by Josh Delofsky, CEO, uRoto Fantasy Sports
Every fantasy sports fan understands that a successful draft requires research and insight well beyond the numbers. The truly passionate competitors sink hours into analyzing past and present performances, as well as raw talent, personnel changes, and things most would deem absurdly irrelevant. While many find fantasy sports to be a nice respite from the rigors of everyday reality—which they most certainly are—there are those that see fantasy sports for what they can be: a phenomenally mesmerizing test of psychological, mathematical, and analytical prowess. The same principles the hardcore fantasy sports fans use during their decision-making process can be equally applied to decisions outside of the fantasy sports world. Finding the right fit in a team of creatives is no exception.
Just as we would with any draft selection, we most likely spent far too long performing due diligence on a number of design teams that had a readily-available online presence. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t receive a few proposals along the way. However, at uRoto, we’re far more interested in the proper fit and long-term returns than we are in the bottom line. From the very beginning, we’ve focused on building a one-of-a-kind fantasy sports experience without compromise, and we knew that the user would have to be at the heart of everything we did. In time, we were finding ourselves on Dribbble - a very powerful resource for design teams—browsing through an endless supply of portfolios.
This is where the genius of Focus Lab comes into play. Not only do they tout extraordinary branding skills, but they’ve done a spectacular job with their own personal branding. A simple sorting of designers by popularity brought us to Bill Kenney in no time. The following that they’ve built - and earned - is a testament to just how amazing these individuals are. It takes more than a skill set to build a network of that size. It takes personality. It takes dedication. In this case, it also happens to take good ol’ southern hospitality. Our team at uRoto didn’t bother overanalyzing this one, something we aren’t used to. The intangibles were there. The work ethic was beyond reproach. It didn’t take long to realize that, in drafting our partners in experience-building, we would be selecting Focus Lab.
From the onset, the communication was excellent. Shortly thereafter, we signed them to our team and training camp was underway. Things immediately clicked. Focus Lab and uRoto both spent a short amount of time determining the direction we wanted to head, and then it was off to the races. Like any good teammates, we bounced ideas off of one another and before long our weekly huddles didn’t even feel like work. It most definitely was work, but good luck convincing anybody that was involved. Deliverables came on time, sometimes early, and we were consistently impressed. The experience was so enjoyable and rewarding that uRoto and Focus Lab have already teamed up twice more on related projects, and on behalf of uRoto, I can confidently say that we don’t expect it to end there.
Here’s where we would close by saying something along the lines of “and it all resulted in a touchdooooown.” Of course, we’ll spare you. The short of it is that the work that Focus Lab does is truly exceptional. Quite possibly of greater importance is the fashion in which they accomplish that work, and the pleasant client experience that comes with it. For those of you simply interested in reading about the goings on at Focus Lab: yes, they really are that good. Keep an eye on their work to come. To those who are strongly considering making them your first pick: don’t overthink it, they’re ready for the big time.
For those who have been patiently waiting, keep an eye out for us in 2016…
Make Some Noise