Boom Fantasy offers a different take on everyday fantasy sports

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[toc]This is the first in a series of articles on non-traditional fantasy sports apps trying to gain traction in the United States.

The daily fantastic sports The industry, to date, has been dominated by two players that most readers of this space are familiar with – DraftKings and FanDuel.

And what constitutes their greatest competition – the likes of Yahoo, Fantastic project, Fantastic ace and Draft day – have adopted the same basic approach to DFS as these two companies. This is the so-called “salary cap” model, where users make a list of fantastic players. (Another competitor in space, Disorganized, offers a different approach to DFS but still relies on selecting a roster of players.)

The events of the past year have generally slowed down what was a influx of investments and support innovation in the DFS space.

But at least three companies have stepped up their products this nfl season, using the concept of “fantastic sports” to what amounts to prediction-based and in-game contests which deviate greatly from the DFS market as it stands today.

What are these sites doing and where are they going?

Here’s a look at one of them: Boom Fantasy.

The market for something other than DraftKings and FanDuel

Boom Fantasy CEO and Co-Founder Stephen Murphy believes that the future is in the fantasy, but in a different field from that dominated by the “big two”. Murphy has been involved in real money gambling for about a decade, including advising MGM Resorts International about fantastic sports.

“Fantasy sports are a crowded landscape right now,” Murphy said in a recent interview with Legal Sports Report. “If you look at the competition from DraftKings and FanDuel, I think you’re in a tough spot if you’re just trying to outdo them in terms of software, in terms of offering.

“If you have a product that looks a lot like what their product is, I think people are just going to go where the liquidity is. In some ways, the war has been won over the range of salary caps. “

The game model is what sets Boom Fantasy apart, according to Murphy.

“We have a product that is very differentiated,” Murphy said. “Our flagship product is this play-by-play format where fans can play while they watch the game.”

Boom Fantasy, at a glance

Boom Fantasy grabbed attention in January when he launched, in addition to announcing that it had received funding of $ 1.4 million, led by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.

The idea behind Boom Fantasy is “fantastic” but is definitely not a “fantasy sport” as most would recognize.

It’s now live with an NFL product (and NBA, for that matter, with an MLB product earlier in the year). There are two basic iterations of their game: in-game prediction contests and more standard prediction contests where choices are made before the underlying games start.

Stake

Here’s how the in-game version works:

  • Users select a competition to enter, with an entry fee, which will be based on the events of one game primarily, while incorporating elements from another competition.
  • Players select a roster of three players before entering the live portion of the game. These athletes come from at least two sporting events.
  • Users receive points to use on live predictions.
  • Questions about player performance will appear on the app throughout the contest, and users have a short time, often 20 seconds, to make a prediction.
  • The questions relate to the performance of the players. For example, “Will Tom Brady throw a touchdown pass this quarter? “
  • The users who accumulate the most points through their live predictions win cash prizes.

Standard

Here’s how more standard contests work:

  • Users select a contest to enter, which can be based on two games, or an entire roster or day of games.
  • The contests are chargeable, much like a traditional DFS contest; users compete with other users for part of a prize pool.
  • The contests are based on a series of questions asked of users about player performance (ie “Which of the four quarters will throw the most touchdowns?”).
  • Depending on the answer chosen by the user, if the user is correct, he or she will accumulate more points for the contest.
  • After all the contest questions are resolved, users earn money if they are among the players who have earned the most points.

Here’s an example of an upcoming NFL contest:

screenshot-2016-11-08-at-9-30-35-am

Boom Fantasy legality?

In fact, Boom Fantasy faces many of the same obstacles as traditional DFS. Like the rest of the DFS market, it operates under the aegis of the federal government UIGEA exclusion of fantasy sports, and the same claim that it is a game of skill and not a game of chance in the states it serves.

(And just like the broader DFS industry, there is also a question of whether this could possibly violate federal law. PASPA, although a challenge on this front from the major professional leagues seems unlikely.)

Boom Fantasy serves 37 states, according to its Terms of use. (In contrast, DraftKings and FanDuel currently serve about 40 states.)

Boom Fantasy, however, seeks to be on regulated markets; for example, he applied for a temporary permit in new York. The way Boom Fantasy is constructed, it fits within the state’s laws regarding fantasy sports that have been spent this year.

The events of the past year on the legal and regulatory fronts do not worry Murphy, he said.

“We’re not intimidated by the environment,” Murphy said. “I think anyone who hasn’t seen this happen probably wasn’t too aware of the legal uncertainty.”

Murphy also notes that his company is working with Jeff Ifrah, who is widely regarded as one of the country’s top gambling lawyers.

Why might Boom Fantasy work?

The in-game aspect of Boom Fantasy and some of the other products in this niche, including WinView Games and ring! – is what Murphy thinks he gives his business a chance to grow.

The “big two” dominated DFS market is lacking in some ways, Murphy said, and DFS is capturing a market that is already likely to watch a lot of sports and games. He said he spoke to people in the sports industry who agreed with this assessment of the current DFS market.

“I think some teams and leagues aren’t as convinced that DFS is moving the needle for the casual fan,” Murphy said, saying Boom Fantasy’s game is more suited to someone who isn’t interested in the investment in time required to define the DFS queues.

“And for our product, we think we’re increasing consumption,” Murphy said. “Our users are watching longer and longer.”

A complementary and “sticky” product

Fantasy in the game isn’t really designed for replace or supplant DFS, Murphy said.

“We see [Boom Fantasy] as a complementary product, ”Murphy said. “You can play FanDuel and DraftKings until kick-off; Once launched, we see users start to interact with our platform. “

He also noted that the platform is quite “sticky” as users who try it out are being held back at a brisk pace. Fifty percent of all Boom users are still actively playing and participating in real money contests 30 days after deposit, according to Murphy. A third of the players are still playing after eight months.

As a point of reference, in October, Murphy said more than $ 180,000 in prizes were awarded. It’s obviously small potatoes compared to DraftKings and FanDuel, but represent good numbers for a start-up under a year old.

Boom Fantasy is growing at a rate of 200% quarter over quarter:

Boom Fantasy Data

A social product

Murphy also said he believes Boom Fantasy captures the social nature of watching sports and a season-long fantasy that DFS may miss in some ways.

“If you think about the way you watch sports or the way you watch sports with friends, sometimes it’s hard to have a natural conversation on DFS,” Murphy said. “Something like ‘I think Tom Brady should be worth $ 10,400 this week.’ It doesn’t really come out of the tongue.

“What’s easy to do?” Elbow your boyfriend to the side and say “Tony Romo is totally going to throw an interception on this room”. And that kind of gameplay we can capitalize on. I think our product is inherently social in the way it is consumed and shared.

At this point, a large part of his client acquisition has been done through organic means, such as Direct referrals, Murphy said.

Boom Fantasy believes he has a product that has a future for significant growth outside of the traditional DFS model. But it is not the only one to think.

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