Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to catch up with the top dog of our newest sponsor site here at LuDawgs – and that my friends is Ballr CEO, Pete Skouras. Ballr is one of the newest sites out there to hit the daily fantasy sports scene and it’s clear to me after talking with Pete that they’re here for the long haul. Grab a seat and let’s learn a little bit about their team, their platform, and their vision for the Ballr experience.
Brian Rucker (LuDawgs) – First of all, let me take a moment to welcome you to the daily fantasy community in general! It’s an exciting place to be and I’m sure you’re fired up to be in the conversation with your latest creation. Talk to me a little bit about where your initial ideas for creating a DFS site came from if you will.
Ballr CEO, Pete Skouras (Ballr) – Thanks Brian! We’ve got a team of 19 superstars, and we’ve actually spent the past 7 years making cool web products for nearly 600,000 subscribers in various industries.
Most of our team happened to love fantasy sports, but we were frustrated with the DFS sites out there. We felt like none of them did exactly what we, as fantasy players, wanted and what we believed most fantasy players wanted.
We knew we could build a DFS game that, frankly, people would love more than what’s out there. Our existing team and funding allowed us to develop Ballr relatively quickly, go live for Major League Baseball 2014, and here we are. We’re thrilled to be putting our twist on things and making a big splash in the DFS arena. The growth and feedback we’ve seen in our first couple months has been incredible.
Thanks to the hundreds of LuDawgs members who have already come aboard and shown their support!
Ruck – 19 Ballr resources currently working for the company – that certainly says a lot right off the bat. Quite a large team for an outfit just starting to gain traction. To that point, what makes Ballr a legit contender in the ever growing DFS industry?
Pete – Ballr is a long-term commitment by our team to not just contend, but to lead and revolutionize the DFS industry. We’re challenging a lot of assumptions and oversights that other DFS sites have made.
The earliest DFS sites were just ported online poker applications. They brought with them complicated game lobbies and space alien terms like “freerolls, qualifiers, multipliers, satellites, double-ups, step-ups, hodowns, reacharounds” … things that have no translation to fantasy sports but that we’ve been force fed this whole time.
DFS sites born later just assumed this was the way to do things and mindlessly copied their predecessors – even using minor variations of each others’ domains and site names – and giving us the uninspired industry landscape and complicated barrier to entry that we all had to endure prior to Ballr.
Ballr shatters that copycat mold and flattens the barrier to entry, creating what I believe (and our several thousand users would attest) is the easiest, funnest, most lucrative daily fantasy sports experience.
Ruck – After I made my initial landing on the Ballr site, one thing that I came away with immediately is that your design team has made all super easy to get started! Was providing an intuitive user interface for your members one of the main focal points?
Pete – That’s great feedback, thank you!
It was THE main focal point … an easier interface for first-time players to start playing and win; an easier interface for experienced players to transition into and win MORE.
Ruck – One of my personal favorite features about the site is the “player news” section, which can assist users in determining “who’s hot and who’s not”. How often does this feature update and does it involve news about depth charts?
Pete – We wanted you to have that intelligence front and center each time you log in … bleeding edge updates that inform your draft and lineup choices.
It updates every 60 seconds. It doesn’t have depth chart information at this time, but look for that and more customization control over your Player News as the NFL season approaches.
Ruck – That’s awesome. Love it. Oh, really quick before I forget..does Ballr provide any sign up bonuses or any additional $ for referring friends?
Pete – Yes, absolutely. When you add your first $25 to your Ballr account, we’ll throw in an additional $50 for you to play with. Plain and simple.
Ruck – You said all I’ll need to do is deposit $25 and you’re just going to give me $50? Ha! Well if that’s not a killer reason for registering before finishing this interview, why else should the 3,200+ members at LuDawgs sign up for Ballr and give it a try?
Pete – If there’s any part of the other DFS sites you hate …
… if your eyes bug out each time you see their complicated game lobbies and space alien terminology …
… if you hate being herded into massive public game pools loaded with “ringers” who play 700 fantasy games a day because they don’t have anything better to do, making it next to impossible for you to actually WIN MONEY …
… then I’d love for you to try Ballr.
You’ve really got nothing to lose. If you lose your first game and don’t love us, then we’ll refund your money, no questions asked, and we’ll thank you for giving us a fair shake.
Ruck – Great stuff so far – is there anything else that you feel makes Ballr different from the other daily fantasy sites that may be more established at this point in time?
Pete – I’ve already suggested a few key differentiators, but more specifically:
Our Fantasy World Ranking system, along with fantasy point projections, allow you to gauge your competition before you enter a cash contest … allowing you to make better decisions and give yourself a greater chance to win.
We offer big payout games regularly, but we’re also putting a lot of emphasis on simple 2-player, 5-player, and 10-player games with friends. The core fantasy sports experience has always been built around buddies playing together, but this has been lost or relegated by other DFS sites. Ballr brings it back to the forefront where it should be.
Cross-platform app design has been a consideration for us since Day 1. You can draft, play, and win just as easily from your mobile device as you can from your desktop or laptop.
We believe our intuitive fantasy experience will create more daily fantasy players out of the 30 million people who play seasonal fantasy sports. And our simple game structure will create more winners; winning is the ultimate reward that creates committed players and a great DFS site.
We have a few other key differentiators that I’d like to keep close to the vest for now, but that you’ll see inside the Ballr app very very soon. Two of them will take the form of rewards for players who join us during this early phase, so I hope I’ve convinced the rest of the LuDawgs community to give Ballr a shot!
Ruck – It’s been great talking with you today, thanks so much for the time. Anything else before we go, Pete?
Pete – We offer free-to-play games (a.k.a. “freerolls” on other sites) for all players on a near-daily basis. Some come on over and check us out with no risk at all on your part.
Ruck – Well, LuDawgs. There you have it! It was great to catch up with Pete and I’ll speak for both of us when I say that we’re looking forward to seeing you in the draft lobby over at Ballr tonight!