Oulala hits the top of the league

Oulala hits the top of the league

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
CEO Valery Bollier believes Oulala is well placed for success in England

Fantasy football operator Oulala is hoping for title-winning success after signing a partnership with English Premier League leader Leicester City.

Oulala, which launched real-money games in the UK earlier this year, has become the official fantasy football partner of the club and will benefit from exposure at the club’s King Power Stadium and on its website.

The agreement is Oulala’s first with an English football club, but follows the trend of high-profile partnerships between daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators and major franchises in North America.

Oulala founder and chief executive Valery Bollier told TotallyGaming.com that he welcomed the competition from US giants such as DraftKings, which is set to launch in the UK before the end of the year.

“We need FanDuel, DrafKings and Yahoo! and we welcome any serious competitors that would like to enter the European fantasy football industry,” said Bollier. “This is key for the development of the market.

“The more competitors we have, the more visibility our new industry will gain. It will be a win-win situation for everyone.”

Bollier, whose company has launched a bespoke Leicester City fantasy game, said that he believes his company is ideally placed to become a major player in the European market and to encourage a change in how DFS players view football.

“It is key to understand that launching a fantasy football game in Europe is a very different challenge than launching it in the US. We have multiple languages, different levels of market maturity and different currencies," he said. “More importantly, there is a cultural gap between the data/sports relationship - when an American talks about Lebron James' last basketball game, he will give his stats sheet. 

"If any European talks about Lionel Messi’s last football game, he will probably say something like, “he played amazingly well”. In other words, big data is not – yet - part of our European sports culture. 

“This explains why we ran our game for two years in its free version before launching the monetised version of Oulala. We had to adapt our game to the expectations of European customers, since simply duplicating the US model is far from being enough.”

Speaking about the deal, Ian Flanagan, commercial director at Leicester, added: “We’re delighted to partner with Oulala to bring supporters a new way to game here at Leicester City. Fantasy football is a relatively established platform in the UK and this will give supporters the chance to pick their sides on their own bespoke-branding LCFC website. 

“This partnership also adds to our global appeal - fantasy football is a huge and growing industry in countries such as the US and it will provide those Foxes supporters Stateside and elsewhere an opportunity to take part in the LCFC experience.” 

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