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Site Announcement Date: August 31, 1999
Fanball.com, Inc. Announces the Launch of Fanball.com
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Fanball.com distinguishes itself from competing on-line fantasy sports services in terms of its in-depth player coverage, exclusive NFL Coaches Association Chat Line, real-time updates, automated league/commissioner services, interactive “sports chat” streaming capabilities, and its association with the highly-respected and best-selling magazine, Fantasy Football Weekly (FFW), which is entering its seventh year of publication. 

http://www.fanball.comFanball.com, Inc. today launched Fanball.com, an on-line fantasy sports service bringing the most authoritative Internet content dedicated exclusively to fantasy sports fans.

An estimated 15 million Americans will play fantasy football during the 1999 NFL season, contributing to what CBS Sportsline has determined is fast becoming a $5 billion a year industry (Source: Silicon Alley Reporter). “It is the goal of Fanball.com to become the leader for fantasy sports on the Internet.  We want to capitalize on a target market that is rich in prized demographics and already in commerce on the Internet,” says Rob Phythian, CEO, Fanball, Inc.

Fanball.com combines the most comprehensive content and analysis in the industry with state-of-the-art, on-line technologies such as a real-time automated commissioner and league services.  Fanball.com will also be offering a one-of-a-kind weekly contest where every fantasy franchise “owner” will have a shot at a $1 million pay-out for picking the perfect starting fantasy lineup.  In addition, Fanball.com has signed an exclusive agreement with the NFL Coaches Association where coaches from around the NFL will be chatting weekly on Fanball.com’s site. 

“Fantasy football players from around the country will get their chance to interact directly with NFL coaches, which is a first of its kind relationship in our industry,” says Phythian.

“We’ve positioned Fanball.com to be the one-stop shop for fantasy sports enthusiasts,” says Phythian.  “In the information age and particularly in the world of fantasy sports, where fans seek the most up-to-the-minute information, our combination of on-line technology and the most expansive fantasy sports coverage available will make Fanball.com stand out against the competition.

Distinctive Site Features 
Fanball.com distinguishes itself from competing on-line fantasy sports services in terms of its in-depth player coverage, exclusive NFL Coaches Association Chat Line, real-time updates, automated league/commissioner services, interactive “sports chat” streaming capabilities, and its association with the highly-respected and best-selling magazine, Fantasy Football Weekly (FFW), which is entering its seventh year of publication. Building on its expertise as the best-selling fantasy football publisher, Fanball.com features a full-time staff of writers, editors, reporters and other contributors together with an established network of industry contacts —including ESPN’s Chris Mortenson, WFAN’s Steve Cohen and a cadre of NFL beat writers — to provide timely, in-depth coverage for fantasy sports fans.

Fanball.com Services
Two tiers of services are available. The first tier is a free service that provides player news, injury updates, a fantasy sports chat line and message board service for visitors to the site. The second tier offers a menu of fee-based, subscriber services such as a real-time commissioner system and links within the site to even more in-depth player injury and personnel updates (for price information, see “Fact Sheet”). Initial set-up, basic player information/injury updates and participation in the Weekly Million Dollar Challenge (see below) are all free services for Fanball.com visitors.

Weekly Million Dollar Challenge 
All visitors to the Fanball.com site have the opportunity, at no cost, to participate in the Weekly Million Dollar Challenge promotion. Fantasy football owners will be invited to submit a fantasy football lineup on a weekly basis. The owner able to start the highest possible scoring combination of players in any given week will win the $1 million prize at season’s end.

The online edition is expected to build on the success of Fantasy Football Weekly (FFW) magazine. Fanball.com, Inc. CEO Rob Phythian conservatively estimates that Fanball.com’s first year will generate 100 million site visits and expects large growth potential, based on exploding consumer interest in — and access to — the Internet.

“Fanball.com will prosper from a range of cross-promotional collaborations, including marketing partnerships with other on-line fantasy football sites, a national and regional advertising campaign, national sponsorships with Sprint PCS, Visa and Ebay, and the symbiotic advantages of cross-promoting the publication and on-line edition on each other’s pages,” says Phythian.

Cross-Promotional Marketing
Fanball.com has initiated a series of partnerships with other fantasy sports sites to generate visits to its site. Fanball.com will provide America Online users with daily fantasy updates throughout the season. Fanball.com will also generate links and “re-directs” to its site through membership in the Rivals.com network of NFL-related sites, together with its acquisitions in the past six months of four prominent fantasy football sites, including Exit42, Fourth and Long, Fantasy Football Insider, and Mr. Football, sites which last year generated 50 million page views.

A national advertising campaign launched in USA Today and national dailies will complement the development of a syndicated radio talk show to be distributed via the One-on-One Sports Network at the start of the 1999 NFL season. In addition, Fanball.com has developed a pre-game TV show for syndication on Fox Sports TV stations and distributed nationwide via satellite. 

As the “one-stop shop” for a range of fantasy sports (including impending online fantasy sports editions for PGA Golf, NASCAR, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball and NHL hockey) the Fanball.com on-line initiative is being aggressively promoted over major Internet search engines and portals to reach both fantasy sports enthusiasts and general audiences.

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Headline/link: Fanball.com, Inc. Announces the Launch of Fanball.com
URL: http://www.urlwire.com/newsarchive/083199.html

     
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