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Change is Coming: How the FCFL is Ahead of It

By Jennifer Rottenberg

Recently, Sports Business Journal columnists Rick Burton and Norm O’Reilly co-authored an opinion on the changes coming to professional sports globally, and essentially threw down the gauntlet, challenging them to make changes, lest they end up frogs boiled in frying pans!

In Change is Coming: How sports can embrace, grow with it, they offer the following five suggestions to the likes of the NFL, FIFA, IOC, NCAA, and others (we paraphrase):

  1. Protect content, figure out how to package it in an attractive way for viewers who want it on any (and all) hardware devices.
  2. Teach your children, as attention spans are shorter and participation in sports is less, and the young generations of today seek experiences and engagement.
  3. Embrace gambling, whether it’s fantasy sports or odds-making.
  4. Build up the social fabric of live events, because digital is no longer special and social is not an add-on.
  5. Consider moving the in-person experience to smaller stadiums and segmented experiences within venues.

These five points resonated with us at the Fan-Controlled Football League, as these elements for success have been baked into our DNA since our four co-Founders conceived of the league…let’s take a look:

  1. We’ve partnered with Twitch to offer an interactive streaming experience for all our live games that’s available on your phone, tablet, laptop, pc, or television – however you want to consume our games, they are there. And that’s before we even get to our proprietary app that allows every fan to vote and interact with the league on a daily basis.
  2. We’ve conceived of our games as a “smaller”, “gamified” version of football: 7-on-7, fast-paced, one-hour, start-to-finish, comprised of two 25-minute halves with a running clock. No time wasted on special teams. Our games are designed for short attention spans. Our Game Days are designed for everyone (four games per Game Day, so enjoy as few or as many one-hour nuggets as you’d like!). And, of course, you cannot get a more engaging viewing experience than influencing the very game you are watching by making live play calls.
  3. We’ve always said that the FCFL is part live sports, part fantasy sports and part esports. The action of building a team, serving as the GM, is at the core of the FCFL. From Day 1, we’re making the “fantasy sports experience” a “reality sports experience.” And, of course, let’s not forget that $1,000,000 championship prize purse!!
  4. We talk about the FCFL as “built for the Digital Fan.” Beginning with our conceit of having all teams hosted in – playing in – the same city, making the game day experience NOT about the in-person audience but about the broadcast viewers around the world, we have been keeping our eyes on the prize of delivering the most integrated and engaging sports fan experience by leveraging all of the interactive features of Twitch, social media, and our app.
  5. With our focus on the broadcast audience, our “home arena” will be the epitome of a “smaller in-person experience,” offering a unique and intimate perspective for those fans in attendance, coupled with some creative interactions with both fans at home and players on the field.

Burton and O’Reilly caution that a “tipping point is lurking.” We’re wondering if the FCFL has already tipped the scales?

Power To The FANS!

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Applications of FAN Token: Basketball

By Jason Chilton

FAN Token Worldwide:  The Fan Controlled Basketball League

The FAN Token Worldwide Series illustrates how the Fan Access Network (FAN) Platform and FAN Token could be used to drive fan engagement and enhance experiences in sports besides football and leagues around the world besides the Fan Controlled Football League.

NOTE:  This series does not state or imply that FAN Token will eventually be deployed in any or all of these scenarios.  Instead, it is simply intended to provide a vision for the possible future of fan-controlled sports.

A FAN Token Chronicle

October 18, 2022 – A Day in the Fan Controlled Basketball League

9:30 AM – Markus is putting the finishing touches on a trade proposal that figures to shake up his team’s season.  His team, the Dragons, is sitting on the edge of playoff eligibility in the Fan Controlled Basketball League.  A member of the Dragons’ Virtual Front Office, Markus is one of the fans who helps guide his team’s fortunes by scouting players and proposing roster moves.  Another Dragons fan, Aleksander, has recently created an advanced stats algorithm that measures a player’s Plus-Minus Impact per 100 shots. The algorithm shows that the Dragons’ point guard, despite gaudy topline stats, is hurting the team with inefficient play.  Markus proposes that the Dragons trade their point guard for another team’s guard who is a better perimeter defender and who doesn’t have to dominate the ball to get his offense clicking. Markus includes the statlines in his proposal and sends it out to the team’s fan base.  

11:30 AM – Stefanie’s mobile alerts her that there’s a potential trade to vote on.  She opens her FANchise mobile app to view the trade proposal and reads Markus’ writeup and the advanced stat profiles.  Even though she thinks the Dragons’ point guard is exciting to watch, the stats make a compelling case and she votes Yes on the trade.   

2:30 PM – Peter spends five FAN Tokens to purchase a “Wax Pack” of FCBL Player Tokens.  The Player tokens are non-fungible ERC721 tokens with different levels of rarity that unlock unique experiences as well as rewards sharing when the Player achieves per-game or full-season bonuses.  Peter “opens” his pack of Player Tokens and is excited to see that he received a Rare token for the Dragons’ star small forward! He knows that he could turn around and offer it on the league’s Token Trading Marketplace and get back more FAN Tokens than he spent on the entire pack, but he’s not about to give it up.

3:30 PM – Every Dragons fan gets an alert to their mobile phone – Markus’ proposed trade was approved by both teams’ fans, so they’ll be welcoming a new point guard to their roster.  Stefanie and the other fans who voted on the trade will receive a FAN Token Engagement Bonus, and Markus receives a substantial FAN Token reward for doing the work to propose an accepted trade.

6:00 PM – Peter is chatting live with the Dragons’ small forward during the team’s pre-game shootaround.  Holders of Rare player tokens are able to bid FAN Tokens on unique experiences, and Peter put in a winning bid for a five-minute chat with his favorite player.  As they trade stories, Peter overhears the small forward receiving instruction from H.O.L.G.E.R., the Dragons’ Virtual Shooting Coach. Dragons fans voted to spend part of the team’s FAN Token allotment on ShotSleeves – sensor-embedded fabrics that comprise a sleeve on the players’ shooting arm.  The ShotSleeves track the biomechanics of each shot, and a machine learning algorithm relays real-time feedback on any repeated flaws in the player’s shooting stroke which are then relayed through the Virtual Coach app.

6:45 PM – In one of the Dragons’ Twitch Extensions, Anja creates a prop bet that her team will make more than 6.5 three-pointers in the contest.  That is a full make more than their season average, but her review of the Heat Charts from their opponent’s last six games indicate that while they boast a strong interior defense, they have trouble recovering and closing out on shooters.  She places some of her FAN Tokens on the over, and fans from the Dragons as well as other teams place their own wagers on either side of the prop.

7:25 PM – The Dragons are trailing by three points at the start of the second quarter. Jonas reviews the custom Highlight and Stat Pack from the first quarter and realizes that while the team’s new point guard is managing the offense well, the opponent’s center is creating havoc when the Dragons try to score close to the basket.  A Virtual Assistant Coach in the team’s Virtual Front Office, Jonas recommends a Tactical Change to run more pick-and-pop plays in order to pull the opponent’s center away from the basket. Fans choose that option and it’s relayed into the team’s huddle before the second quarter begins.

8:15 PM – Midway through the third quarter, Dirk is on the team’s Discord Voice Chat imploring his fellow fans to consider another Tactical Change.  Dirk wants to go with a smaller lineup, allowing their best on-ball defender to come off the bench to challenge the opponent’s best shooter while also giving the Dragons a better chance at staying with their opponents on switches.   The move works – not only do they start getting stops on their opponent’s star, but the smaller lineup forces the opponent’s center out of the game and opens up more lanes to the basket. The Dragons’ small forward completes a three-point play with twelve seconds to go, and the team holds on for a hard-earned victory.

8:40 – The post-game voting is complete, and the Dragons’ small forward has been named the game’s MVP.  That award comes with a FAN Token bonus that is distributed to the player AND the fans who hold his Player Tokens.  Peter definitely isn’t getting rid of his Player Token now!

Power to the FANS!

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Professional Athletes Joining Forces with Blockchain

By Cody Alderton

Caroline Wozniacki is the latest superstar athlete to join the blockchain revolution, and she certainly won’t be the last. Forbes recently released an article about #2 ranked female tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki, and her latest exploration into the blockchain space.

“So where next to maximise her profile and income? Yes, blockchain of course and her ‘ambassadorial role’ with health app Lympo.” 

We are beginning to see athletes quietly make their way into various roles within the blockchain world, however at this point, only a few brave individuals have taken those steps. We are looking forward to a time when athletes and blockchain companies are more synonymous, but until then, we will commend those already on the train!

Lionel Messi, global soccer phenomenon became a brand ambassador for Sirin Labs, a blockchain company whose vision is to become the world’s leader in secure open source consumer electronics. This is no small feat for Sirin Labs, as a post from Messi on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is worth an estimated $500,000 each!

Floyd “Money” Mayweather showed his interest in blockchain in a couple of occasions on his social media when he posted Instagram photos promoting the Stox.com ICO and Hubii Network’s ICO. In Mayweather’s post about Hubii Network, he briefly describes the company saying, “Smart contracts for sports?!” It is easy to see the strategic partnership opportunities between Floyd and Hubii Network.

The Fan Controlled Football League is the perfect home for athletes looking to be more involved with blockchain and cryptocurrency. For any athletes looking to get involved, the FCFL is perhaps their best opportunity. Which athletes do you think are best suited to partner with the FCFL? Let us know as we continue to bring you a league that is truly powered by the FANS!

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New Alchemy Partners with and Invests in the FCFL

We believe FAN Token is the future of professional sports. Some experts in the space appear to agree! We are super excited to share with all of our FANS that New Alchemy, a leading consulting group in the blockchain industry, has partnered with us on the development of our first FAN Token application, the Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL). New Alchemy and the FCFL will work together to launch the league’s tokens and assist in developing the FCFL blockchain ecosystem. As part of this strategic partnership, New Alchemy Managing Director, Peter Vessenes, has invested in FAN Token, the FCFL’s official token ecosystem.

The first of its kind to be powered by the blockchain, the FCFL combines fantasy football and video games with all the excitement of an actual football game. The new league recently announced an exclusive, multi-year broadcast deal with Twitch and has selected IMG Original Content to produce all live game broadcasts.

Vessenes has deep roots in digital currency, tokenization, and blockchain technology. He founded the first U.S. venture-backed Bitcoin corporation, the International Bitcoin Foundation (an oversight organization for the Bitcoin community), and the original large-scale 65nm Bitcoin mining company. He also holds the fundamental patent for de-anonymizing Bitcoin transactions.

Peter currently acts as Managing Director of New Alchemy, a strategy and technology advisory group specializing in tokenization. New Alchemy coordinates successful ICOs for its clients by providing them with C-level strategy, smart contract development, project management, token game theory, and marketing services. A company that truly understands the disruptive nature of blockchain technology and tokenization, New Alchemy is shaping the blockchain industry’s impact on society. New Alchemy has quickly established itself as the leading consulting group in the blockchain/tokenization industry and is currently developing Deluge Network, the first service to allow users to directly contribute Bitcoin to an ICO without an exchange.

Vessenes said: “We are thrilled to be working with the FCFL to help bring their ideas to life. As a strategic partner and investor, we are excited to help trailblaze the future of sports by enabling fans from all over the world to experience managing a real team and see a direct impact from their decisions.”

Vessenes and New Alchemy will assist in developing the FCFL’s blockchain network and FAN Token ecosystem. Backed by a team of blockchain and cryptocurrency experts, New Alchemy has vast expertise in helping businesses create and launch new tokens and crypto projects.

Sohrob Farudi, Co-Founder and CEO of the FCFL, said: “New Alchemy’s experience and knowledge of the blockchain industry makes them a valuable partner for managing FAN Tokens and the online FCFL network. We look forward to working together to give the power back to the fans and are excited to have Peter come on board as not only an advisor and strategic partner, but also as a keystone investor.”

New Alchemy and the FCFL are working together to put fans in control of their favorite teams in the first real-world football league powered by the blockchain!

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Applications of FAN Token: Cricket

By Jason Chilton

FAN Token Worldwide: The Fan Controlled Cricket League

The FAN Token Worldwide Series illustrates how the Fan Access Network (FAN) Platform and FAN Token could be used to drive fan engagement and enhance experiences in sports besides football and leagues around the world besides the Fan Controlled Football League.

NOTE:  This series does not state or imply that FAN Token will eventually be deployed in any or all of these scenarios.  Instead, it is simply intended to provide a vision for the possible future of fan-controlled sports.

A FAN Token Fan Diary – Aarav and The Fan Controlled Cricket League

April 13, 2023:  It’s 10:30 at night in Delhi, but Aarav Patel is determined to wrap up one more scouting report before bed.  An avid fan of the Fan Controlled Cricket League’s Golden Lions, Aarav is also a member of the Golden Lion’s Virtual Front Office.  As a fan scout, he is putting together as many detailed scouting reports as he can on the more than 300 players who will be under consideration in the FCCL’s upcoming Player Auction.  The scouting report that Aarav is building now is for a young batsman and it includes numerical rankings on five key attributes as well as an array of statistics and video links to the player’s junior cricket highlights.  

Wrapping up the report, Aarav posts it to his team’s Player Database where it will join the other twelve profiles that he has created.  His team’s fans will be able to view the report as well as the aggregate ratings that he and other scouts have put together. Aarav receives a FAN Token bonus in his FCCL Fan Wallet for every completed profile, as well as additional bonuses as fans upvote his profiles for containing insightful content about the players he’s reviewed.

May 3, 2023:  In the midst of the FCCL’s annual Salary Allocation, Aarav is making a pair of bids on one of the talented batsmen that he had previously profiled.  Each team in the FCCL has an annual salary cap, and the team’s fans collectively decide how much to bid on each player. It’s a very strategic process – “all-rounders” who show great skill in both batting and fielding as well as talented bowlers can make a major difference in a team’s fortunes, but concentrating too much salary in star players can make it difficult to build a talented top-to-bottom roster.  The allocation process for this player has come down to the Golden Lions against one other team, and Aarav votes for the Golden Lions to increase their bid to the next increment. Since he is one of his team’s larger holders of FAN Tokens, his vote carries considerable weight and the team increases its bid. The other team bows out, and the player’s contract now belongs to the Golden Lions.

At the same time, Aarav is bidding some of his personal FAN Tokens on that player’s personal tokens.  When any player is signed to an FCCL contract, the League mints an allotment of Player Tokens for that player.  Players can accrue bonuses for single-game performances and full-season awards as well as championship bonuses if their team claims the FCCL Title.  Those -player-specific bonuses are paid out in FAN Tokens to the holders of that player’s Tokens, which will include the player himself as well as fans since the players make some of their Tokens available for fans to purchase.  Aarav decides that he’ll make a bid for 1,000 of the batsman’s Player Tokens at a rate of .05 FAN Tokens per Player Token. All of the bid amounts are calculated, and Aarav’s bid is high enough that he receives the full amount that he bid on. At the conclusion of the allocation process, 50 FAN Tokens are transferred from Aarav’s wallet to the player, and 1,000 Player Tokens appear in Aarav’s wallet. If the player performs as well as Aarav thinks he can, then they will both share in the rewards.  

May 19, 2023:  The Golden Lions played yesterday, but Aarav is still glued to the FCCL’s Twitch Channel watching the final overs of a match that will determine his Fantasy winnings for the week.  At the start of the week, Aarav chose to play a head-to-head Fantasy game against a randomly-selected opponent. They each wagered 20 FAN Tokens, and then bid on FCCL players to fill out their Fantasy roster based on per-player prices generated by a league algorithm.  Over the course of that week’s games, their lineups score points based on the individual players’ statistics and bonus achievements like hitting for 50 or a century, hitting multiple fours or sixes or taking wickets. Throughout that week’s games, an overlay in the Twitch stream has allowed Aarav to quickly check the status of his contest.  In the last over of the match, Aarav’s batsman hits a four and puts his Fantasy squad over the top. Once the results are verified, the FAN Token wagered on the matchup goes into Aarav’s Wallet minus a small percentage claimed by the League.

June 3, 2023: The night before a crucial match, Aarav is voting to set the Golden Lions’ batting order and determine the team’s twelfth-man selection from the bench.  A number of the team’s fans want to make a move in the lineup and demote one of the team’s star batsmen who has struggled in the past three matches. However, after reviewing some of the advanced statistics, Aarav is convinced that the player has been battling bad luck more than poor form.  According to the statistics, the player’s dismissal from getting bowled was due to a ball that featured exceptional movement, and in another match the player was caught out on a hard-hit ball that would have gone for runs in more than 90% of similar situations. Aarav makes his case on the team’s Discord chat and votes to keep the player at his customary spot in the batting order.  The majority of voting power agrees with the decision, and the player’s underlying skill shows through as he rewards his fans with a pair of sixes and a sparkling 56 runs for the match.

June 19, 2023:  Using a cool data plugin devised by another of the Golden Lions’ fans, Aarav is using advanced data to help guide his team’s defensive performance.  With one of the opponent’s most feared batsmen in the crease, Aarav selects an aggressive defensive alignment for the Lions’ fielders that increases the risk of runs, but also ups the chances of catching the batsman out.  He opts for such an aggressive setup because he thinks his bowler’s spin-heavy style plus the weathered condition of the pitch is likely to cause a mishit despite the batsman’s all-around skill. He calls for a slider that will break away from the batsman, and the bowler delivers a superb ball that glances off the edge of the bat and is snagged by one of the Golden Lions’ slip fielders.  Retiring such a dangerous batsman significantly increases the team’s chances of winning the match.

July 3, 2023: Aarav and his friends watch with glee as Aarav makes an appearance in the Golden Lions’ pregame broadcast on the team’s Twitch Channel!  Using the FCCL Mobile App, Aarav put together his own two-minute recap of the Lions’ dramatic win in the previous match featuring video recorded on his phone plus a selection of highlight clips that he chose through the league’s API feature.  His submission was chosen as the team’s FANCast of the Day, and Aarav receives not only a FAN Token bonus but also the thrill of appearing in front of his team’s entire fan base.

Power To The FANS!

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Engaging the Active Viewer in the Age of the Smartphone

By Sohrob Farudi and Tom Segal

Stop me if you’ve heard this before (no doubt, you have): media consumption, particularly video-based media, is increasingly becoming an active experience for viewers; and in order to create compelling media moving forward in the era of the smartphone, producers must account for this new paradigm in consumption habits.

Despite the narrative of the lazy millennial, the reality is that young consumers thrive on perpetual engagement – both through the customization of their content and through constant decisive stimulation, like any good video game. What seems at a distance to be a kid staring dead-eyed into a rectangular iVoid is in fact a person rapidly acquiring new information on the fly. Chuck Klosterman recently commented on the effectiveness of Twitter being the idea that, any time you look away, there is something wonderful and fresh to be found when your gaze returns to your feed: a distinctly 2018-level psychology that has now seeped its way into any form of content worth consuming.

As far as live programming goes, sports is clearly the king. The Super Bowl (and NFL in general) dominates like no other. Social media as a vessel for discussion and reflection on the action in real time has become the default method of viewing for many. The NBA in particular has embraced the value of an active fan base excitedly sharing ideas and videos – while providing free advertising for the product and presenting additional opportunities to be marketed to by paying advertisers – to the point that “NBA Twitter” has become a defined culture of its own.

It should come as no surprise that fantasy sports has become a multi-billion dollar industry, and one that is increasingly becoming a core element of the sports viewing experience. Fantasy sports presents its own form of customization outlet – build your own team and show how much better you are than everyone else! After being treated as something of a nerdy sideshow for years, broadcasters and leagues now directly incorporate fantasy elements into their product on the front end. NFL broadcasts now prominently display updated fantasy stats on the ticker at the bottom of the screen and feature in-game updates geared toward the fantasy player: a desperate attempt to steal the gaze of the viewer who is otherwise furiously refreshing their ESPN Fantasy app on their phone or scrolling through the myriad browsers opened on their computer.

Then there are video games, whose effect on all-things consumption continues to accelerate. Ask any teacher about the term “gamification” and prepare for a sigh. And video games themselves continue to evolve as a format: this effect will soon be reflected in other video content. Video games were once a linear experience – literally. Think about the early Mario games, where the goal was simply to get from one side to another; from the left side of the screen to the right. And now consider what modern Mario environments (or GTA, or any number of story-based first person games) look like – massive worlds ripe for exploration where the user may not even follow the directive storyline allotted to their character.

The next logical direction is for a sports league to integrate all of these use cases – fandom, fantasy sports, video games, etc. – into a single product, where a digitized, decentralized front office maintains complete control over decision-making and is compensated for successful engagement accordingly. Someone should look into this…

This active viewer model goes beyond even sports, as fictional television series continue to understand the value to be derived from an active viewer through hashtags capturing user-generated promotions and apps that literally guide viewers through the stories that they are watching – anything to avoid the fate of a DVR-induced fast-forward through advertising. In order to create truly rich stories, there is a complexity inherent that sometimes requires groupthink to fully embrace. Who among us could possibly have understood what was going on in Westworld without Reddit threads? Good content increasingly relies on an audience getting itself educated, particularly those broadcast in serial format.

And let’s not forget the massive integration of live viewer voting into such unscripted competition ratings hits as NBC’s The Voice, which has been leading the way since 2013.

Even MBA courses at Harvard have live-tweeting as a requirement.

According to an eMarketer survey on consumption habits, 51% of television viewers in 2014 used their smartphone while simultaneously watching their favorite shows or sports (the so-called “second-screen experience”). By 2017, that figure grew to 74%, and that total will undoubtedly approach 100% moving forward (until Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg has figured out how to merge these experiences into one seamless screen, RIP Google Glass).

We are embarking on a cultural revolution wherein technology and connectivity allow us to capture ideas, energy, and dollars like never before. We also have a new generation whose life experience necessitates immediate and seamless engagement. This combination presents an unparalleled opportunity for content creators and distributors. The audience will increasingly become receptive toward opportunities to interact, and in fact will demand that this be a natural component to their video consumption experience. It is only a matter of time before cinemas drop that disclaimer at the beginning of all movies telling you to put your phone away, though this remains the last bastion of freedom from the connected viewer.

The smarter we can be about implementing intelligent engagement practices on the front end, the more likely we can avoid a fate of Mike-Judgian proportions in this brave new world.

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FCFL Makes its Home on Twitch.tv

Have you been wondering: Where will I be able to watch the FCFL? Well, we’ve got your answer: We’ve signed a multi-year exclusive broadcast deal with Twitch for the 2019 & 2020 seasons!!

All FCFL games will be live-streamed on Twitch, the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers and eSports, available on mobile, desktop, and tablet. The FCFL has also teamed up with two industry titans: IMG Original Content and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) who will be supporting the league with their unparalleled expertise in sports and entertainment.

Via a custom Twitch Extension, which is a Twitch-exclusive feature used to create interactive video overlays for viewers on desktop and in the FCFL app, fans will call all of the plays in real time for the eight teams in the new league.  The outcome of each fan vote will be relayed to the quarterback and executed on the field. In addition to play calling, the FCFL is putting fans in the General Manager role for the first time in sports, allowing them to determine each team’s name, logo, coach, and the players that make the roster. It’s a video game brought to life and built from the ground up for Twitch.

“Twitch is the ideal service to marry a digital viewing experience with an interactive voting, sharing, and discussion mechanism,” said Sohrob Farudi, Chief Executive Officer of the FCFL. “The FCFL is the first real-life video game and digitally-native sports league that thrives on fan interaction with players, coaches and other fans, and interaction with the games being played on the field. There is no better service to host the world’s first interactive, fan-controlled sports league than Twitch.”

Twitch is the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers. Each day, millions of community members gather to watch, talk, and chat about shared interests. Twitch’s video service is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for all types of content, including the entire video game ecosystem, the creative arts, vlogging (IRL), and more.

“Twitch is the epicenter for innovation when it comes to adding live interactive elements to entertainment,” said Eric Brunner, Sports Lead of Content Acquisition, Twitch. “The Fan-Controlled Football League illustrates this by being the first traditional sport that lets Twitch viewers control the plays being made on the field. Given the premise of their league, it made sense to partner with the FCFL to ensure our global audience can see the future of fan-driven sports.”

The FCFL’s eight teams will all play in the same ultra-high-tech, state-of-the-art production studio. Games will be one-hour in length, creating a more bite-sized array of content for fans to consume. The FCFL will feature seven-on-seven competition on a 50-yard field, creating a fast-paced, open style of play conducive to an action-packed sixty minutes of football. A $1,000,000+ prize purse will be shared between the players, coaches, and fans of the championship team.

IMG Original Content will produce all of the live game broadcasts. IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.

The FCFL is truly revolutionizing the fan experience,” said Michael Antinoro, SVP Programming and Production, IMG. “We are excited to be a part of this game-changing league and look forward to telling the compelling stories of the games, the players, and most importantly – the fans.”

FCFL Co-Founder and Chief Gaming Officer Patrick Dees further added, “We are reinventing the sport of football for the digital age: games will be faster, shorter, more accessible, and fan driven.   What better place to showcase that experience than on Twitch, where interaction is core to their ethos.”

Twitch + Football = Fan Controlled Football!!

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Applications of FAN Token: Baseball

By Jason Chilton

FAN Token Worldwide:  The Fan Controlled Baseball League

The FAN Token Worldwide Series illustrates how the Fan Access Network (FAN) Platform and FAN Token could be used to drive fan engagement and enhance experiences in sports besides football and leagues around the world besides the Fan Controlled Football League.

NOTE:  This series does not state or imply that FAN Token will eventually be deployed in any or all of these scenarios.  Instead, it is simply intended to provide a vision for the possible future of fan-controlled sports.

A FAN Token Fan Diary – Hyun-Woo and The Fan Controlled Baseball League

March 18, 2022:  In the midst of the Fan Controlled Baseball League’s Pre-Draft Tryout Camp in Busan, South Korea, Hyun-Woo Park is watching every pitch of that afternoon’s exhibition game.  The FCBL team he supports, the Knights, finished third last year during the league’s inaugural season before bowing out of the playoffs on a dramatic walk-off home run. Two of their best international players are no longer with the Knights this season, however, so Hyun-Woo knows that they’ll need an influx of quality talent if they want to insure a return to the playoffs.  

The FCBL is a high-scoring league – in its inaugural season, it averaged almost as many runs per game in its shortened seven-inning format as the Korean Baseball Organization did in its nine-inning games.  Hyun-Woo feels like the middle of the Knights’ batting order is strong enough to contend, but he wants the team to improve its below-average defense and pitching to keep opponents from putting up too many big innings this season.  A member of his team’s Virtual Scouting Department, Hyun-Woo has been submitting player scouting reports to his team’s Player Database throughout camp. Of the seven reports he’s submitted so far, six of them have been focused on shortstops, center fielders and relief pitchers.  As he’s about to log off, Hyun-Woo sees that the league has dispensed some FAN Token into his FAN Wallet for creating his scouting content.

April 1, 2022:  In the second round of the FCBL Player Allocation Draft, Hyun-Woo covets a speedy center fielder and is working to convince some of his team’s other superfans to see things his way.  

The FCBL gives each team a set number of premium salary slots for signing and retaining the best players.  During the Allocation Draft, teams take turns nominating players to sign to one of their premium salary slots before filling out the rest of their roster with standard-salaried players.   Once a player is nominated, another team’s fans can vote to sign that player to a higher premium salary slot – if they do, they’ll get that player’s services unless the nominating team chooses to offer that player a higher salary slot.  If two or more teams are each offering the same level of salary slot to a player, their fan bases each bid with FAN Tokens and the highest-bidding team receives the player.

Hyun-Woo had staked the required amount of FAN Token to become an official member of the team’s Fan Executive Board, and he contributes a portion of that FAN Token supply to his team’s bid.  He manages to convince the other members of the Knights’ Fan Executive Board to make bids as well, and the Knights end up winning the player.

Most of the FAN Tokens in the winning bid go to the player with the FCBL returning the rest to its FAN Token Marketing Fund.  But Hyun-Woo and his fellow Board members will get something more for their bids than just the satisfaction of helping to improve their team.  They also receive an allotment of the player’s personal tokens, which are created by the FCBL for every rostered player. The players trade some of their personal tokens to fans in exchange for FAN Tokens and retain the rest.  The league pays out additional FAN Token for player-specific performance bonuses as well as postseason bonuses, and that FAN Token accrues to the holders of the player’s token. If Hyun-Woo’s instincts about the Knights’ new center fielder are correct, he’ll stand to earn back his bid and then some by the end of the season.

April 25, 2022:  As camp draws to a close, Knights fans are choosing the makeup of the team’s final roster.  Fans submitted their own preferred rosters, and the full fan base is now voting on the three finalists which received the most upvotes in the first round.   Hyun-Woo’s chosen lineup is one of the three finalists. His lineup added one extra relief pitcher in place of a position player due to Hyun-Woo’s belief that the ability to use specialized relievers in high-leverage situation will save the Knights more runs than a reserve outfielder will generate with his bat.

May 9, 2022: One week into the season, Hyun-Woo downloads a range of player movement, batted ball and play results data from the FCBL’s open data API.  He believes that better defense is a key to victory, but quantifying defensive skill is still a challenge for baseball’s most dedicated sabermetricians.  Hyun-Woo has some ideas on that score, though, and begins building a couple of algorithms and structuring the data to see what kind of insights he can generate.

June 3, 2022:  In the bottom of the 6th inning with the Knights clinging to a one-run lead, Hyun-Woo considers his vote for the reliever’s next pitch.  He isn’t the only data-savvy Knights fan – one of his fellow Fan Executive Board members has built a pitch selection algorithm that factors in data from each pitcher and batter’s previous performance to suggest the best pitch for each situation.  He agrees with the algorithm’s selection – a slider low and away – and makes his vote. All the votes are tabulated and the system determines the winning vote. In the stadium, a device on the catcher’s wrist vibrates to give him the call, and he relays it to the pitcher and sets up low and outside.  Strike three!

After the game, Hyun-Woo receives a Skill-Based Bonus for his pitch votes – on the 33 pitches where his vote matched the winning pitch call, Knights pitchers enjoyed a stellar Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) mark of 3.22.

June 21, 2022:  Hyun-Woo is watching a Knights game on the FCBL Twitch Channel and laughing so hard that he can barely breathe.  Two weeks earlier, Hyun-Woo appeared on his friend Syung-Yeop’s Twitch channel. Syung-Yeop is an avid eSports player with a sizable following on Twitch, and he’s also a rabid Knights fan who has started co-streaming some of the FCBL’s Twitch broadcasts and adding his own commentary.  After a Knights player doubled off the wall, Hyun-Woo had made up an on-the-spot cheer in the vein of the raucous, organized chants that echo throughout the stadium during FCBL games. He was just being silly, but the comments section of Syung-Yeop’s channel immediately exploded in appreciation.  The next day, a thread about the cheer complete with a .gif popped up on one of the Knights’ most popular fan message boards. Three days ago, the hosts of the Knights’ pre-game show performed the cheer during one of their segments. And now, Hyun-Woo sees that the Knights have created a custom Cheermote from the original .gif that fans can use to cheer on the team in the channel’s chat window!       

July 18, 2022:  Kyun-Woo beams with pride at the output of the algorithm he’s been developing using the FCBL’s data API.  Called Vector and Position-Adjusted Playmaking (VAPAP), it takes into account players’ starting positions on the field relative to the vector (speed and direction) of each ball hit in their area as well as the result of the play (base hit, fly out, throwout or error) to determine which players at each position are truly the best at covering ground, preventing hits and making outs.  He’s excited to see that his intuition on his team’s speedy rookie centerfielder paid off, since he ranks third among all FCBL outfielders in Kyun-Woo’s algorithm.

He also uses insight from the algorithm to suggest a trade.  Another team in the league, the Monarchs, has a shortstop with a mediocre defensive ranking on outs in his general zone but who looks much better on VAPAP.  The data shows that he has great range and makes plays on balls that would normally get into the gap, but that he’s facing harder-hit line drives than most players and probably also suffering from poor pre-pitch positioning that makes it harder to reach certain balls.  Hyun-Woo makes his case on the team’s message board and proposes a trade. Monarchs fans agree to the trade, and the Knights have themselves a defensive upgrade at shortstop.

July 23, 2022:  On the day before the FCBL trade deadline, Hyun-Woo is considering a trade proposed by another Knights fan who has created an algorithm of her own.  The proposal is to acquire the backup catcher from another team who has been sitting based on a poor defensive reputation – he is regarded as below average at calling games and “framing” borderline pitches for strikes, and he also has a mediocre throwout rate for runners stealing second base.  

However, Eun-Jiu, the Knights fan who proposed the trade, makes a compelling case.  The catcher’s poor game calling skills aren’t much of a factor in the FCBL since the fans are calling almost every pitch!  What’s more, pitch framing is a less important skill in the FCBL since a committee of Fan Executive Board members holds weekly review meetings with the league’s umpires to review made and missed calls.  According to the data, FCBL umps have gotten much better about not being “fooled” by pitches that were out of the strike zone but framed well. The real kicker, though, is what Eun-Jiu’s algorithm says about the catcher’s throwout ability.  Her algorithm called Glove To Tag (GTT) simply measures the time between the impact of a pitch in the catcher’s glove and when the tag is applied by the fielder to the runner attempting to steal. It strips out how well or poorly a pitcher holds runners on second and whether the catcher has faced an unusually fast set of base stealers and focuses entirely on what’s in the catcher’s control – quickly delivering an accurate throw to second base.  On that metric, while the sample size is somewhat small it appears that the catcher in question may in fact have one of the best arms in the league! Convinced, Hyun-Woo votes in favor of the trade.

August 12, 2022:  The last day of the FCBL regular season fell on Hyun-Woo’s birthday, and so he decided to treat himself.  He had bid some of his FAN Token on a unique experience – the chance to take batting practice with the Knights in their final game before the start of the playoffs.  He had the winning bid, and so finds himself at the plate with the team’s third base coach throwing from the mound behind a screen. After a couple of foul balls, Hyun-Woo lines the third pitch sharply into left center.  He then hears a commotion in the first base dugout, as several of the Knights’ players have started performing the cheer he created! As he steps out of the batters’ box with a grin splitting his face, Hyun-Woo thinks,

“Some days, it’s good to be a fan.”  

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Which Team Has The Best Uniforms In Football?

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Nike and the NFL have reached an agreement to extend their partnership where Nike will continue to be the supplier of uniforms and apparel for the NFL. This comes as no surprise as we have seen some pretty awesome uniforms worn by our favorite teams throughout the years, and who better to supply them than arguably the most dominant sports apparel retail giant on the planet?

We are looking forward to seeing what cool designs Nike has in store for all 32 NFL franchises in the coming season. In the meantime, here are some of our favorite football uniforms that we’ve seen take the field!

#5 – Los Angeles Rams (1970’s-90’s)

#4 – Pittsburgh Steelers 1934 Throwback Uniforms (2017)

#3 – Orlando Thunder (World League American Football 1991-92)

#2 – Seattle Seahawks Color Rush (2016-17)

#1 – Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (IFL 2017)

If only the NFL allowed it’s fans to design team uniforms like the FCFL… Let us know if your favorite uniforms made the list and which teams you think have the best uniforms!

Power To The FANS!