Sports Illustrated, the most widely read sports magazine in the country, is preparing to debut their first fantasy sports app. The app, called Fan Nation, should launch in the coming weeks and will allow users to be part of the fastest growing segment of fantasy sports, which is daily play.
The release of Fan Nation comes hand in hand with a revamp of Sports Illustrated’s website SI.com. The new website throws out the format we’ve grown accustomed to and instead offers a huge amount of user controllable content streams and widgets. Like some of the customizable content that ESPN.com allows, Sports Illustrated wants users to engage with sites longer and having their favorite teams right on the fist page is a great start.
Sports Illustrated is taking a smart approach to their new mobile app and the fantasy game play. SI.com’s Vice President and General Manager, Jim Delorenzo told techcrunch.com that they realize that asking fantasy sports players to leave the service that they already have is tough especially because users would have to bring their friends over as well. So SI has decided to offer a fantasy experience optimized for mobile phones and centered around individual games. Players can go head to head with friends on a per game basis and even wager money on it, which Sports Illustrated would take a small cut of.
TechCrunch reports that the app will start with a Baseball offering called “Baseball Throwdown” that we will see very soon. They plan on adding basketball, hockey and football as well.
Sports Illustrated is also revamping their video offerings into a new live streaming network called “120 sports” and plans to unveil that this week.
While Sports Illustrated has dominated the sports magazine world ESPN has driven the online world for sports fans for years. This seems to be SI’s start to catching up. But no worries, the magazine isn’t going anywhere. “The magazine has an incredible, hardcore audience of really intelligent sports fans,” Paul Fichtenbaum editor of the Time Inc Sports Group said. “It’s been rock solid for the last 30 years … On the business side, it’s another pipeline into our audience.”