What’s up, Dawgs? Very quickly, I want to introduce myself to those of you I have not gotten the opportunity to run into on the forums. My name is Jeremy Reid. I live in Georgia about an hour North of Atlanta, although I grew up in Michigan so I am Big Ten Country. And like all of you, I am obsessed with sports and the idea of making money off of my sick, twisted hobby of spending hours researching anything and everything involved. Enough about me, (I do have a thread from Tuesday in the LuDawgs Welcome Center if you want to chat it up or anything else) the reason you are reading this is to find out a about the new kid on the block: WPS Fantasy. And I don’t blame you because our guest, WPS Fantasy‘s Marketing Director, Nick Osborn, is far more interesting than me. Nick handles “Analysis and Retention” among other things for WPS Fantasy and has taken the time to give us the skinny on Daily Fantasy’s newest platform.
Jeremy (LuDawgs): First, Nick thanks a whole lot from all of us at LuDawgs for taking the time to catch us up to speed on your brand new Daily Fantasy endeavor WPSFantasy.com.
Nick Osborn (WPSFantasy.com): No problem Jeremy, We are excited to be part of the LuDawgs community and want to thank the whole LuDawgs’ team and users for welcoming us.
LuDawgs: Let’s just start with telling us where fantasy sports come into play for you personally. Before rolling out the WPSFantasy platform were you an avid grinder, casual player or perhaps entirely unaware of DFS? I’m going to guess the rest of us are better off as long as WPSFantasy is keeping you busy and out of the lobbies!
Nick: Ha, well I don’t know if the lobbies are any safer, the grinders might wish I was in there more. I obviously played traditional season long fantasy leagues for many years until about 2 years ago a friend introduced me to DFS. I instantly loved the concept. But, I was no one to fear in the lobbies for sure, I’m too much of a sports fan and made tons of diverse lineups so I could have an interest in the games. Too much of a kid in the candy store mentality, I wanted to have every great player on one of my lineups.
LuDawgs: If you did play/do play now, what is your game of choice? Any success stories you would like to share or nugget of wisdom learned along the way that is worth passing on?
Nick: Double Up contests are by far my favorite. Finishing in the top half and you double your entry fee? I mean what’s not to like about that game concept? When I first started out I was only playing the big prize pool contests and would get close to the payout, but not close enough. I saw green and just kept shooting for it. So I switched strategies, and started playing the smaller entry field contests with just one large tournament in the mix. DFS can definitely provide extra income if you play wisely. With the double up contests I found it was a great way to hedge the larger field contests. I would say I play about 70% double up contests.
LuDawgs: I’m not a betting man (wait, yes I am), but if I were I would wager that you haven’t always had the fortune of working for a Fantasy Sports website in a mega-million dollar industry. An industry still in its infancy, I should mention. So what is the biggest perk now that you are part of that corporate culture?
Nick: Man if this is corporate culture, I don’t know what took me so long! Every day I get to work with an awesome group of people who are passionate about what they do. I know it sounds cliché but it’s the truth. Our CEO, Dan Donoghue, has to be the hardest working guys in the industry. He puts in some serious crazy hours. It’s great to be a part of a company where the founder is so hands on. I talk with Dan everyday about everything related to the site. I mean the guy is a machine. I’ll get text messages from him at 1130 on a Friday asking me if I like this or that. Sorry to side track there from your question but I guess that kind of answers it as well. The biggest perk is being able to work with a group of people who are passionate and devoted. They in turn make you work harder. Being part of a start up is such an awesome feeling. This is our baby and we get to watch it grow.
LuDawgs: What we are all dying to know is, say WPSFantasy was a star on a reality TV show with all the other DFS sites living under one roof (at the same IP Address??), what nickname would it receive from its peers? Assuming “The Situation” is off limits, of course.
Nick: Ha, well nicknames are earned so it would be tough to say. You can’t give yourself one. If I had to take a shot at it I imagine it would be something like “The Pest”. Being the new kid on the block in the DFS world I am sure our “Older” brothers would find a nickname along those lines for us. The leaders in the industry are probably not going to be huge fans of our no rake model.
LuDawgs: Thank you for that. I think we can all get behind “The Pest”; in the meantime we can surely get behind a “No Rake Program” of any kind.
LuDawgs: Well, Nick, as you mention the no rake model I think it’s time we talk about some of the nuts and bolts of your new DFS platform (WPSFantasy.com) and find out what it’s all about.
Nick: WPSFantasy is a daily fantasy sports site that gives users the freedom to customize private or public leagues with settings for entry fee, payout rules, salary cap, games and roster positions. In addition to allowing users to compete in daily leagues for cash prizes, WPSFantasy takes absolutely no rake from its “Pro” members, instead opting for a subscription model. A casual player can still play on the site with a rake, but obviously its encouraged to join as a “Pro” member.
LuDawgs: Now, I know some of us have already been made aware of the “No Rake Program” even before this interview, but deserves its due as it’s truly revolutionary and offers a tangible edge to the serious and casual players alike. You’ve mentioned it a couple of times now and I am sensing a theme here. It’s a big, bold move on your part and I want to allow you an opportunity to explain it in greater detail for us and really highlight its value. (What serious daily player wouldn’t be thrilled to see that Break-Even Percentage dwindle down a few notches?!)
Nick: We bounced the idea around a few times and finally decided to roll with it. We are a user first DFS site and this makes the most sense for any user that takes DFS seriously. With our “No Rake” option users instantly increase their chances of being profitable by roughly 10%. Think about it if you’re playing in say ten H2H games and you win six of them you break even on other sites. On WPS if you win six you actually profit. Sure not everyone is going to play 10 games a day but over the course of month users will easily surpass that amount. Basically if you play through more than $50 a month it would be fiscally foolish not to play at WPS. Let’s say you enter $100 every Sunday for a month so you play through $400. On other sites you’re only really getting to play with $360 because of the industry standard 10% rake. On WPS over the course of a month you get to play with $395 ($4.99 monthly subscription) that’s $35 worth of contests you can enter. Or over the course of a year $1,820 we save our users at that rate.
LuDawgs: Care to elaborate on how we can take advantage of playing out next event without any “Rake?”
Nick: Well, every new user to WPS gets two weeks rake free regardless. So everyone should at least check it out. Also this weekend (10/6/13) we have a $100 free roll going out for the LuDawgs’ Community. We hope everyone comes over to at least check that out.
LuDawgs: I am already signed up! That will certainly attract some curious DFS players and they won’t be disappointed for making the stop. Anyone who has taken the time to check in at WPSFantasy.com has seen firsthand the clean-finish of the interface and easy navigation. Besides getting a “gold star” for being so aesthetically pleasing, this DFS newcomer is loaded with a number of amazing features also unique to WPSFantasy. Nick, go right ahead and tell everyone just how you fine folks at WPS differentiate from any other DFS site they may currently play on.
Nick: I think our biggest thing is our mobile platform. Our mobile platform is just as crisp and clean as our desktop. We live in an age where people are always on the go. Being able to navigate a DFS site from your phone was a big issue to us. We think we have accomplished that pretty well. A user should be able to meet his friends at the bar Sunday afternoon and create a contest just for him and his buddies on the spot. With WPS it’s a simple process. Also on the desktop version of the site we have a unique feature Sunday mornings where our in house expert gives last minute advice. Every Sunday from 12-12:30 he is there to field questions and last minute advice. A lot of other sites don’t encourage sharing knowledge. We don’t have a problem with that as we think all of our users are smart enough to make their own decisions after analyzing all the information.
LuDawgs: And because I know there are plenty of other new features that we will have to check out on our own; what are you most excited to “show-off” to all of your first time visitors?
Nick: Well two things. For first time DFS players we just want them to see how easy and fun DFS can be. Our super clean and crisp interface hopefully brings that message across. For experienced users we really want to hammer home the fact of our “No Rake” option. I also really like our Friends/Rivals feature to challenge people you know quickly and to have them marked so you can find them in contests easier. Also, in contests users can pop out as many opponents’ lineups as they can fit on the screen to better gauge how everyone around you is doing all at once. And of course the ability choose your own roster positions, just looking at our NFL contest lobby this morning I noticed someone made a contest without a Kicker, because they clearly don’t like Kickers I’m assuming. But, giving you that option to make the contest exactly how you want it is a great thing for DFS.
LuDawgs: I was hoping you would hit on that, with the friends/rivals feature that tracks your record against specific adversaries it really seems like you guys know what drives a DFS competitor. From where I am sitting it’s a home run and I can’t wait for us all to see for ourselves. Remember everyone; LuDawgs Welcome $100 FreeRoll will take place this coming Sunday (10/6/2013) let’s make a strong showing. Maybe I will put together a custom contest too, with or without the kicker, gang? Thanks, again to Nick Osborn and the rest of the WPSFantasy crew for participating in our new sponsor interview and best of luck! Best of luck to the rest of you this Sunday! See you in the forums!