I should state early in proceedings that I have never met the man that I'm about to talk glowingly about. Ever. But it should become quite clear that I certainly have a lot of admiration and respect for him. The "him" in question is ESPN's Senior Fantasy Analyst, Matthew Berry.
For starters, his New York Times Bestselling Book "Fantasy Life" is one of my favourite sports reads of recent years while his ESPN "Fantasy Focus Podcast" alongside Nate Ravitz has been a daily ritual within my work commute for what seems like an eternity now. On top of all that, Berry's success in the sports e-commerce market has been intriguing to say the least. His development of fantasy sports sites and the monitization of those same sites has been a great learning opportunity for many and he certainly blazed a trail for the rest of us working on similar types of e-commerce projects in the sports field (yep, I'm talking about myself here!)
Besides all that good business and professional stuff, there's also lots to like about Berry, his expert knowledge on the fantasy gaming industry is to the forefront naturally but I also appreciate the fact he doesn't take himself too seriously. It shines through in his writing, podcasts and projects. It makes him human, a surprisingly hard quality to often find in those at the top of their game in any business. I'd hazard a guess that Matthew is truly one of the good guys of sport. The perfect man for a pint and a sports waffle chat no doubt (that door is always open brother!)
Of course, I am not alone in this admiration though (can it be a bromance if it's unrequited love!?). Berry's 700,000+ twitter follower count testifies to that and so it was no surprise when I learned that three diehard fantasy football fans in Indianapolis built a smart phone app celebrating the "Fantasy Life" that Berry had so humorously wrote about. One of Arke App's Fantasy Life team approached Berry at a book signing with the idea of having an app based around his bestselling book. This somewhat chance meeting led to an email exchange which led to a phone call which led to the launch of the Fantasy Life app. Note, this is how sh*t gets done in modern sports business kids!
So what exactly does the app do? It's inspiration, as the title suggests, comes from Berry's book Fantasy Life which delves through the wonderful and ever so weird behaviour of the fantasy sports world - from bad beats to crazy forfeits and touching stories of fantasy lovers now sadly dearly departed. The app replicates the fun of Berry's book and essentially creates the first centralised social community based around fantasy sports. It's a perfect way for fantasy players to connect with their own league on a more informal basis but also to connect with other leagues around the globe. One of my personal favourite features is the meme generator (as pictured below) which allows users to thrash talk more effectively (and beautifully!) with those they know and love.
With Fantasy Football season just around the corner, Fantasy Life's marketing campaigns will no doubt spring into action and with a sponsorship/partnership announcement with a major company in the pipeline I'm told, there's plenty to watch out for from Fantasy Life. Indeed, my own NFL Fantasy League, The Waffle League, will be utilising the Fantasy Life app this season as we attempt to turn our banter levels up a notch this season. God knows I could do with winning something, even it's it's just a thrash talk award. 2009 feels like a whole other decade ago!!!
You can download Fantasy Life the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store at the following link - http://www.fantasylifeapp.com/ and don't forget to follow the guys on Twitter at @FantasyLifeApp as well as the Talent Mr. Roto himself at @MatthewBerryTMR
As I always state when I write about things like this, I am waffling about this app today because it's something I use and that I think is worth sharing. We've a bit of work to do here on The Sports Waffle before we reach Sharknado-esque level product placements on our site. So you can rest assured that If I mention products, it's because I genuinely like them and that's certainly the case with this one. So, yeah, enjoy the Fantasy Life!