DFW-Based Tech Startup Takes Aim at ESPN, CBS & YAHOO!
Dallas-Fort Worth (July 31, 2013) – Two local tech entrepreneurs are making a splash in the fantasy sports industry with the launch of their newest product: Dumpster Fire Fantasy Football. Dumpster Fire, which launched in Beta (test version) in August 2012 and is now open to the general public, is a direct competitor to the fantasy football platforms offered by the biggest names in fantasy sports: ESPN, CBS and Yahoo!.
Founded by University of North Texas graduate, Chris Rodriguez, 30, and Texas Christian University graduate, Ryan Cormier, 27, Dumpster Fire is the newest addition to the fantasy football marketplace, which is currently dominated by major media conglomerates.
“We played [fantasy football] with ESPN, CBS and Yahoo! for years, but we felt like the experience left a lot to be desired,” Rodriguez, Founder and President of Dumpster Fire, explained. “We feel like they crammed fantasy football into their existing media platforms. It was as if they honestly thought we had to play with them. That’s where they got it wrong.”
The birth of Dumpster Fire
Late in 2011, frustrated by the lack of social interactivity, user friendliness, and overall aesthetic appeal of the fantasy football platforms offered up by the ESPN, CBS and Yahoo!, Rodriguez developed a business plan around the idea of building a better fantasy football platform to compete in the marketplace. He quickly recruited Cormier, a Fort Worth-based digital marketing specialist and Rodriguez’ best friend, as VP of Interactive Marketing for Dumpster Fire.
Rodriguez then raised $100,000 for startup costs, website design and development services, website hosting fees, live scoring feeds, legal fees, accounting, and marketing. From January 2012 through August 2012, Rodriguez and Cormier worked tirelessly with a web development company in India to turn their fantasy football dream into a reality. Dumpsterfire.com was completed and launched for testing just three weeks before the 2012-2013 NFL season.
“Watching the site transform from an idea into a real product was absolutely amazing,” Rodriguez said. “We were working 80-hour weeks, but it never felt like work. The entire experience was extremely nerve-wracking, yet wildly satisfying at the same time.”
Having completed one full year of testing, the team at Dumpster Fire is looking forward to its first official year in business. The site is currently accepting signups for free and paid leagues.
“We’re elated to launch our product to the masses this season,” Cormier said. “We’ve been able to test, refine, and improve the site over the last year. We think we built something truly special.”
Rodriguez and Cormier both understand that, in order to go toe-to-toe with ESPN, CBS, and Yahoo!, they need to be extremely targeted with their marketing efforts, and they have to provide value that others simply do not.
“In addition to a great user experience, beautiful design, and social functionality akin to Facebook, Dumpster Fire offers some of the best incentives in fantasy football,” Cormier explained. “Not only do we pay out the top three players in each paid league, we also dole out $100 per week to the user with the highest score among paid league users across the site. Even if your record is 1-11, you still have a shot at $100 if your team has a monster week.”
“Our ultimate goal is to show entrepreneurs that you can do anything you set your mind to,” Rodriguez said. “If you’re going up against Goliath, don’t be afraid to be David. ESPN, CBS, and Yahoo! are great, but we think we’re better. That’s what we’re out to prove.”
What exactly is a Dumpster Fire?
According to Urban Dictionary, a Dumpster Fire is a complete disaster; something very difficult that nobody wants to deal with. In fantasy football, a Dumpster Fire is the team you had the highest hopes for, but ended finishing dead last with a record of 3-13.