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                                      🎉 2022 Shortlist

                                      YAHOO FANTASY DRAFT TOGETHER

                                      Entrant: Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      NOMINEE ✨
                                      • Best New Fan Experience

                                       

                                      yahoo-fantasy-draft-together

                                      ABOUT THIS ENTRY

                                      Draft Together allows fantasy players the chance to use video chat when drafting. With virtual communication becoming the new norm, using Draft Together is a way to bring the spirit of in-person drafting. League mates can chat and interact (and trash each other's draft choices, of course!) while picking their players ahead of another great fantasy season! 

                                      How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

                                      Through the launch of Draft Together, we were able to launch the first of its kind embedded video chat experience within Fantasy drafts. Beyond the global pandemic, fantasy managers can now join the rest of their league virtually, if they aren’t able to make draft day in-person. This means that managers can stay connected with their league, from wherever they are.

                                      Draft Together is the first step towards creating more virtual experiences that allow sports fans to connect with each other from anywhere. Virtual and deeply connected experiences are here to stay, empowering sports fans to transcend borders and boundaries alike, while staying connected.

                                      Objective: At the height of the global pandemic during the summer of 2020, given the uncertainty of Sports resuming due to the impending health risks for athletes caused by covid-19, we saw a dip in registrations and engagement for our Yahoo Fantasy Sports product. With everyone stuck at home, and with video having become increasingly important as a means to connect with friends and family, we sought out to build a video experience, to re-engage sports fans once sports re-opened.

                                      For Fantasy, draft day is the single most important day for any league, which dictates the players each manager will have on their team, ready to take on the fantasy season in a bid to win. This means that drafting the best possible players for your team puts you in the best possible position to win your league.

                                      Thus, our goal was to leverage a fun and engaging video chat experience, to bring fantasy managers together during draft day to complete their draft, while creating a fun draft atmosphere. This led to the creation of the first embedded video chat experience within Fantasy drafts, called Draft Together.

                                      Strategy & Execution: The sports fan experience as we know it, drastically changed in the year 2020. Sports fans around the world found themselves still having to experience games and sporting events virtually in 2021, while having to find new ways of engaging with one another, and embracing the sports they love.

                                      We built Draft Together with our sports fans. By constantly listening to their challenges, and learning about their ever-changing needs caused by a shift in how they were left to experience sports during a global pandemic, we built a platform-agnostic video chat experience, seamlessly integrated with their drafts. This meant that sports fans could sit at their desk at home, or walk around their home, while enjoying a video draft experience with their leaguemates.

                                      As part of our global Yahoo Build It Forward virtual event in March 2021, we launched Draft Together for Baseball Drafts (desktop only), within the US-only. We made it easier for Fantasy Baseball managers to stay connected and trash talk during draft day, while drafting the best players for their team. We followed up with the launch of Draft Together for Football drafts (mobile & desktop) in the fall of 2021, partnering with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver, Juju Smith-Schuster for the launch. We later launched the feature for Hockey and Basketball drafts. The feature was limited to private leagues with up to 12 fantasy managers in the league.  

                                      Results: With the launch of Draft Together, we saw fantasy managers joining their drafts and drafting with their league mates. We were able to engage over 400k unique fantasy managers drafting with their video on, along with their leaguemates.

                                      Production

                                      Fantasy Product, Fantasy Product Design, Fantasy engineering, Yahoo User Research, Sports Marketing, Yahoo Brand Creative, Yahoo Video team, Yahoo Legal team


                                      Credits

                                      Kwame Odame
                                      Senior Product Manager
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Ben Schlitter
                                      Principal Product Designer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Wayne Greenwood
                                      Sr Dir, Product Management
                                      Yahoo Streaming Video Products

                                      Dipesh Raichura
                                      Head of Yahoo Fantasy Product
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Kat O’Neill
                                      User Experience & Consumer Insights Researcher

                                      Sam Jaroszewski
                                      User Experience Researcher
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Dhara Bavishi
                                      Software Apps Engineering
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Brian Coe
                                      Princ Software Dev Engineer
                                      Yahoo

                                      Joe Francis
                                      Sr Mgr, Software Dev Engineering
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Erica Loh Jones
                                      Director of Product Design
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Deepak Somashekhara
                                      Sr Mgr, Software Dev Engineering
                                      Connected TV

                                      Ramagopal Reddy Ambati
                                      Sr Software QA Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Cary Stanley
                                      Princ Software Dev Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Bruce Ng
                                      Sr Mgr, Software Dev Engineering
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Arjun Govindaraju
                                      Princ Technical Security EngineerCyber Resilience

                                      Roger Urrabazo
                                      Sr Dir, Software Dev Engineering
                                      Connected TV

                                      David Chou
                                      Sr Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Bart Broad
                                      Princ Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      James Wong
                                      Princ Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo

                                      Erin Chuang
                                      Sr Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo

                                      Gagan Basandra
                                      Software Apps Engineer II
                                      Yahoo

                                      Jarrett Freeman
                                      Software Dev Engineer
                                      Fantasy Sports

                                      Jinhyun Kim
                                      Sr Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo

                                      Lakshmi Thamizhmani
                                      Director, Technical Program Mgmt
                                      Yahoo

                                      Lingyan Zhu
                                      Distinguished Architect
                                      Yahoo

                                      Mikul Bhatt
                                      Dir, Software Apps Engineering
                                      Connected TV

                                      Neha Dike
                                      Mgr, Software Apps Engineering
                                      Connected TV

                                      Rishika Dewan
                                      Software Dev Engineer II
                                      Yahoo

                                      Shivani Dave
                                      Sr Software QA Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Edmund Lou
                                      Sr Software Apps Engineer
                                      Yahoo Fantasy Sports

                                      Celebrate in Las Vegas

                                      Join us for the 4th Hashtag Sports Awards™ presented by Budweiser on the evening of July 12, 2022 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.

                                       

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