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Sports Buff, founded in 1993, is a true pioneer in the fantasy games industry. The company has operated games for more than 300 affiliate and white label partners, processed more than 2 million entries, and paid more than $3 million in prizes. Its staff includes more than 30 executives, developers, writers, sales managers, and customer service representatives. Its executives are high profile industry leaders, including the presidents of the two most recognized industry associations - the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Jeffrey R. Thomas, Founder & CEO
Mr. Thomas founded the company in 1993 with 10 years of technology consulting, marketing, project management and strategic planning experience. He is a recognized fantasy sports business expert and International speaker. His unique combination of technology and marketing experience drives him to focus on differentiation through technology innovation, product design, and distribution channel design. Mr. Thomas graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Business Information Systems degree and from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management with a Masters degree in Marketing and Finance. He is currently president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the voice of the fantasy sports industry since 1999.

Mike Beacom, Publisher
Mr. Beacom owns one of the most recognizable names in the fantasy industry. His work has appeared in numerous print publications and on many popular Web sites. Beacom comes to Sports Buff after having spent three years as the senior editor for Pro Fantasy Sports. During that time Beacom managed one of the industry's largest independent fantasy sports editorial teams. From 2002-2004 he was the senior editor for Fantasy GMs. In addition to his role with Sports Buff, Beacom is also active in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, serving as its President and Chairman. The organization recognizes journalistic excellence in the fantasy industry.

Bryan Van Stippen, VP Content Development
Mr. Van Stippen started his first fantasy sports company in 2001. He has written fantasy racing content for ESPN, That's Racin', and Pro Fantasy Sports since 2002 while also being a contributing writer for many fantasy football publications. Van Stippen was the Business Manager for Pro Fantasy Sports from 2001 to 2007. He continues to write extensively, appealing to a very loyal following in the world of fantasy racing. You can hear NASCAR analysis weekly on "The LugNuts" radio broadcasts.

Sports Buff's media partners have included Chicago Tribune, Charlotte Observer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Prime Sports Network, Knight-Ridder, Denver Post, Sacramento Bee, and more than 200 others.

 

Recent Press Quotes

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Major League Baseball and its players association, thereby giving a fantasy sports operator the right to use players' data without paying licensing fees. 'Today's Supreme Court decision marks potentially the single biggest day in the history of the fantasy sports industry,'

Jeffrey R. Thomas, CEO of SportsBuff.com and President of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) told Gaming Industry Media, June 2008.

Fantasy sport leagues now generate about $500 million a year worldwide in fees, advertising and other revenue, according to Jeff Thomas, CEO of SportsBuff.com and president of the 150-member Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which backed CBC in the case. ``Hopefully, this closes the chapter of litigation and will usher in a new era of cooperation between the league, the players association and the fantasy sports industry,'' said Glenn Colton, a lawyer who represents the trade group.

MLB Rebuffed by U.S. Supreme Court on Fantasy Rights, Bloomberg.com, June 2008

Fantasy Sports Trade Association President Jeff Thomas called the decision "potentially the single biggest day in the history of the fantasy sports industry," noting that it affirmed the industry's basic assumptions about the use of rights and which ones required payment.

MLB BRUSHED BACK, New York Post, June 2008

Jeff Thomas, who runs a fantasy operation called SportsBuff.com and is president of the FSTA, says the average player spends nearly $500 when you consider league fees, magazines devoted to fantasy sports and pay content on the Web. Thomas said that the revenue from the contest portion of fantasy is about $200 million but that when you figure in the ancillary money, fantasy sports is a $2-billion-a-year machine. The impact on the U.S. economy is 50 to 100 percent more, he said. "Our research shows that people spend more money on tickets, buy more sports merchandise and travel to more games."

Fantasy sports offers prizes -- monetary and emotional, CNN.com, August 2007


Jeffrey R. Thomas, CEO of SportsBuff.com and president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, says that it's common these days for bars like McFadden's to give the royal treatment to fantasy leagues, especially since these teams mean big dollars. The association estimates that fantasy sports has a $3 to $4 billion affect on the sports industry in general. Thomas's Wisconsin-based company Sportsbuff.com is getting in on the Boston action by teaming up with the Fenway-area bar Game On! and the local sports publication Barstool Sports to run a weekly fantasy game that will allow people to pick players online each week and face off against fantasy players across the country. Local winners will have to go to Game On! on Sundays for prizes. "You can jump on and play very quickly," he said. "It's weekly. So you don't have to play all season."

Fantasy Football: Special Teams, Boston Globe and Boston.com, August 2007


According to figures from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association - yes, this is big enough of a market to warrant a real trade group - there are between 15 and 18 million fantasy sports players in the U.S. The number of players has grown 7 to 10 percent a year in the past three years... Several media companies are recognizing that it is more lucrative to not charge fantasy players since free games draw more traffic, and hence, more advertising revenue. The biggest beneficiary by far should be Yahoo. Jeff Thomas, founder and CEO of SportsBuff.com and president of the FSTA, said Yahoo has become the [free game] fantasy football leader because it kept promoting a basic, free service even when competitors were charging fees to setup leagues."

Fantasy football... real money, CNNMoney.com, August 2006


"The fantasy sports industry generates $1 billion to $2 billion a year on publication subscriptions, paid league entrance fees, mail order draft kits, and fantasy software and other products," says Jeffrey Thomas, FSTA President and CEO of SportsBuff.com. It's a safe bet that a lot of that revenue is ending up online, the playing field for 92% of those who engage in fantasy sports.

Fantasy Football 2.0, Business Week, September 2006


The billion-dollar business of fantasy football got another new player Wednesday: Las Vegas oddsmakers... Jeff Thomas, president of the fantasy sports trade association and founder of SportsBuff.com, said Station's new line is simply another form of gambling... "I think a lot of businesses are sort of stretching the definition of fantasy lately, trying to capitalize on what's popular," he said. "If I'm a smart businessman, whether I own a casino or want to promote my brand, I'd be looking at fantasy sports."

Las Vegas sports book to start taking bets on players' projected fantasy statistics, USAToday.com, August 2007


"Variations of the [fantasy sports] idea have existed for decades, but fantasy sports' popularity have exploded in recent years," according to FSTA President Jeff Thomas. Fantasy sports built momentum throughout the 1990s, boasting between seven and eight million participants, Thomas estimates. He attributes the current boom, which doubled the number of players, to technology and the involvement of more broadcasters and companies with larger marketing budgets. "The most important message for advertisers and marketers to consider is that fantasy sports offer a long-term connection to a consumer," says Thomas. Many players are passionate about the activity, and participate in several fantasy sports throughout the year. And the loyal audience that fantasy sports are building today will have staying power, according to Thomas. "Our median 37-year-old consumer will play when they are 47, and 57, and even 67," he predicts. Indeed, statistics from the FSTA find that the average fantasy sports participant has already played for nine years.

Fantasy Sports Bring Real Opportunities, Marketing Matters Newsletter, American Marketing Association, August 2006


"[Fantasy Football] has emerged as the industry's juggernaut largely because the NFL has wholeheartedly embraced the game. Why? It turns football fans into bigger football fans. According to Chris Russo, the NFL's senior vice president of new media, fantasy participants watch nearly three hours more football per week than non-fantasy viewers. They even watch Arizona Cardinals games."

A Healthy Fantasy Life, Newsweek, August 2005


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PO Box 896
Kenosha, WI 53141-0896

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