Say hello to Derrick Morton, this month’s Member Spotlight volunteer! Derrick has a passion for fantasy sports, particularly fantasy football. Learn more about him and his involvement in the industry:
Name: Derrick Morton
Location: Seattle, WA
Tell us about yourself and your organization!
FlowPlay is a free-to-play games and technology company – specializing in creating immersive, massively multiplayer experiences for mobile, tablet, and desktop. Before building out our sports business, our core business was focused on social casinos, which basically apply free-to-play mechanics to traditional online casino games. Just three years later, sports-themed games make up over half of the activity we see in our ecosystem. We have both consumer-facing products and a B2B arm, which leverages our various white-label offerings (including a fantasy sports option) to help other businesses launch uniquely-branded, free-to-play online betting games. Our largest B2B customer is Microsoft.
How did you get your start in the fantasy sports industry?
n 2015, we saw a gap in the online fantasy betting market in the US. Where a majority of operators were focused on real-money gambling experiences, our goal was to take advantage of the growing interest in DFS and sports betting, but approach the market in a widely-legal way. We leaned on our experience in the social casino sector to similarly approach fantasy sports by monetizing through virtual currency. Our first offering in the space, a market we’ve dubbed ‘social sports wagering,’ was a traditional sportsbook. Over the last two years we’ve launched a total of five offerings – including a DFS experience, two unique football-themed card games, and a real-time betting game. In that time, we’ve seen significant growth in our fantasy sports business unit, already bringing in multi-million dollar revenues for the company. We anticipate that rapid growth to continue in 2017.
How many years has your organization been in business?
We’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary as a company this month, but only recently expanded to the fantasy sports market within the last few years. We’re proud to have grown from a fledgling startup to an established technology company that more than 60 employees call home.
What made you decide to join FSTA?
After launching our first social sports game, we immediately joined the FSTA to start making connections with its established network. We want to educate members about the opportunity free-to-play games provide for smaller companies looking to expand their business or potential partners that want to bring in a new stream of revenue.
What are you looking to get out of your membership with FSTA?
The research conducted by the FSTA provides an invaluable resource to help us keep a pulse on market conditions and new opportunities as the industry evolves. Because we focus on non-traditional fantasy sports games, the FSTA’s research has helped us identify gaps in the market that could potentially be filled with free-to-play offerings.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity for growth in the industry?
The casual games industry is a well-established market that provides very viable revenue models. We see, and have already begun tapping into, a huge opportunity to reach a major subset of US consumers through the free-to-play model – between the one-third of the US population that considers themselves casual gamers and the 60 percent that consider themselves sports fans. Casual games are also popular among the female demographic. We see an opportunity for this casual, more social approach to broaden the market appeal beyond the traditionally male-dominated demographics of fantasy and DFS in particular.
Finally, what’s your favorite fantasy sport?
Football is easily my favorite sport when it comes fantasy.
Thanks for sharing, Derrick! We hope to see you at the FSTA 2017 Summer Conference.
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