Written by: FSTA Member
January 25th, Great day here at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association 2011 conference, Mirage Hotel Las Vegas, NV!
The buzz all morning was around the lead topic of NFL ‘s labor agreement with the NFLPA. Guest speakers included: Andrew Brandt, President National Football Post and Blake Baratz, President The institute for athletes.Both guys were sharp very well connected on both the player and NFL side of the business.
Over 170 fantasy sports companies/attendee’s (small, medium and Large) were on hand to listen, learn and ask questions. Thought it would be a great topic to blog about and it was clear there was lots to learn. Because we are in the fantasy football business this means a great deal to our business model, thus, something we will watch very closely.
Both Blake and Andrew had similar perspectives and what I walked away with were a couple of key observations from the speakers and the group as a whole.
1) Revenue Split is going to be the toughest to hurdle. The NFL is a nine billion dollar industry. That’s why the owners opted out on 3/8 when they realized during their last negotiations on 3/6 was giving up too much. Remember, not all owners are on the same page, so they have some internal work to do as well.
2) Everything (i.e. deadlines, tactics, negotiations) is fluid and will change based on how March 3rd passes. Lots of moving parts and things could change quickly and probably will.
3) It appears both sides want a rookie cap for the draft. That’s a good thing and should not be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
4) Free Agency will be Deep this year (both UFA,RFA 4-5 year guys combined) coming out, teams will have lots to choose from.
5) NFL Draft Date is a good progress point as it will impact one of the largest stakeholders- ESPN from a network perspective. The NFL does not want any negative press around their most coveted entry into a pro sport.
In speaking with other fantasy football/sports operators all of them were highly optimistic but what would you expect! More to come.