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Mid-Season FBB Update - Suggestions?

 
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How did you find Mocksports?
Find? Always been here - migrated from Sports Forum!
47%
 47%  [ 10 ]
That excellently composed Google Adwords sponsored campaign!
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
A surprisingly effective Facebook Ad!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
The Facebook Group!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
An OnRoto ad
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
A web search specifically for Sports Forum refugees
9%
 9%  [ 2 ]
Just web search good luck!
14%
 14%  [ 3 ]
Posted message / ad someplace else (please tell where below)
9%
 9%  [ 2 ]
Word of mouth
14%
 14%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 21

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ShaneVG
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 7158
Location: Aurora, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Mid-Season FBB Update - Suggestions? Reply with quote

Well, this certainly has been an interesting year. I've only been able to watch from afar, but things continue to evolve.

At the midway point, I usually try to look for suggestions to make our game better. No, we aren't looking for drastic changes (although if something looks very interesting and we can generate 10 or so interested folks, we can always form a "test" league again. We aren't going to eliminate the auctions, either!

But if you have some ideas, toss them out. We have a lot of new owners - new perspectives are incredibly enlightening!

I also need some conversation about two specific facets of our game.

First - How is the FAAB going? At the end of the year, I'm going to ask our LAs to let me know how much FAAB money was spent, and an average per team. With that, we'll probably fine-tune the budget. But conversation is always good.

Second - Finances. FBB finished a bit in the red again, as I'm always slow to pull the plug on the Facebook and Google Adwords campaigns. But I did get a shiny, slick Q1 report from Adwords this year! It tells me that I spent $458.18 (by far most of that in March). We got 8,823 clicks. How many new owners? I have no idea. Only you folks can tell me that (thus, the poll). It certainly didn't seem very effective (we got more signups *after* I stopped the Adwords campaign). I spent $148 on Facebook, and have no idea how well that "worked".

So the second subject actually consists of two parts - one part news, the other part asking for advice.

Our price per team is going to have to go up to $20 per team. Assuming one vacancy (at this point, that may be a hopeful estimate) and one free LA team per league, that'll gross $160 per league, less Paypal's 3.8 percent fee (an estimate) leaves us with about $153 per league. Our OnRoto cost is $75, so $78 per league will go to marketing for an estimated $1,170.

That report is the 2A. 2B is the follow up question. I'm an accountant - marketing is not my skill. What do I do with this money? Keep dumping it into Adwords? I need advice!

Please complete the poll so we all have an idea how you came to us, and then hopefully someone who knows what they are doing can suggest a direction or two! This is your game. I'm just trying to keep it going. Thank you!


Last edited by ShaneVG on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Izzo
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Joined: 30 Dec 2003
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Location: Wesley Chapel, NC

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word of mouth has to be the best way. If everyone brought in one friend that likes fantasy sports it could go a long way to keeping our leagues flourishing.

I've never seen a google ad or facebook ad concerning mocksports so I'm not sure how that is working.

Joe
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Crosley
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 4622
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely agree with Joe. After the first year we tried online ads (when I saw one), I haven't seen a trace of Mocksports ads on the 'net. Word of mouth is the most reliable tool - hell, I can actually take credit for two current owners who combined have five teams and I can assure you I know practically NOBODY who indulges in fantasy sports!

That makes the question for me, "How do we motivate current owners to recruit?" Would there be any value in using what would be the ad budget as a cash incentive to reward the top recruiters, either with a free team or outright cash?

The best thing about this discussion, by the way, is that we're starting it in July, not October.
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egritegan
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Location: Caye Caulker, Belize, Central America

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i think the best way still is word of mouth, but i'm old fashioned...i think some of it is that our league are kinda niche, maybe not for the masses...so i guess the internet stuff might catch someone...i am just an unfrozen caveman owner so i don't understand these modern ways... if we can pull in a friend every so often, that's how you get someone to stay and play...pontius recruited me (nine years ago already, yikes!) i needed someone to explain it to me face to face, it still took me years to get it but i stayed and played, i love it...hard to find that 'special' friend who can do it...unfortunately, i don't have any friends smart enuff AND devoted enuff to baseball to do this and grow the league...tuff job but you guys are doin great, thanks!
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Steve Shiffrin
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
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Location: Ithaca, New York

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that posts at fantasy baseball sites would be helpful. So baseballhq, mastersball and the like have classified ads. I am here because I asked on baseball hq if there was an online auction site and someone answered with mocksports. The nice thing about the forums on fantasy baseball sites is that they are free to the poster and the persons who read them so long as they are subscribers.
I would think an ad in a fantasy baseball magazine(s) would be more helpful than a facebook or google ad.
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EdMcGranahan
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 5335
Location: Taylors, South Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the game remains a favorite of mine because of the time I've invested, I'm a dinosaur.

The game is not friendly to most potential players because of the copious rules, the multiple sites and the antiquated methods of doing business -- manually generated "reals" lists, manual transactions and ciphering FAAB balances. Not to mention the quirks and tics league to league.

For years I read arguments about how this was a little community and the boards were places to exchange ideas and develop relationships. That ship sailed years ago.

Yahoo and ESPN offer reasonably good basic formats that can be tailored to most protocols. I know that insults many of you, but I can't help but wonder why?

I have been an active supporter and recruiter of this group for a few yers, and I've brought people into the league. None of them lasted more than one season.

I still recommend the group in every baseball forum I visit, but pay-to-play leagues offer a prize to winners. We offer -- us. That ain't gonna sell.
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rspears
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Joined: 30 Mar 2005
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Location: Columbus, Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of good points in the posts. I think Tom and Ed hit the nail on the head:
1) This is a niche institution that works well for people who want a community environment
2) Technology has caught up and surpassed us as automated Yahoo, ESPN, and CBSsports leagues take care of the messiness of rules and regs while we are handcrafted (which not always a bad thing). Most of these are free.

I, for one, greatly enjoy the comaraderie of you gentleman and can't see playing anywhere else. Just to recap my Mocksports story: I played on Compuserve with a lot of you and made the transition to Mocksports for one season when life took precedence (changing jobs, buying houses, and having kids) and dropped out of FBB for about 10 years, but I came back in 2005 and am glad I found you. I found Mocksports again totally by accident when I went searching for a league to play in.

It seems like word-of-mouth evangilizing and some targeted posts on Fantasy Baseball sites might be the best way to grow the leagues. Maybe experimenting with ads on sites like rotoworld.com would be a better way to spend dollars.

What is the health of the league compared to five years ago? To ten years ago? How many leagues/owners were there then?

I have one new owner in my league and I'm going to send him a message to get his take on his experience. Maybe I'll learn something from him that we can use.

Have we ever contacted the owners who've left and asked why? Maybe there's some lessons learned there?

I'm also going to start posting in some fantasy sports league board and plan on doing more posts next spring to see if I can drum up any new owners. I'll also try a couple of my old friends to see if they might be interested.

Thanks,
Randy
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dabob
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Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 1180

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Thoughts Reply with quote

I have and still played ESPN leagues etc but if you ask me what is my favorite format it has to be what is going on here at Mocksports.

Forget technology, forget manual submissions, forget the rules, it is the people that are involved in these leagues that make Mocksports the most fun and exciting Fantasy Baseball League out there.

I have been playing Fantasy Baseball for well over 20 years now and have never met a more active and knowledgeable group of owners.

Change is hard and there certainly can be improvements but whatever we do never forget this is a people hobby and we have the best.

bob
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creba16
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Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 457
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be one of the newest members, with this being my second year on Mocksports. Prior I played all of my leagues in Yahoo. I like the customizable ruleset we have here and teh deep rosters, but there is very little here that Yahoo doesn't have.. and its free and automated.

Personally, I get frustrated in player research in-season. What transacctions have been approved? Who is available? What are their stats for the last 2 weeks? Yahoo does this in real time and you can also see how your team is performing as it happens during the games. Here we have to wait til the next morning. Which format would I choose? Yahoo by a mile.

Another point was brought up about dues. I understand we have expenses to pay, but as someone else pointed out, most "pay" leagues have soem sort of monetary prize. I think that may be what holds people back form joining.

While I am sure this will not happen, I would STRONGLY push to move the running gears of the site to yahoo because it enhances the expereince, doesn't require LA's to manually approve transactions and rather can deal with approving trades and more important, less "busy-work" types of issues. It would save time, be easier to recruit, have faster stats, more features, and probably, cost about the same as what we are spending now, if not less.

Just my two cents.

Justin
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ShaneVG
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 7158
Location: Aurora, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creba16 wrote:
While I am sure this will not happen...

At this point, I wouldn't be sure about anything.

Well, one thing - the auctions will remain live.
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creba16
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Joined: 27 Feb 2011
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Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just would like to see the in-season stats and transactions be more live and automated. The drafts could be improved too, as some take 6 hours, which is rediculous! And it is hard to keep track of who is available and who has how much money left, but I do understand the importance of the auction structure we currently have.
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waters96
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Joined: 04 Mar 2011
Posts: 718
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my second year here. I used to play back in the Compuserve days. In addition to here, I play at Yahoo and ESPN.

Yes, I like the Yahoo and ESPN tools. While it is true there is some clunkiness here using the old-fashioned tools, I find it kind of fun. It's like going camping in the wilderness. You have to build your own fire, set up your own tent, cook your own food. There's something to be said for that. Plus, making it difficult means that players won't randomly sign up for multiple teams (except REDZ who is in every league, and manages to play hard and beat me to every trade and waiver wire transaction)('Very Happy')

OTOH, for the system to work, the transactions have to be processed at least daily. Otherwise, it ties a hand behind your back. This is particularly troublesome with FAAB. If you don't know whether your bid was successful, you don't know what your next move is. A couple of times I thought I had made a bid, but it didn't get through to the LA. It has been frustrating.

A suggestion I have is simply to have open bidding in the Forum for FAAB Claims. Sure, people can try to wait until the last second to beat somebody out by a buck. On the other hand, you can simply make a ridiculously high bid and blow everybody else away - like the Angels with Pujols. I know there is no perfect system, but this year FAAB has been my biggest complain.

As far as the money goes, I personally don't think ads are a good value. But Shane you're the accountant and I leave that call to you and others.

I appreciate this game and hope it will continue for years to come outside of the cookie-cutter Yahoo and ESPN world.
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Sloppy Thurston
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in one league with FAAB and one without. I still think that the FAAB budgets are to large. I would like to see a hard salary cap of 310 for the year and link the FAAB budget to the cap. Your budget would be the difference between you active salary and the cap.
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