With the NFL returning on August 7 and baseball in the dog days, it’s only fair that the popular — and sometimes pun-filled — commercials for daily fantasy sports return for six to seven airing within a thirty-minute period. Fresh off a victory in New York that would allow residents there to spend their money on daily fantasy sports, the popular site FanDuel is taking advantage and attempting to usher in a new era of gaming.
As part of a rebranding and a desire to expand, FanDuel is making sweeping changes for not only themselves, but the daily fantasy sports genre in general. With everything from a new Bill of Rights to what’s being called Friends Mode, FanDuel is kicking off the NFL season with some revisions to boost the product and draw more gamers in.
Nigel Eccles, the company’s CEO since their founding in July, 2009, commented on the changes in a statement released on Monday morning.
“The past year has been tumultuous for this industry but FanDuel has emerged stronger than ever and we are ready to lead the industry forward. The new FanDuel brand reflects our commitment to transparency, innovation and enhancing the user experience. We are confident it will showcase what we have to offer to all sports fans.”
New and/or revised features for FanDuel include the following.
- A user Bill of Rights, which is similar to a terms of service agreement (more on that below).
- A re-design of both the logo — which now moreso resembles a shield — and the website itself. FanDuel is just one of many popular sports websites to undergo a massive re-design, as Sports Illustrated just completed theirs last month and ESPN changed their look as recently as 2015.
- Friends Mode, which will allow players to duel their friends every week of the NFL season in a style similar to fantasy football.
- A new marketing campaign that will begin with the 2016 NFL season and will be shown on TV, radio, and digital platforms.
It only seems right that, despite what’s been a frustrating and trying year for FanDuel and the daily fantasy genre as a whole, the company would try to come out guns blazing and remind users that not only are they here to stay, but they’re going to keep winning even if you throw the kitchen sink at them. Though the shield was picked as a logo because it “represents strength,” FanDuel even admits that “given the long history of the shields use in sports, reflects FanDuel as a premier sports and entertainment brand.”
In short, FanDuel picked the shield as a logo because regardless of all the complaints about how daily fantasy sports are “evil” and nothing more than gambling, it’s time to accept that the company — along with DraftKings, the former rival-turned-partner website — is everywhere and here to stay.
For as interesting and cool the new website may look, what’s probably the biggest announcement here is the FanDuel Bill of Rights. Rather than go for the long, essay-style terms of services that most companies do — and get mocked for — FanDuel instead put their Bill of Rights in an interactive, sliding style with blurbs that are just 1-2 sentences.
Some of the key quotes and ideas pointed out in the Bill of Rights are the following.
- “We keep your money in an entirely separate account from the funds that cover our everyday operations. And we don’t dip into that account, except for when it’s time for you to get paid.”
- “We’ve banned third-party scripting so no player has an unfair technological edge. We’ve also set clear contest entry limits across FanDuel to maintain a competitive balance.”
- “Experienced players are designated with two distinct icons — ‘Experienced’ and ‘Highly Experienced’ — to let you know if your opponents are seriously accomplished players. Beginner contests are available exclusively for less experienced FanDuel players so you can refine your game against other new FanDuelers only.”
- “FanDuel employees are banned from playing all fantasy sports sites, including ours. Likewise, employees of other fantasy sports sites aren’t allowed on FanDuel.”
As of the start of the 2016 NFL season, FanDuel has currently partnered with 15 NFL teams — including the New York Jets — and 16 NBA teams. For the 2015 NFL season, FanDuel and DraftKings spent a combined $150 million on both TV and internet advertising.
So, you really have to admit that despite the pressure, FanDuel is willing to take a gamble.
[Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]