Today at 8:10 am I got a from the CEO of Fantasy Labs, Jonathan Bales, about Fantasy Labs being acquired by the Chernin Group.
We are very excited to announce that FantasyLabs has been acquired by The Chernin Group. As part of the deal, The Chernin Group has also purchased sportsbetting analytics companies Sports Insights and SportsAction, as well as hired legend Chad Millman (formerly of ESPN) as Head of Content.
This disappointed me. Why you ask? What has happened with Barstool will take place with Fantasy Labs. If what happens with Barstool happens with labs, dilution will occur. There may be more material, but it won’t be the same because as more people start getting involved, the original team’s ideas start to dissipate and the loyalty that got them there, will spread.
The Chernin Group acquired Barstool and has helped promote them to a more mainstream audience. Prior to Chernin with Barstool, I liked the personal touch of the bloggers from each individual city. It was cool to think that you were a part of your city. I used to feel like I could relate to Smitty. Now he’s just another blogger part of a mainstream sports site with millions of people paying attention to whatever “content” they feel is worth creating. I’m not interested in the weak content that their under qualified staff has to offer on pretty much every topic. I like their Instagram page with people getting hurt and doing dumb stunts, but I won’t click on any Barstool posts on the site unless I’m bored. I’m worried this will occur with Labs.
I’ve been a Labs subscriber for about 3 months and feel like I’m a part of the in crowd of DFS. I pay $60 a month for information that the sheep aren’t aware of. Now that the Chernin Group is a part of Labs, more people will subscribe. Chernin isn’t a dumb group. They will blow up a brand using whatever formula that their smart people come up with. This will introduce Labs to millions of meatheads who will pay $60 for the same info I have access to. Does this make me selfish? Of course it does. But that doesn’t mean that what I’m feeling isn’t universal with the current Labs subscriber base.
Smart people will go elsewhere. This is the one part of this acquisition that may be overlooked, or perhaps is thought about and weighed as not crucial. Smart people know that they can’t be part of the crowd. Being part of what the crowd does is a sure fire way to forever exist in the crowd. Most people don’t realize they are part of the crowd. It’s not like someone says, “it’s time to go elsewhere.” However, when I see this type of acquisition take place, I know that what may have been on the on-skirts of “the crowd”, has now become “the crowd”. For that I’m disappointed, but can’t fault anyone because selling out is a part of life that is hard to avoid because it’s what you work to get to.
I haven’t made any money using Fantasy Labs. Their models are helpful but they won’t guarantee you success. There is a lot that goes behind making lineups and the main one is having the bankroll to see it through. I’m a rec player and don’t even care about the money won or loss. However, depending on how this acquisition starts to feel, there’s a good chance I’ll take my money elsewhere and see what other “insiders” have to offer. I’m sure I’m part of a minority, but that’s where you want to play from.