Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

RotoHog

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Type of site  Fantasy sport
Registration  Required to play
Commercial  Yes
Launched  2007
Owner  Sports Composite DE, Inc.
Website  www.rotohog.com/corporate

RotoHog is the consumer facing Fantasy Sports website for Fastpoint Games, a digital platform developer that designs, implements and markets fantasy services for media and advertising partners. The company builds, delivers and manages co-branded fantasy sports games for major media companies, sports companies and professional sports leagues.

Contents

Their signature stock exchange game is a budget-based, high-roster-turnover style fantasy sports game that combines traditional fantasy scoring with a stock market-style trading floor for baseball, basketball, American football, and Association Football (soccer). The company also delivers traditional commissioner and pick-em style fantasy sports games.

RotoHog has also branched out to entertainment games with the Rose Ceremony game for the Reality TV show The Bachelor and the Us Weekly Celebrity Fantasy League.

Fantasy Game Platform

RotoHog is also the provider of nba.com's NBA Stock Exchange and commissioner games and Brazilian media company Grupo RBS's first ever Fantasy Soccer game. In 2009, RotoHog began to provide games for Fox Sports en Español and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tour.

In June 2009, RotoHog closed a multi-year deal with Sporting News to power the sports media company's suite of fantasy sports games. Sporting News VP Jeff Gerttula commented, "In order to take our games to the next level, we wanted to align with somebody intensely focused on the space, was committed to a strong [business-to-business] solution, and wasn’t satisfied with developing the same old off-the-shelf products,"

In March 2010, RotoHog began powering the MySpace Bracket Challenge for the 2010 NCAA college basketball tournament. At the same time, the company announced that it would be launching its first commissioner-style baseball game on its own site.

Like most fantasy sports games, the core elements of RotoHog's flagship stock exchange game involve building a team and setting a line-up to earning points. To this traditional core game, RotoHog adds a liquid market for players that all team managers use to trade players. Players can be traded at almost any time and player prices reflect up-to-the minute supply and demand. This trading system removes many of the problems with unfair trades or collusion between managers that can occur in traditional fantasy games.

RotoHog also provides a social networking platform that allows users to compete in unlimited size leagues grouped by location, team allegiance, company affiliations, or local watering holes in addition to smaller traditional private leagues made up of a dozen or so friends. This social networking platform allows diverse groups to create custom leagues for their members. For example, the non-profit group Hire-a-Hero used RotoHog as a way to help military veterans connect with each other and transition back to civilian life. RotoHog have agreed to donate a portion of the advertisement revenue received from the Military Fantasy Football League (MFFL) to the Hire-a-Hero program. They have also decided to donate the $10 received for their premium statistical service, with which users can register to receive the latest news, injury reports and scouting reports from the site.

Prizes

RotoHog has awarded various prizes include cash to the top teams in weekly, monthly and season long contests. The 2007 Baseball and Football champions won $100,000 each.

The owner of the second place Football team won $25,000, and third place $10,000. The remaining top 100 finishers also earned cash prizes.

Strategy

RotoHog-specific game strategies used by some players include the following:

  • Make money trading on fluctuations on player prices early in the season then use the extra cash then play the best players later in the season.
  • Play hunches on undervalued players based on scouting and analysis of team match-ups.
  • Rely on ability to make real time trades to make daily roster adjustments
  • Comparisons with other Fantasy Sports games

    RotoHog differs from other fantasy sports games in several ways:

  • Player trading floor prices continuously change based on the buying and selling behavior of team managers. Pricing in other games is either set by the game provider or is based directly on the on field performance of the players.
  • Team managers can increase their initial budget by purchasing players who they think will appreciate in value and selling them for a profit. Traditional salary cap games do not allow managers to profit from transactions.
  • Team managers have an unlimited number of transactions and can make roster changes up until just before games start. Traditional games only allow managers to make a few trades per season and often require managers to set their line-ups a week at a time.
  • RotoHog differs from fantasy sports stock simulations in that the goal of the game is to score the most fantasy points by fielding the best team of players. Stock simulation games focus on increasing your portfolio value by anticipating price movements of players.

    Criticisms

    As a hybrid between traditional fantasy sports games and fantasy sports stock simulations, there are many predictable ways for team managers to increase their budgets through day trading. These managers can then assemble teams with essentially no budget constraint. This gives managers with the time to play the market a financial edge over managers who do not.

    Company, financing and sponsorship

    Sports Composite DE, Inc., the company that operates the RotoHog website, was founded by entrepreneur David Wu and Wharton Business School Professor Kent Smetters in 2006 and is based in Inglewood, California. Kelly Perdew, winner of The Apprentice Season 2, was named CEO in May 2008.

    The company raised $6 million in its first venture round in August 2007. This funding was raised via DFJ DragonFund China and Mission Ventures, with additional investment coming from Allen & Co. and SCP Worldwide. StubHub, an online marketplace, co-founder Jeff Fluhr also invested in the online firm.

    The company raised an additional $2 million in March 2009. The round was led by Mission Ventures and DFJ Dragon.

    The company's board of directors includes Leo Spiegel of Mission Ventures and Andy Tang of DFJ DragonFund China.

    Sports Composite DE, Inc. earns revenues from advertising and optional statistical packages. RotoHog leagues and competitions have been sponsored by ex-American football player Marshall Faulk and hall of fame baseball players Fred Lynn, Wade Boggs, and Ozzie Smith.

    In December 2008, RotoHog along with domain name company, GoDaddy.com, launched an NFL Playoff Game on Facebook. RotoHog used the game to entice users to play other its other games, while GoDaddy used the game to gain exposure to the RotoHog and Facebook communities while supporting its Super Bowl ad campaign.

    In April 2009, RotoHog developed an exclusive partnership with RazorGator that will allow RotoHog users to purchase tickets to live events through the global ticket reseller.

    Awards

    RotoHog has been the recipient of the following industry honors:

  • 2009 Fantasy Sports Trade Association Baseball Stats Projection Accuracy Award
  • 2009 Fantasy Sports Trade Association Football Stats Projection Accuracy Award
  • 2009 AlwaysOn OnHollywood Top 100 Media and Entertainment Companies: Enabling Technology category Winner
  • 2009 Tech Industry Awards: Entertainment & Gaming category finalist alongside Future Ads, and category winner Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
  • References

    RotoHog Wikipedia


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