OPEN Sports Network (www.fantasylive.com), a premier producer of leading fantasy sports applications and official partner of FOXSports.com on MSN, is introducing two highly anticipated next-generation fantasy football games: Fantasy Live® Challenge and Fast Draft® Challenge. These exciting new fantasy products are being unveiled today by Mike Levy, founder and former CEO of SportsLine.com (now CBSSports.com).
Once sports fans are done drafting their season long fantasy football teams, they will be compelled to try these two exciting products that will completely transform the way they play fantasy football. Fantasy football players looking for competitive action each and every week – where they no longer have to wait through an entire season to win their fantasy league – will absolutely love these games.
Fantasy Live Challenge - Real-Time. Fantasy. Sports. This is the first-ever live substitution fantasy football game where users make unlimited, real-time roster changes - while games are in progress – during the 1:00pm ET NFL games. Fantasy knowledge combined with fast reaction time will reward users with cash prizes. All Fantasy Live Challenge games run in twenty minutes, so users have multiple chances to win every Sunday afternoon. Check it out for yourself and create or join a Fantasy Live Challenge group today! Check out our video for more about Fantasy Live Challenge | Watch Video (http://www.fantasylive.com/opinion/article/Fantasy-Live-Challenge-strategy-tips)
Fast Draft Challenge - Fast. Cash. Fantasy Games.™ This is a weekly commissioner type game for players who want action every week – and a chance to win cash – without the hard work of managing the same team all season long, especially if that team is losing. Have a live online draft on Friday with your buddies and go heads up on Sunday. Playing is simple. Users manage a team of seven players in a single week of NFL games. They assemble their team either through a live online draft or a salary cap structure. Score the most points and they could win a cash prize. With numerous options for style of play, size, price and prize, users can find a challenge that’s right for them. Get started today and create or join a Fast Draft Challenge group!
Mike Levy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Mike Levy is the founder and CEO of OPEN Sports Network, Inc., a next-generation sports internet service that offers breaking sports news, statistics, scores, social media tools, user generated content and fantasy sports applications. OPEN Sports recently entered into an agreement with FOX Sports to provide state of the art fantasy products on the FOXSports.com web site.
Prior to launching OPEN Sports, Mr. Levy was the Founder and CEO of SportsLine.com, Inc., a leading sports media company and publisher of CBS SportsLine.com, NFL.com, PGA Tour.com and NCAA Sports.com. Founded in February, 1994, SportsLine was listed on NASDAQ from November, 1997 through December, 2004 when it was acquired by CBS. At SportsLine, Mr. Levy forged alliances with CBS Sports, AOL, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, the PGA Tour, the NCAA, various players’ associations and many superstar athletes including Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Joe Namath, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Mike Schmidt and Wayne Gretzky.
SportsLine’s initial venture funding was through Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. Subsequent private investors included Reuters, TCI, US West and NY Life. Mr. Levy took SportsLine public in 1997 raising $32 million. In 1998, SportsLine raised $150 million in a secondary offering and in 1999 raised $150 million in a convertible bond offering. During the Internet boom years from 1998 to early 2000, SportsLine’s market cap routinely exceeded $1 billion.
In 1998, Mr. Levy was featured in a Forbes cover story with several other early internet company founders. He was also the subject of numerous articles in Fortune, Business Week and Forbes, was a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg and CNN, and an invited speaker at important Internet and media conferences.
From 1978 through 1993, Mr. Levy was CEO of Lexicon Corporation, a company he co-founded to develop and market the world’s first electronic language translator. Under Levy, Lexicon went on to develop data communications terminals for the Department of Defense and Fortune 500 clients, and financial transaction terminals for major credit card issuers, banks and large retailers. Sports-Tech International, Inc., a Lexicon subsidiary developed the video analysis systems which were used by a majority of NFL and NBA teams, and over 150 collegiate sports programs.
From 1969 through 1977 Mr. Levy held engineering design and management positions with Racal Datacom and Harris Corporation. Mr. Levy holds six patents for innovative high-tech products and received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1969.
Mr. Levy was selected as one of The Sporting News 100 most powerful people in sports for three consecutive years (1999-2001). In 1999, he was given the Annual Achievement in Technology and New Media Award by UJA Federation of New York. In 1998, Mr. Levy was inducted by Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. In 1997, Mr. Levy received the “Florida Entrepreneur of the Year Award” sponsored by Ernst & Young and the “1997 Interactive Entrepreneur Award” by the Interactive Services Association.
Rob Phythian, President
As co-founder and President of OPEN Sports, Rob Phythian is responsible for business development, advertising sales and strategic partnerships. Prior to OPEN Sports, Rob founded Fanball.com in 1998, the largest pure play fantasy sports website on the net. In addition to building Fanball into the largest fantasy destination site, Rob struck several key third-party relationships for Fanball that included major deals with Turner Sports Interactive and AOL. Fanball also powered all of the fantasy games for NASCAR.com and PGATour.com from 2001-07.
In 2005, Fanball was sold to FUN Technologies, a publicly-traded company. Rob stayed with FUN after the sale and was promoted to President of the sports division. The portfolio of sports companies that FUN owned -- Fanball, Don Best, Fantasy Cup and CDM Sports -- were managed by Rob during a period from 2005 until 2007. From 1994-98, Rob was the founder and owner of the first weekly fantasy sports magazine, Fantasy Football Weekly. In just three years of publication, FFW grew to a circulation of over 500,000 and garnered one of the highest sell-through rates of all sports titles in the industry.
Rob is a Graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Barry Carpe, Chief Product Officer
Barry Carpe is a business, sales and product development executive with over 11 years media, sports and entertainment experience in the Internet and cable television industries. Mr. Carpe most recently was Vice President and General Manager of Biap Inc., where he leveraged his experience to lead all aspects of Biap’s sports business, including strategy, planning, business development, product development, marketing and strategic partnerships.
Before joining Biap, Mr. Carpe spent over eight years with the AOL Sports division, at the time one of the largest online sports properties in the world. During this time, Mr. Carpe held key positions in business, sales and product development. During his time at AOL, Mr. Carpe also worked closely with AOL’s sales organization to develop custom sponsorship, branded entertainment experiences and promotions.
Mr. Carpe graduated with honors from the University of Hartford in 1994 with a degree in Business Administration.
Dave Marchetti, Vice President, Finance
David Marchetti joined Fanball.com in 1999 as part of the founding group for one of the largest fantasy sports sites on the web. In 2000, Mr. Marchetti became the head of operations for Fanball. In that role Mr. Marchetti helped architect, build, and manage a highly scalable fantasy sports site that produced more than 200 million page views a month during the NFL season. Fanball became profitable in 2002 and grew at a rapid rate until it was sold for $22 million in June of 2005 to FUN Technologies, a publicly traded company.
Mr. Marchetti stayed with FUN Technologies after the sale of Fanball and was responsible for all operations of the FUN Sports group, a division of FUN Technologies. Mr. Marchetti also helped expand the Fanball brand into Europe, and helped grow the customer support department, product monitoring group, Quality Assurance team, information technology staff, and developer team to meet revenue/customer growth.
In 2006 Mr. Marchetti became Director of FUN Technologies' In-game Stats division. In-game Stats was built to be a strong competitor to Stats LLC., by providing a level of service and product unmatched by its competitor. Mr. Marchetti managed the In-game Stats division up to the date of his departure in early 2007.
Available upon request
OPEN Sports believes the next wave of fantasy games and revenue will come from weekly and real-time participation gaming. This is the premise of our FOX Sports partnership and the goal of our product development for 2010 as we extend the games we develop for FOX Sports onto the FANTASY Live platform. The market is wide-open for these games, as is the support for the players who will adopt it. Much like the stock market, traders evolved from yearly and monthly trading, to weekly, daily, and hourly trading. Fantasy gaming is already headed in that direction, and FANTASY Live will lead the charge.