Listen in to episode 139 as Joe Brown of FantasyStand talks about his newly launched fantasy sports platform.

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Ryan Knuppel:
Hey, what’s going on, everybody? Ryan Knupel here with you, Knup’s Sport Show. Thanks so much for tuning into another episode, episode 139 here, in the middle of September. We’re excited to have another great guest on today, as we always do. Today, I have Joe Brown. Let’s get Joe on with me. Joe, are you with me?

Joe Brown:
I’m with you, Ryan.

Ryan Knuppel:
Hey, thanks for joining me. I’m really excited to hear more about what you have going on in this crazy fantasy sports stand, sports betting, and all the above space. Thank you for giving us a little time.

Joe Brown:
Thanks for having me. It’s the first time on a podcast, so I’m pretty excited.

Ryan Knuppel:
Absolutely. Excited to hear your story, and a little bit more about what’s going on. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us a little bit about your work background, and what brought you from where you were to where you are today.

Joe Brown:
All right. My background is actually in accounting. I’m one of three partners in a CPA firm. We’re a 20 person CPA firm, right outside Philadelphia. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I’ve always had a passion for sports, and the business of sports. On the side, in 2012, I founded Sluggersville, which was Philadelphia’s first indoor baseball training facility. Started that, operated that for three years, and then I sold that to a group that included one of the former Phillies. Just always liked sports, and the business of sports. It’s interesting, probably it was 2010, I sent my first email to a developer regarding getting into the fantasy sports industry. DraftKings started in 2012, that tells you how long I’ve been thinking of this. Never got off the ground, but always talked about it, researched it. I’ll be up at night with my iPad, early in the morning drinking coffee, and always following the crazy business of fantasy sports.

Joe Brown:
In 2019, my wife finally said, you’ve been talking about this for 10 years, if you’re going to do it, let’s do it. She said, “I’ll help you. Let’s get this thing going.” First thing I did, I joined the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, did that summer 2019. I went to a conference in New York, I didn’t have a product, I didn’t have an idea. I just knew I wanted to get in. That was a great move going there, I learned a lot. Made a lot of connections. My marketing firm, me developer, my lawyer, my banker, everybody I’m using, I met through the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association. That’s what I did. Finally came up with an idea, and got it into development, where we are today.

Ryan Knuppel:
Good for you. Before we get into what you’re doing today and more about FantasyStand, and all of that, let’s talk a little bit about… I didn’t realize, you had this idea in 2010. That’s a long time. That’s something I think a lot of entrepreneurial type people that happens. You have these ideas, and they’re festering in your mind, you want to do it but you never do it. It’s just taking that jump. Just jumping in, diving in. You don’t know if everything is going to be perfect, or if everything is even going to work, that’s the spirit of an entrepreneur. I commend you for sticking with that idea, and I’m sure over those years the idea had morphed a little bit in what turned into what Fantasy Stand is today. That’s really interesting to me that it was that long ago.

Joe Brown:
The first idea, I was actually going to do NASCAR fantasy. Bought a domain, racemyteam.com, or something I think it was called. That was my idea at the time. NASCAR was taking off. I know they have some crazy fans that I thought would like it. It definitely has changed a lot through those years.

Ryan Knuppel:
The whole fantasy space has changed, as well.

Joe Brown:

Absolutely.

Ryan Knuppel:
You mentioned DraftKings, but before DraftKings and FanDuel, and all of that, there wasn’t even this concept of the daily fantasy sports world. Kids playing today, that are playing FanDuel and DraftKings, we didn’t have that concept back in 2010. It wasn’t even a thing. It was all season long type stuff. It’s really, as an industry, developed, as well. Cool man. Let’s jump into FantasyStands. Tell us a little bit, at a high level, about what FantasyStand is, and about the idea and the concept around it.

Joe Brown:
The idea is, it’s a value and weekly site. I’ve set a score. It makes me the house. It’s a traditional fantasy site, you build out a traditional team, $50,000.00 salary cap, but you know the score going into the contest that you need to beat. If you beat the score, you win. You bet a hundred dollars, you beat the score, you win an extra a hundred dollars. I also have a little incentive for whoever wins the contest, I do a 10% of the pot goes to the winner. The one thing when I was trying to figure out what I want to do here, and I talked to fantasy players, you hear the same complaint all the time. One, you don’t win. People say, “I never win. It’s frustrating.” Or, which is even worse, you think you have a great week and you check the leaderboard, and you’re nowhere near in the money.

Joe Brown:
I heard those frustrations. I said, “If you know the score you got to beat going in, you make it a fair score, you beat the score. You win.” Makes me the house, but still has their traditional model. I think that’s why the props are so popular, to prop fantasy. I still think there’s a place for the people that still want to build a traditional team, and not just play props. They want to build their fantasy team and see how they perform. People still enjoy doing that. I brought the house model together with the traditional fantasy model.

Ryan Knuppel:
I love that you built it based on a problem that you saw, or a few problems that you saw in the industry. You tackled those problems, and I’m sure you addressed those within FantasyStand. Also, love the headline as I was showing the site, I was showing the site on live, Stand Out From the Competition. I love that. It goes right along with the brand name and everything. Tell us about where it’s at, where it at in development cycle. Are you launched, are you rocking and rolling, or where are you at now?

Joe Brown:
Last year I used the whole football season for beta testing, mostly family and friends. It’s got about 55 users. Great feedback. There were some kinks to get worked out throughout the season, but things were working pretty good towards the end of the year. Feedback was great. People were like, “I can’t wait to play. I can’t wait to be able to deposit money.” Officially launched, I would say the first week, last week of football season. I did use that week for one more week of testing. I didn’t feel super comfortable with just testing last year. I wanted to make sure one week. Now I’m launching, ready to go this week. I’ll have some free contests up this week with cash prizes to get some interest, and get some people playing. We’re in 24 states, right now.

Ryan Knuppel:
That’s good. You mentioned, right now, free to play. There’s going to be some cash prizes. Is the intent, later on, that there will be actually buy ins and larger price pools, and all of the above?

Joe Brown:
Within the next probably week or two, we’ll be ready to go and start taking deposits, and people will start playing for real money.

Ryan Knuppel:
That’s amazing. That’s really cool. I’m excited. FantasyStand.com. Now, do you guys have an app, or is it all web-based? What’s the best way for people just to start playing and checking you out?

Joe Brown:
I’m starting web based. I have an app in development. Right now, I have just football, but also basketball is going to be next. I know basketball is real popular with the younger generation. We decided we’ll tackle that one next.

Ryan Knuppel:
Just football is plenty for all of us, right now, with-

Joe Brown:
Yeah, that’s all I need right now.

Ryan Knuppel:
We love football season. Fantasy and football go right alongside each other. We won’t say just football, we’ll say yes, we got football. That’s amazing. That’s awesome. We’ll have to make sure we go out and check it out. FntasyStand.com. I went ahead, and as you can see on the screen here, FantasyStand.com. You can sign up for free right there. I’m sure you can sign up on the mobile website, as well. That’s awesome. Go out there, check out some of the contests. I’ll make sure I get in one, as well, Joe. Hopefully can win the contest. We’ll see. At least compete. Man, I don’t know. I used to think I was pretty good at this stuff, and then the older I get, I’m like, “Man, there’s a lot better talent than me out there.” Fantasy football, it’s a competition, that’s for sure.

Joe Brown:
It is. It’s a lot of fun.

Ryan Knuppel:
It is. It is. Where are you heading? You mentioned actually heading into pay, where people can deposit and play money. And you’re building an app out. You still have plenty of room to grow. Lots of things to do. Besides those, name a couple of other things that you’re looking to do over the next 12 months, I guess, with this?

Joe Brown:
Just continue to build it. The one thing I’m pretty excited about, we wanted to give back to the community, that was one of the things my wife said from the very beginning. One of the first things we just invested in was, I think it’s the Sports and Gaming Industries first mascot. We have a live mascot who is going to be making an appearance next week, and we’re going to some naming contests, some fun TikTok stuff, and get them out and about in the community. I’m pretty excited about that. Like I said, I think I’m the only one in the industry that has something like that

Ryan Knuppel:
I love that. Unique. Got to have a unique selling point. You got to have a way to market, get your name out there. There’s a lot of noise in this world, so just getting something a little different, and to get eyeballs on you, is important.

Joe Brown:
And something fun. Just get something fun out there.

Ryan Knuppel:
Cool. Cool. I always ask this near the end of our talk. People listening to this are probably business professionals, they’re probably iGaming professionals, people in fantasy sports, or maybe sports betting world. Is there anything that you’re looking for, that maybe somebody listening, or watches this on replay, could potentially help with? Anything maybe you’re struggling with, or that you’re really looking for some help with, that somebody here could help with?

Joe Brown:
Like I said, a lot of my partners through the Fantasy Sports and Game Association have been such a big help. Always looking for partners, always looking for advice. Feedback would be great. I would love to know if people like it, what we can do better. Continue to look to build it.

Ryan Knuppel:
Awesome, Joe. That’s great. I really commend you on what’s going on. I can’t wait to check it out. I haven’t signed up yet, but I’m going to sign up directly after this, and make sure I get a lineup in there for week two of the NFL, which is coming this weekend. Who’s your team? You have an NFL team?

Joe Brown:
Philadelphia Eagles. I was pleasantly surprised by their first week.

Ryan Knuppel:
Yeah, they played well. They looked really well week one. We’ll see if that can continue. I would say, I was surprised, as well.

Joe Brown:
Yeah. How about yourself?

Ryan Knuppel:
No. Myself, I’m just a football fan, through and through. I always say for some reason, the only diehard team I have is the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball. I grew up in the Midwest, and really became a St. Louis Cardinals diehard fan. Every other sport, I love the heck out of every sport, basketball, football, everything, but I just don’t have that team. I don’t have that team. I guess that’s what daily fantasy and weekly fantasy and sports betting and all of that does to us. It lets us cheer for others each week.

Joe Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. Love my Eagles though, so I’m looking forward to this week. They’ve got a tough match up with the Niners.

Ryan Knuppel:
Yeah. That’ll be a really good game, I think. Niners had some injuries this last week, so we’ll see if they can battle back through that. I think that’ll be a good one. Awesome, Joe. I really appreciate it. Any last words? Anything you want to say before we get off here?

Joe Brown:
No, just go check it out. Like I said, I’m going to have some free contests out with cash prizes this week. Try it out for free, you don’t have to deposit money, and see if you like it, and win some money.

Ryan Knuppel:
Awesome. What’s the best way anybody can get ahold of you if they want to get ahold of you, and ask questions or feedback?

Joe Brown:
I’m on LinkedIn. My emails [email protected] Shoot me an email, or find me on LinkedIn. Even through the site, there’s a chat.

Ryan Knuppel:
Perfect. That sounds great. I really appreciate your time, Joe. I wish you the best of luck. I can’t wait to try it out. Everyone watching, I really encourage you to try it out, as well. Thanks. Have a great day, Joe. We’ll talk to you soon.

Joe Brown:
Ryan, thanks so much. This was fun.

Ryan Knuppel:
All right. No problem. Take care.

Joe Brown:
Bye bye.

Ryan Knuppel:
All right. That was Joe Brown with FantasyStand. Go out, check it out. FantasyStand.com. Get signed up for free. There’s some free competitions to play in week two, go out there, see if you can make some noise. That will be a lot of fun. Really appreciate Joe coming on the show. Also, appreciate you guys all tuning in to this, and watching either on replay, or live. We encourage questions. We encourage comments. If you have questions for Joe, feel free to reach out to me, or him on LinkedIn. If you want to see other guests that you really think would make a good guest on this show, please reach out to me. Ryan Knuppel, you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me about anywhere as Knup, K-N-U-P, anywhere out there. Take care of everyone, until next time. Stay safe and have a great one. Bye-bye.

 

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Ryan is a veteran to the sports betting industry. He owns and operates Knup Solutions where they provide the highest quality sports betting and igaming content to affiliates and operators. His contributions on Knup Sports show his pure knowledge and love for the sports and gaming industry.

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