A blockchain startup wants to raise nearly $100 million dollars to create a new form of fantasy football.
Called the Crown League, the project's owner told CoinDesk on Tuesday that it seeks to form a professional fantasy football league, with 12 teams initially, which will collectively be owned by fans via the platform's crypto tokens. In some respects, the league will act like other fantasy leagues, but it differs in being a single, unified entity operated by professional managers and owned by the general public.
Dan Nissanoff, chief executive of CrownThrown Inc. – the company behind the Crown League – told CoinDesk that fantasy football at present is "incredibly fragmented." "Nobody cares about other teams," he said. This is in part because "there's nothing to cover in fantasy today."
"All you can do is prognosticate who you can trade, who you can start, but you're talking to millions of people who have their own teams," he explained. The Crown League seeks to unite fantasy fans by giving them shared ownership of a single team on a blockchain, ensuring that "for the first time you can feel like an owner."
These teams will be run and staffed by actual professional game managers and front office staff, with token holders able to influence decisions within each team. Token holders will also be able to vote to hire or replace team managers.
"We are going to give you access to, as a fantasy enthusiast, and there are tens of millions of them in the United States alone; we are going to give you access to the people playing at the highest level. You can follow the experts," Nissanoff told CoinDesk.
The firm has also announced a token pre-sale, which is expected to raise $30 million over 60–90 days. The sale, which will operate as a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) fundraiser, will be open to accredited investors through a regulation D offering.
The pre-sale will be followed by 12 "micro-ICOs" of $5 million apiece, with each representing a different team and open to the general public through a regulation A+ exemption, meaning it will need to be approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Nissanoff expects the public sales to occur somewhere between the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.
The platform itself will launch on a test network around December and is expected to start full operation by next summer. As such, the first proper season should launch in the autumn of 2019 at the start of the National Football League season.
Football image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.