Fantasy sports has morphed from a few thousand sports geeks meeting up at their favorite bar to hold an annual $50-buy in NFL, NBA or MLB fantasy draft party into a $3.6 billion industry played by millions from all walks of life. Moreover, the twist of daily-play fantasy draft games is rapidly becoming as popular as the traditional season-long formats.
One enterprising ex-con named Drew “Bo” Brownstein (convicted of insider trading in 2012) has come up with a way to add to the growing hype around fantasy sports. He is hosting the first annual Fantasy Sports Combine at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas July 17th through 19th. Fantasy sports players can look forward to meeting and learning from some of the industry’s top analysts, as well as former athletes and championship-winning coaches. Of note, Super Bowl-winning coaches Mike Ditka and Mike Shanahan are both scheduled as guest speakers.
Statement from Drew Brownstein
“Fantasy sports touches everyone from the head trader at Goldman Sachs to a guy working 60 hours a week at the post office,” Brownstein noted in a telephone interview with Bloomberg Business. “And it touches both men and women. Its popularity is booming and only getting bigger.”
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When asked what the Fantasy Draft Combine offered attendees, Brownstein replied: “It’s a community experience and it offers something people are passionate about in an attractive package.”
More on the Fantasy Draft Combine
Tickets to the fantasy conference begin at $995 (not including hotel) with a $100 discount for those who register early at the Fantasy Sports Combine’s website. Brownstein commented he is expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 attendees for the Las Vegas event.
The combine features panels with fantasy sports analysts such as John Hansen of DirecTV and Brad Evans of Yahoo Sports. Mike Shanahan, who coached the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl wins, will break down game film with participants while Ditka, a Hall of Famer who coached the Chicago Bears’ 1985 championship team, will share color and behind-the-scenes NFL stories.
In an interesting twist, the combine will include recreating an NFL draft room with general managers and front-office personnel, as well as panels on winning strategies in daily leagues for football and baseball. The experts involved in the combine include Drew Dinkmeyer, who was a senior investment analyst before moving into fantasy sports professionally. Dinkmeyer was the winner of a $1million one-week NFL fantasy contest sponsored by fantasy sports website DraftKings late last year.