Rotisserie Baseball and the Birth of Viral

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Like many of you, I’m a big fan of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

I recently saw the installment titled “The Silly Little Game” about Rotisserie Baseball and the rise of Fantasy Sports at the urging of my friend, @jonfestinger. It was a brilliant piece with a compelling story, true to the 30 for 30 series. Jon commented to me that I’d have a specific interest in this episode in that he saw the rise of Fantasy Sports as a parallel to all things viral.

So I watched it (so should you). And I kept Jon’s comments about viral in mind.

I think the compelling question here lies in “What is viral?” vs. “What is a fad?”. For example, was acid wash jeans a viral fashion? Was Atari a viral video game system?

My answer is “No” to these questions – but here’s why my answer is “Yes” that Roti Baseball is viral (and possibly the first example of it).

  1. First off – baseball is all about the numbers. Stats, categories, how the game is called is all numbers and percentages.
  2. Baseball was not “new”, but how and why one watched baseball was. One could even now participate in baseball.

When these two things collided, and with the dawn of the digital age and the internet came around – Fantasy Sports took off into an estimated $2B annual business. Roti Baseball was not “marketed” like acid was jeans or Atari. It simply caught on. Quickly. The digital age simply helped to accelerate its growth.

Over to you – what are our thoughts on Rotisserie Baseball and the rise of viral?

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3 thoughts on “Rotisserie Baseball and the Birth of Viral

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