1on1 with Paddy O'Clery on Chroma’s Fantasy Rugby product

1on1 with Paddy O'Clery on Chroma’s Fantasy Rugby product

Friday, January 27, 2017 Posted by Luke Massey
Chroma has built a Six Nations Fantasy based product for The Irish Times

Digital platform provider Chroma has built a fantasy rugby product for The Irish Times. Totally Gaming caught up with CEO Paddy O'Clery to discuss the Six Nations based game, 'Fantasy Rugby 2017'.

O’Clery expressed his excitement over the product launch, which gives The Irish Times ‘the perfect hook to engage, entertain and deliver their readers and sponsors throughout the tournament’.

TG: Can you provide some more details about your partnership with the Irish Times?

Paddy O’Clery: The Irish Times have run Fantasy Rugby with Chroma since 2016 and after a hugely popular first year, they are looking at building on that success this year - especially as the Ireland team have such high hopes this Six Nations with both France and England playing them at the Aviva.

Chroma also runs many rugby-based fantasy games on our Classic Fantasy Platform, from the Rugby World Cup to Australian NRL with brands as varied as Barclays and Heineken to global bookmakers.

TG: We understand that initially the Irish Times approached you about a fantasy game to grow their golf readership; how did the change to a Rugby focus come about?

POC: The Irish Times were one of the first media owners to understand the value of fantasy and its ability to engage their readers’ way back when it was in the newspaper only. They have also always invested digitally and were one of the first newspapers in the British Isles to go online. Their affluent and well-educated readership love golf and rugby.

We run their season-long golf fantasy so it was only natural for the Irish Times to explore with Chroma the opportunity to engage their rugby-mad readership with an engaging and fun additional product. The Irish Times have always been very good at driving copy sales through their online engagement and transfer codes for the fantasy game are often found in the paid edition of the title as well as attracting sponsors of the game too.

TG: Who is the data provider for the Six Nations matches?

POC: The Irish Times game uses Chroma’s Classic Fantasy Platform with the scores updated after the event through our data feed providers, Opta. For our new Live Scoring Platform, as used by Fox Sports Netherlands for their Profcoach game, we use continually updated games start, often quicker than the time delay experienced when watching the game on television.

TG: It is different to other Fantasy Rugby games with the valuation on players, and overall team budget for managers - is there anything else that makes it stand out from its competitors?

POC: Our in-house sports game management team set the budgets and player valuations. It’s always a delicate balance to appeal to both the casual fan and the real expert. There are many features unique to the Irish Times games with the number of transfers and players from each team being set specifically by the Irish Times themselves.

TG: How did you arrive at the player valuations for the game?

POC: Our sports game management team review past player performance, team performance, current club statistics, likelihood to play and finally analyse each player’s potential impact on the Six Nations. It’s the perfect blend of stats crunching and expert knowledge. Needless to say, there are some heated debates in our office.

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