Michigan’s Legacy Fantasy Sports founders have an answer to keep fantasy football going this offseason.
The Metro Detroit entrepreneurs are using play-by-play statistics from stars of the past with today’s players for an all-ages product they believe can keep hardcore sports fans engaged all year long.
Plus, fans can mitigate some of the modern-day annoyances that come with COVID-19 absences or load management strategies that have interrupted fantasy leagues in every sport in recent years.
Shelby Township’s Grady Toombs and John Latella of Rochester Hills developed Legacy Fantasy Sports, now available on iOS and the Google Play store. The founders see it as a complement to the booming sports betting business in Michigan.
Plus, the close of the season gives Legacy Fantasy Sports the chance for the product to go full throttle.
“Legacy Fantasy Sports will allow fans the opportunity to finally see how players from yesterday will stack up against the players of today,” said Latella, the company’s president and former CEO of Garden Fresh. “This is not a video game, but rather a complex statistical gameplay that mixes technology and science to bring back the players of yesterday to play with the players of today.”
What is Legacy Fantasy Sports?
With a subscription, Legacy Fantasy Sports players can choose to draft a team of current players mixed with those from the past. They can alternatively decide to play with only historical players, providing the opportunity to play fantasy football all year long.
The app has simulated more than 100,000 games to give a picture of what, say, Detroiter Jerome Bettis could give a fantasy team on any given Sunday.
Specifically, Legacy has ensured that the play of your favorite retired player in its platform is equivalent to the player’s achievements on the field during his career.
Play by play is selected throughout a former player’s career, filling out a full game’s worth in each contest.
The developers have a patent-pending, propriety formula that incorporates the current and former play-by-play statistics for professional players, dating back to 1997 for the NFL and as far back as 1974 for Major League Baseball.
Legacy Fantasy Sports developers say countless hours have gone into the creation of the platform. Toombs and Latella say this is not just another white label fantasy platform that is flooding the market as of late.
The Legacy Fantasy Sports group hopes to eventually go back even further, bringing even more fan favorites to their unique fantasy sports experience.
Herman Moore, Bob Stoops among investors
Former Detroit Lions star wide receiver Herman Moore is a co-founder for Legacy Fantasy Sports. Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is a partner. Stoops who put his broadcasting career on hold recently for a one-game return cameo with the Sooners in the Alamo Bowl.
Free access to the app provides a daily fantasy sports experience you can play with others. However, there are no cash prizes, which is what makes DraftKings and FanDuel fantasy apps only available to those ages 18 and up.
The LFS app has Legacy NFL football, live and Legacy baseball, and live basketball available now. Soccer and cricket are coming soon. Subscriptions cost $2.99 per month.
Features include innovations such as in-game player substitutions, as well as a contest called the “triathlon” experience, where you can choose a player from each of the three sports to combine for a single game. More features will be coming soon, the founders said.
Another customer acquisition channel for operators
When Toombs attended the recent Sports Betting Community North America Summit last year in New Jersey, he became more convinced LFS was filling a market need.
Frankly, he also thinks sports betting operators could be interested in acquiring the company, which is the goal for many such startups.
Part of the reason DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel MI were positioned so well for sports betting in Michigan and beyond is because their daily fantasy sports products had built customer databases and brand recognition for years.
Acquisitions such as Monkey Knife Fight by Bally’s signal that sports betting operators have recognized the utility in such a model.
Even further, those advantages also allowed DraftKings and FanDuel to turn sports bettors into online casino players. Those customers are a jackpot for operators in legal states with more jurisdictions expected to open in time.
No age requirement for Legacy Fantasy Sports
Another untapped market for sports betting and traditional DFS, discussed at length at SBC in New Jersey, is future players not old enough to gamble yet.
That’s another key market slice Legacy Fantasy Sports could deliver, Toombs said.
“This is a game built and designed for sports fans of all ages,” Toombs said. “There are a bunch of gambling-focused fantasy games that are for 21 and up, But sports fans don’t start at age 21, and we believe their playing experiences shouldn’t either.
“While our platform has the versatility and built-in compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, that is not our current focus. We are focused on the 26 million rabid teenage sports fans between the ages of 12 to 17 who currently have no option to register and play a game we know they’ll love.”
The lack of age restriction also adds to the revenue possibilities from large companies that won’t advertise with sports betting companies, Latella said.
He added: “Numerous ad agencies we have spoken to indicated that companies are searching for a way to direct advertising to families, not just the over 18-year-old fan on a platform restricted by regulatory issues barring them from advertising.”