This morning, leading Facebook sports application developer Watercooler is announcing the launch of FanSection Fantasy Football 2009. Fantasy sports games traditionally have offered their players a siloed experience with ten or so players creating leagues and drafting players. But with FanSection Fantasy Football, the fantasy sports experience will involve not only a core group of avid fantasy sports gamers, but their friends as well. Spectators can visit team pages, leave comments, and give out helmet stickers (the equivalent of Yelp compliments) in the new app.
Inside the application, players will be able to interact with all of their Facebook friends by inviting them to be “spectators” of their fantasy teams, posting scores to their own Wall or friends’ Walls to talk smack, answering trivia questions, and getting friends to take part in polls and discussions. In addition, users can track fantasy news from CBSSports.com to obtain updates on what is going on with teams and their players. Partnerships with RazorGator and TeamFanShop have made it possible for users to buy tickets, merchandise, and apparel directly within the app.
In addition to the free game, players can sign up for premium features for a $4.95 fee. The paid version includes Live Scoring, which gives users visibility to real-time stats minute by minute. The whole experience is being sponsored as well – for users 21 and over, the app will be sponsored by Coors Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL.
With over 25 million users, Watercooler is known for being the leading sports community on Facebook and is now aiming to take the lead in fantasy sports on Facebook as well. The company will primarily be competing against rival Citizen Sports in the Facebook fantasy football market, though several smaller players have built fantasy and pick-em games as well.
“We’ve spent the past few years building up a strong user base that speaks to what fans want to see as part of their social experience with sports,” says Bryan Bennett, VP of marketing and GM of fantasy sports for Watercooler. “Now that we’ve established that relationship with fans, we feel we’re well-equipped with the feedback and backend tools to provide them with the best fantasy football game play possible.”
Fans are counting down to the start of the NFL regular season when Tennessee travels to Pittsburgh on September 10th.