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SI To Launch Fantasy Sports App

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Sports Illustrated plans to roll out its first fantasy sports app in late June or early July, an effort to tap the billions of dollars that consumers spend on fantasy sports annually. The app, Fan Nation, will allow users to take part in the fastest growing segment of fantasy sports, daily play, where participants select a new team each time they play and then square off against a friend or random competitor.

The first game offered through the app is “Baseball Throwdown” and involves Major League Baseball players. Sports Illustrated plans to offer similar games with players from the NFL, NHL and NBA.

Executives at Sports Illustrated, part of Time Inc., are hoping to bring on sponsors for the app, but it also offers the magazine a potentially new revenue stream.

The app lets users bet money that they will win their match, although Sports Illustrated labels the bet an “entry fee,” and pays winners their money back plus their opponent’s bet minus a “contest management fee.” A successful $5 wager, for instance, reaps $9 for the winner.

“Our audience wants to play fantasy sports,” said Jim DeLorenzo, VP-general manager of Sports Illustrated Digital. “The mandate is to make the experience so easy that even my dad could use it.”

Thirteen percent of American adults take part in fantasy sports, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. And it’s big business in the U.S., where participants spent $3.38 billion on products, services and entry fees in 2012. Daily play is fueling much of the industry’s growth.

“It’s gotten more investment in the past two years than in the history of fantasy sports combined,” Paul Charchian, the fantasy sports association’s president,told Bloomberg in January.

For Sports Illustrated, the app is part of a broader digital push beginning Tuesday with the introduction of a redesigned desktop and mobile site and followed later in the week with the roll out of the streaming video network 120 Sports.

For the rest of the article visit Ad Age where this story was first published

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FanDuel CMO: ‘We Will Never See All 50 States Legalize Sports Betting’

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

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Every year a group of new states decides to legalize sports betting. FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger doesn’t think means there will be a day when his company can take bets from wherever it wants in the United States.

“I don’t think it will ever get to 50,” he told Pat McAfee on Thursday.

There are still 15 states where betting on sports is totally illegal. Raffensperger cited Utah as an example, saying that in some places, the opposition to gambling is built into the state constitution. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t expect progress to continue elsewhere.

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

McAfee theorized that the Covid-19 pandemic, while not a good thing, was beneficial in the effort to legalize sports gambling across the country. He asked Raffensperger if it created a culture where more people became used to connecting to the rest of the world on their phones.

Raffensperger answered that it certainly helped. Plus, it was a time when state governments needed to find new sources of income. Sports betting created a whole new tax revenue stream in a time when large sectors of the economy were shut down. That is why he is confident that a good chunk of the 15 holdouts will eventually embrace sports betting.

“This is really common sense legislation,” he said. “Everybody pretty much wants this to happen. It’s taking a black market that is unregulated and unsafe into a safe and regulated environment and it creates new revenue for the state.”

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Dan Le Batard: ‘Fox Gave $375 Million To Someone Who’s Not Interesting’

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady.”

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Reaction continued to pour in on Wednesday to the news that Tom Brady agreed to a massive contract to join the FOX NFL booth.

Dan Le Batard didn’t hold back. He said that $375 million is an absurd amount of money for anyone to make, but he did say that this is all part of a plan for the future Hall of Famer.

“He wants to conquer,” he said. “He’s going to want to conquer the next 20 years. He’s going to do it with a part-time job.”

Domination or not, Le Batard doesn’t think FOX thought much about making a deal with Tom Brady beyond name recognition.

“Tom Brady is not fun or interesting in front of a microphone, Stugotz,” Le Batard said. “They just gave $375 million to somebody who’s never said anything interesting.”

Le Batard added that even though Brady isn’t proven yet on the microphone as an analyst, Brady just being himself is the reason why he commanded so much money.

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady,” he said.

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Laurence Holmes: Only Shaq & Kenny Smith Get To Clown On Charles Barkley

“People need to start putting some respect back on Charles’s NBA career.”

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Charles Barkley accomplished plenty in his storied NBA career, with the only real shortcoming being he never won an NBA title.

The lack of a championship is often a go-to when people, including his Inside the NBA cohorts, want to try and talk smack about the Hall of Fame player. But Laurence Holmes of 670 the Score in Chicago says that there are only a few people who can actually get away with some of that kind of ribbing.

Holmes made that point on Wednesday when talking about a recent interaction Barkley had while he was a guest on the podcast The Pivot.

In the exchange, co-host Fred Taylor was trying to ask Barkley about whether he felt like he wasn’t getting the proper attention while playing on the 1992 Olympic basketball team commonly known as “The Dream Team.” The way Taylor phrased the question, Clark and Crowder jumped in trying to kid Barkley for not being as good as he actually was.

Holmes said it was just ridiculous for a broader swath of people to think Barkley never had much of a career.

“People need to start putting some respect back on Charles’s NBA career. Like, for real for real,” he said. “It’s alright for Shaq to joke about Charles not having rings…It’s not cool for the rest of us to act like Charles Barkley was trash.”

Holmes added that Crowder and Clark in that instance were out of line.

“This is not having context, and you feeling like you’re in on the joke,” he said. “You’re not in on the joke.”

The fact is, and Barkley says this in the clip, that Charles was likely the second-best player on that team behind Michael Jordan. By the time the Barcelona Olympics rolled around, Barkley was coming off an MVP season.

“Charles Barkley was not just some dude. He was THE dude for a while!” he said. “This is a league MVP. This is an 11 All-NBA. Not just the all-star game, All-NBA. And people get really comfortable jumping in on what are a lot of times like inside jokes about guys, and occasionally they have to be checked. I’m glad that Charles checked them.”

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