We’ve had another exciting year at FantasySharks thanks
to all your efforts.
There are a lot of dedicated people that make this site
Writers, editors, podcasters,
projections guys, forum posters, forum moderators, our forum advisory board, Pat
Smith for running the Shark Leagues, Rob Schare for keeping the front side of
the house glued together, Paul Fountain for our ‘look’, Bill Leonard for our
contests, Sean Vostinar for his exciting Who Sharks are Starting app with more
to come.., Greg Labonte for programming and countless other contributions from
people that just dream it and do it.
That’s what this site is all about, if you have a dream, if you have a
voice, if you have a talent and you want to put it on top of one of the biggest
and most active fantasy football communities on the web that we’ve all had a
hand in building, we’re happy to give you a home, support you and compensate you
for what you do.
The spirit is involvement and my hope is that the final product ends up
being a useful service to the fantasy football community and a location on the
web where good people come together, help each other and in the end, win a few
We try to put
out a product that you can trust as we really do care and really do try our
level headed best to get it right.
From an industry perspective, many established fantasy sites witnessed
their growth and revenue numbers flatten for the first time with prevailing
wisdom blaming the state of the receding economy.
Sports and Entertainment are two industries
that are thought to be recession proof but I think what we’re seeing is that
they are recession resistant since as an
industry, we just aren’t seeing the dramatic growth numbers we once did.
Most established sites were lucky to have
growth and it’s a prevailing thought in the industry that while the fantasy
sports market isn’t completely saturated today, we’re approaching that level and
will likely hit market saturation in the next three years.
Barrier to entry into the fantasy sports
space has scaled into the millions of dollars in funding to establish an
economically viable fantasy sports presence on the web.
Those that are in the stream and are already
established, have a much easier road than those trying to enter as the cost
to acquire traffic has become expensive.
I’m happy to report
that given our longevity and traffic, FantasySharks.com is well positioned for continued growth and viability as
a preferred fantasy football information site. Thanks for making the dream a reality.
We had good growth this year, some of the better growth
among our peers.
In a direct apples to
apples comparison with the sites I look at as our counterparts, we were in the top
three, swapping between the #2 and #3 position most of the season.
We did well for ourselves with a respectable
18% growth in the number of people that visited us this year and our
user retention rates are strong.
Even after planning for anticipated growth in 2008, we had to upgrade and
add on to our hardware on the fly to handle the extra load this season. While
we had our issues as well, I give us a good solid B+ for how we competed in the
industry and for how well we met the challenge.
We pushed out our content to USAToday, MyFantasyLeague.com,
FantasyPlayers.com, Sprint and a number of other sites. We added new writers
this year and geared up content as we pushed out a lot of quality, timely pieces
that helped shape the fantasy football community.
It takes a lot of dedication to produce
something weekly for others to benefit from but we did it for a long pre-season
and 17 straight weeks of the NFL season with tight deadlines during holiday
weeks, power outages, technical issues, locust swarms .. OK, maybe there weren’t
swarms but some weeks it felt like it.
In the end though, we still had a smiling face on the front page with
well thought out commentary and advice to help fuel the fantasy community. It’s hard to under state that achievement and what goes into making something
like this go.
The forum continues to be one of our crowning achievements and really,
you guys that post and give “Who Should I Start?” advice and put on display that
a community forum doesn’t have to degenerate into infantile slander are to be
There are a lot of folks that
care deeply about the Tank, it shows and I can’t thank you enough for
recognizing what we can be and then following through on that commitment.
The web is an anonymous place but yet so many
choose to make a positive difference and just be good people and I
really can’t express fully how satisfying that is to me personally.
All I can really say is, “Thank You.”
I know we have our challenges as a community
with the occasional rogue spammer, the occasional public blow up between a
couple of members, we’re a family of strangers all trying to co-exist somewhere
where you’re judged on your opinions and actions and I am proud to say that we
passed the test in 2008.
Our affiliation with MyFantasyLeague.com and the Coach
tools (automated draft and lineup helper tools) we provide has been a plus for
us, as many in their community have made them an indispensable part of their
weekly fantasy ritual.
Shark Leagues were once again hosted by MyFantasyLeague and down the road we are
going to see many benefits for both communities thanks to this
We’re excited about what
we’ll be offering in 2009 in conjunction with MyFantasyLeague.com.
You’re just going to have to wait and see on
For 2009 we’re finally going to get a little more serious
We have good IDP coverage
but anyone who plays with individual defensive players and uses FantasySharks
knows we could improve the breadth of what we offer and we will.
We’ll add IDP’s to our Lineup Coach
and Draft Coach tools as well as better integrate them into our projections.
There are likely
going to be some changes to the forum as we migrate it to the latest and
greatest version. We have been resisting this big change since our forum is heavily modified to keep the spammers out (no easy feat), and we’ve made our own custom changes to better support heavy user loads as the forum software out of the box can’t handle the loads we throw at. After a year in production,
many of the pieces we need in the new forum are now in place so we will
experiment with a switch which will contain a lot of new asked for functionality
from our folks in the Tank.
We have a
number of off-season initiatives that I know you will all enjoy but some of
those are going to have to stay under wraps until we’re ready to release
With all that said, we wind down the regular season and gear up for the
playoffs, there’s the playoff contest, join it.
We’ll have our usual Superbowl offering with our 30 Questions Contest and
playoff projections all the way up until the big game and we look forward to
spending the next few weeks with you as we say how this season plays itself
Thanks everyone for stopping by, for contributing, for lurking, for
reading, for saying thanks, for bringing what you bring and for helping all of
us create something that I hope gives a little bit back to the community and to