Wynn combine shows growth of fantasy sports

Wynn combine shows growth of fantasy sports

July 21, 2015 3:01 AM


The first Fantasy Sports Combine is officially in the booksThe first Fantasy Sports Combine is officially in the books, and what a great weekend it was at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

I was pleased to be included in the media credentialed covering this exciting event, but even more excited since I have been a die-hard sports fan and fantasy sports player since 1991. In fact, it is rather humorous to me how far fantasy sports has come.

Back in the spring of 1991 we held a fantasy baseball draft at Florida Atlantic University in the library. Once the season kicked off, we would literally comb through the box scores for statistics, add points up using pen and paper. Fantasy sports was not mainstream, and it took years upon years to explain to certain people what I actually do for a living.

With an event like the Fantasy Sports Combine, it is now officially mainstream, and is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow, no longer in the backwaters like the days described above.

And wow! I struck friendly banter with a few of the attendees, including a gentleman from Washington D.C., a father-son combo and a mother who brought her teenage son to the show. Their reactions were unanimous, and similar to mine. Wow!

Everyone was blown away by the great attention to detail from the staff, and not one person had a negative thought or wanted to see more. They each seemed extremely satisfied, and it was evident by the smiles on their faces, especially after the games where fans could take on the sports legends in air hockey, ping-pong and more

Fantasy Sports Combine CEO Bo Brownstein and his entire staff did an amazing job putting this show together, and the two-day experience at the Wynn exceeded the expectations for all.

The attendance was phenomenal, too, with approximately 600 fans coming to listen to Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis, Super Bowl champs Todd Heap and Brandon Stokley, Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Shanahan and a host of other former NFL standouts, as well as some of the best fantasy sports talking heads in the industry.

But it is all about the fans, and their opportunity to get up close and personal with sports heroes and experts.

“It is great for fan interaction and accessibility. We paid great attention to detail, and want this to be an event for years to come,” Brownstein explained. “There is great value in being here in person.”

NFL insider Adam Schefter and fantasy guru Matthew Berry had interesting and entertaining banter, and loads of information the newbie to fantasy sports, as well as the grizzled veteran, could find useful.

Berry touched on key strategies that have helped him win leagues and all but buried running backs and their worth in fantasy leagues for the upcoming seasons of the “new” NFL.

The NFL information reporting machine, Schefter, impressed all the attendees and lived up to his billing. If you aren’t one of his nearly 4 million followers on Twitter already, then do yourself a favor and start following immediately, especially if you play fantasy football.

Daily fantasy experts Drew Dinkmeyer, Peter Jennings and Alvin Zeidenfeld, as well as Yahoo! Sports expert Brad Evans were amazingly insightful, especially if you love to spend time in the daily fantasy arena.

For those who missed the inaugural event, be sure to circle your calendars for the weekend of July 22-23, 2016, as the Fantasy Sports Combine will have its second annual show back at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

If you want to have a personal, up-close experience with former players and coaches, as well as the best and brightest faces in the fantasy sports arena, this is the place to be.

Also, while Brownstein has an affinity for Las Vegas, satellite shows could be coming to a city near you, so stay tuned!

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