Open Letter to FSTA Members: Get Involved


In July 1997, Fantasy Insights, Jim Lenz and a technology-wiz named James Serra (right) held a conference at the Tropicana in Las Vegas where the idea for an association for fantasy companies was first contemplated.  In February 1998, at USA Today’s Expert League LABR draft in Tampa, the group that met the previous summer began putting the framework on an association. They would help each other by sharing problems and coming up with solutions plus legislation was proposed that would treat fantasy like gambling and these companies’ livelihood would be threatened.

At the next year’s event in 1999, the Fantasy Sports Players Association had their first meeting: Krause Publications (Greg Ambrosius - left), CBS SportsLine (yours truly), The Sporting News (Christina Schelhardt), STATS (Steve Byrd), CDM Fantasy Sports (Charlie Wiegert), Prime Sports Network (Brad Mumm), Ultimate Fantasy Sports (John Zaleski), EA Sports (Scott Higgins), Fantasy Insights (James Serra), USA Fantasy (Carl Foster) and not sure, but I think USA Today and Fox Sports were both represented. Five years later, it would be renamed the Fantasy Sports Trade Association on the request from the NFLPA.

In recent years, we have had some turmoil, strife, confusion and miscommunications.  Every industry has that and this is not the first time that we have had to tackle problems.  In 2000, a patent owner threatened to shut down games and commissioner products. In 2002, the NFLPA wanted fewer licensees at higher fees like the trading card industry so they stopped licensing all the small companies and tried to run them out of business. In 2005, MLBAM with MLBPA attempted to take ownership of fantasy sports by saying that the players owned their stats and fantasy sports companies couldn’t use them. In each one of these cases, the FSTA fought on behalf of fantasy sports and won.

Fantasy sports’ recent issues are well-documented and times have been tough. So yes, the industry has problems but the FSTA will continue to fight on.

With adversity comes opportunity. 

There is the great opportunity for you and your company to NOW be involved and change things to help the FSTA do better in the future. There are an UNPRECEDENTED eight of the fifteen board seats up for vote right now.  The FSTA is accepting nominations from members who are in good standing that wish to be a part of the changes that will occur with new blood!

All you have to do is submit your nomination before midnight PST on February 14th. Fill out your form here: Remember that what you write in the nomination is what voters will see, so make sure you tell the members why you want to take on this responsibility and how you are qualified to succeed.  I would be glad to personally read and help anyone write a good board nomination.

This time in our industry is not easy, but that is when we need the best people to step forward and become part of the change that allows the FSTA to help companies grow through networking, research and advocacy.  Please consider helping your industry.



Sincerely Yours,





Rick Wolf

Founding & Current Board Member & Hall of Fame 2011