Fantasy sports games are big business–with over 10% annual growth in the business over the last five years and an estimated industry size of $1.7 billion by 2017, dominated by big billion-dollar names like ESPN and Yahoo. Smallish player DraftDay is trying to shake up the game and win followers from the bigger names with a much more casual business model tailored for the smartphone era and a big real-world prize for its users: $1 million.
“If you pick the Perfect Lineup, which is the top scoring player in each position for a weekend–we’ll pay you a million dollars,” DraftDay CEO Taylor Caby tells Fast Company. “It’s really hard to nail: Everybody thinks it’s not too hard to figure out who the best quarterback will be and we’ll go on from there, but that’s just not the case. But at the same time, everybody loves a shot at a million dollars.” It’s effectively a clever PR campaign to pick up new members to the site’s services.
The thinking behind the prize, which began in a 2011 edition of the PerfectLineup competition and inspired the NFL to release an incredibly similar game of its own, comes from a Caby’s expertise in gaming. His career includes making over a million dollars in online poker playing and founding poker training website CardRunners.
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