good connections in each of the cities we chose and Fanball has strong customer bases in each of those cities. We feel like Dallas is a perfect expansion for the NFFC. We have a great, great contact in Buffalo and can draft inside Ralph Wilson Stadium in the Kelly Room up around the 50-yard line seats. We believe downtown Boston and Minneapolis can support audiences, as can Denver, where again we have great contacts. All of the locations are working with us to make this cost effective and we'll promote heavily locally.

Our prizes are based on last year's goals: 322 teams in the Classic and 300 teams in the Primetime. If we expand beyond those numbers we'll increase league and overall prizes, starting with league prizes. The Classic remains at $1,400 per entry, while we raised the Primetime to $850 this year to get the grand prize to $50,000 with slightly increased league prizes. There is a $50 Events Fee for each event because we've agreed to provide more food and beverage this year and we're going to make that special. Stay tuned for more details on each location as we want folks to stick around after the drafts, eat together and analyze the draft boards together.

Look for registration info and early bird signup specials on the soon on the new NFFC site (;

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Sports Illustrated Moves into Facebook Games

THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED DIGITAL GROUP ( and Watercooler Inc., a leading social game developer with a community of 30 million registered users, today announced a partnership to launch an SI-branded fantasy football game on the Facebook platform that will also live on and SI Mobile.

The game will bring together the award-winning fantasy sports resources of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED with the social features and best-in-class gaming engine that have made Watercooler a leading sports brand on Facebook-and the most popular amongst football fans. The partnership will provide a new advertising opportunity for sponsors looking to reach fantasy football fans within a branded SPORTS ILLUSTRATED environment on Facebook.

Differentiating itself from any other fantasy football experience on the web, the game extends to and SI Mobile, offering players "always on" access to their teams and offering advertisers a unique ownership platform. In addition, on all three outlets players can consume 24/7 Fantasy Intelligence Reports, including breaking news, analysis and advice, player performance updates, video reports and commentary from SI's leading fantasy and football experts.

The game experience will take unique advantage of the ease of connecting with friends on the Facebook platform by extending players' social graphs to and SI Mobile using Facebook Connect. Players will be able to share strategies, celebrate victories and commiserate losses via in-game messages and posts to their Facebook feed. Adding to the social fabric of the game, the FanZone will reward players for amassing large fan bases to cheer for their fantasy teams.

"Avid fantasy players and fans already look to SI for real-time breaking news and analysis that can provide them an edge on Sundays," said Kenneth Fuchs, Vice President and General Manager of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED DIGITAL. "Working with a partner like Watercooler-a leader in social sports application development and audience engagement-really provides SI an edge to offering the most comprehensive and accessible game on the market. With players now able to play seamlessly across Facebook, and mobile and combining our award-winning content and SI brand with Watercooler's social game engine and avid fan base should build on the success SI has had in offering scaled and innovative products at the intersection of sports and social media."

"Watercooler is not only thrilled to partner with a great brand, but to leverage Sports Illustrated's unique content to offer our users a richer, more compelling gaming experience," explained Chris Carvalho, Chief Operating Officer for Watercooler. "Sports Illustrated is very forward-looking. They understand the power of social media and how this game will engage and widen their audience. Both companies are also bullish on the growing potential of in-game microtransactions as another way to create value for users and the partnership."

Watercooler has been developing sports applications for the Facebook platform since 2007. The company publishes leading fantasy football and college basketball brackets games and has partnered with other major sports brands, including Nike, Reebok and CBS Sports.


SI is a multimedia sports brand that takes the consumer into the heart and soul of sports. The SI franchise is anchored by Sports Illustrated, the most respected voice in sports journalism which reaches a weekly audience of nearly 21 million adults, and, the magazine's 24/7 sports news website that delivers more than 150 original stories to its users each week along with real-time breaking news, scores, and analysis. The SI franchise also includes Sports Illustrated Kids (, a monthly magazine targeted to kids age 8 and up; Golf Magazine and;, a social networking and sports-news aggregation platform; SI Presents, the magazine's specialty publishing division; as well as SI Books, SI Pictures, SI Productions, SI Digital and SI Events. Founded in 1954, SI is a division of Time Inc., the world's leading magazine publishing company and a subsidiary of Time Warner.

About Watercooler Inc.

Watercooler is a leading developer and publisher of social games for Facebook and other top social networks. Founded in 2006, Watercooler has connected millions of sports and TV fans through its network of online communities, and recently expanded its expertise to develop popular, innovative and engaging social games. Watercooler's five studios create in-depth social games that are browser-based and free to play on Facebook, MySpace and other social networks. Watercooler's games and applications have over 60 million registered players and reach more than 10 million players monthly. For more information about Watercooler Inc., visit

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Monday, May 3, 2010

National Fantasy Football Championship

From: Tom Kessenich, May 3, 2010 at 6:03pm

Subject: NFFC Announces Las Vegas, New York & Chicago Locations For 2010

The National Fantasy Football Championship is proud to announce its Las Vegas and Chicago locations for 2010. The NFFC will be held at The Bellagio in Las Vegas at Citi Field in New York and at Arlington Park in Chicago.

More site locations will be announced soon as the NFFC expands to more cities than ever before this year.

The NFFC will return in 2010 with four national contests that participants can compete in during their trip. We will have two national contests on Friday: The 14-team NFFC Draft Champions Championship where teams can compete for $3,600 in league prizes and a $10,000 grand prize. Entry fee is $850 and we pay down seven spots in the overall contest with seven leagues expected across the various cities.

There will also be a Friday 14-team NFFC Auction Championship League with $4,200 possible in league prizes and a $10,000 grand prize. Again, the entry fee is $850 and we pay down seven spots in the overall contest with seven leagues expected across the various cities.

The NFFC Classic returns as the industry's only 14-team league format, again with a $1,400 entry fee, $5,000 league prize and a $100,000 grand prize. The guaranteed prize pool is based on 322 teams, same as last year. The NFFC Classic will be held on Saturday, Sept. 4th at 1 pm ET.

The NFFC Primetime returns as the second part of our Draft Day doubleheader on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a tentative price point of $850 and a $50,000 grand prize. Details are still being finalized on this event, but the guaranteed prize pool is based on 300 teams, same as last year.

Ultimate and Super Leagues will be held on Sunday, Sept. 5 with prize payouts higher than the industry has ever seen.

The Bellagio will also be the host site for Super, Ultimate and our first-ever NFFC Diamond ($10,000 entry fee leagues) League on Sept. 10-11. These private leagues with the best payouts in the industry for these levels will be held at the Bellagio on Friday and Saturday, after the Thursday opener and before Sunday's opening games. Times and dates for each of these leagues will be announced shortly. These private leagues are the only second weekend events we are offering and only in Las Vegas. Payouts will be 90-95%.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Today is Free Comic Book Day!