SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adrian Bridgwater, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman

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Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Launches FanNation

Time Inc./Sports Illustrated presents FanNation, an innovative platform for daily fantasy gameplay available on mobile devices and the Web. FanNation will feature a suite of daily games devoted to the four major professional sports and give fans the ability to play for bragging rights, as well as cash prizes. Baseball Throwdown is the first new game in the series and play begins today online at fannation.si.com. The FanNation app is available as a free download from the App StoreSM on iPhone®, iPad® and iPod® touch.

Sports Illustrated has partnered with California based TopLine Game Labs to power the FanNation app which is the latest mobile product introduced by Time Inc. for SI. On June 23, the SI Digital team introduced the new www.si.com platform and that was followed by the June 25 world premiere of 120 Sports - the all-sports, live-streaming digital video network from Time Inc., MLB Advanced Media, the NHL, PGA Tour, Silver Chalice and Campus Insiders.

“Innovation is the hallmark of Sports Illustrated, and we’ve been exciting our fans and clients with a series of new franchises and innovations,” said Brendan Ripp, Sports Illustrated Vice President and Publisher. “We’re building tremendous momentum for the franchise and will continue to expand our business with new SI products and events.”

“This is an extraordinary period for Sports Illustrated, a perfect storm of sorts, where we have completely reengineered the mobile DNA of the brand,” said Jim DeLorenzo SI Digital VP and GM. “Daily Fantasy is booming, and together with our partners at TopLine Game Labs, we’ve created a mobile game that’s easy to play with your entire social community.”

The number of fantasy sports participants in the U.S. and Canada has risen to more than 41 million, according to new research conducted by Ipso Public Affairs, which was released by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association on June 18, 2014. This represents a 13% gain from the results of a '12 study, and 25% increase from the same survey in '10. Among the drivers of the steady, continued increase are mobile-based and daily fantasy games.

Created exclusively for Sports Illustrated, Baseball Throwdown offers quick-to-play, head-to-head format in which fans can challenge friends or random opponents to contests via text, email, or post to Facebook and Twitter. Each contest lasts for one day and is tied to that day’s scheduled professional baseball games. By centering the contests on one day’s worth of games, fans must leverage their baseball knowledge of specific matchups, such as a hitter’s performance against a specific pitcher, rather than relying on seasonal average.

"We're very excited to be working with Sports Illustrated to help bring innovative daily fantasy sports games to their fans. Jim and his team at SI have a shared creative vision with TopLine and we couldn't ask for a better partner,” said David Geller, CEO TopLine Game Labs.

Baseball Throwdown is played by creating a roster made up of three major league players -- pitcher, infielder, and outfielder -- who the fan believes will exceed their stat projections for that day’s game. The fan that accepts a challenge must select three players as well, but cannot choose any players already selected by their opponent.

About SI

Sports Illustrated is one of the world’s most respected media brands and a part of the Time Inc. portfolio of brands. Launched in 1954, the property now features a collection of category leading products and franchises including the flagship weekly magazine, a top 10 sports website (si.com); SI Swimsuit, The MMQB; Planet Futbol; SI Now; SI Golf Group; Extra Mustard; SI Edge, SI Kids and FanNation. It is also a core partner to the new 120 Sports, live, digital programming network.

About TopLine Game Labs

TopLine Game Labs is a technology company with a mission to create revolutionary social gaming experiences that power fan and brand engagement. TopLine is led by industry veteran David Geller and a team of technologists, designers, and product development specialists with deep experience developing consumer products at Apple, DreamWorks Animation, Live Nation, Salesforce, and Yahoo!. TopLine Game Labs’ engineers have over 30 years of combined experience in architecting robust, stable gaming platforms that dynamically scale to deliver optimized presentation layers across any device: desktop, mobile, or tablet. TopLine architects technology platforms that power social games and apps to deliver fan engagement for both small and large brands across sports, entertainment, finance and other lifestyle categories.

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