The okiraqi.org blog and the OklahomIraqis League (the OIL) are proud to partner with MyFantasyCommish.com (MFC) this season. Commissioner Cliburn spoke with MFC co-founder Chris Sternal about the new venture. That interview is after the jump. But, first, check out their advertising video on YouTube:
Seems pretty useful, right? That's what I thought. Although the OIL is not a money league, I think MFC would be perfect for money leagues. And, while I've never played (or commished) any fantasy sports other than football, I think MFC is perfect for intensive fantasy leagues that mirror the long seasons of baseball, basketball, and hockey. But football was on my mind when I reached out to MFC about partnering with the OIL. Here's what Chris had to say:
OKIRAQI.ORG: So, who are you?
CHRIS STERNAL: I am a fantasy sports addict. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Columbia College Chicago, and my professional work experience is in outside sales for both IT and staffing firms. MFC co-founder Jace Cosentino and I met while working together at Aerotek for a year and a half, and shortly after meeting we started talking about taking up entrepreneurship and new business ideas.
How long have you played fantasy football?
STERNAL: I have been playing fantasy football for well over 10 years. I play football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. I'm interested in trying golf, NASCAR, surfing, and soccer soon.
How many leagues do you compete in? Have you won the championship? How many times?
STERNAL: I am currently in eight fantasy football leagues, two basketball leagues, one hockey league, and one baseball league. I have won multiple championships in football and baseball, still working on winning a title in hockey and basketball! Baseball is my favorite of all the fantasy sports and I feel that football involves the most luck.
Do you play for money, a trophy, pride, or all three?
STERNAL: I play for all three! My baseball league ("sternBall"), which is my pride and joy, has a traveling trophy that I have won twice and the highest money buy-in that I have competed for is $500 a team.
What is MFC?
STERNAL: MFC is a third-party fantasy commissioner service. Simply put, we run your league. We take on all the responsibilities of setting up and managing a league our of your hands so you can focus on running your team. We handle everything from draft setup (live or online) to collecting buy-ins and distributing winnings via PayPal. On top of the commissioner service, we have also developed a social community similar to Facebook and Twitter that is free to join. Users can connect, communicate, and compete with players from all over the world.
What can MFC do right now?
STERNAL: MFC can take over any existing leagues that you no longer want to run, or you can create a new league on our site and we will fill it with users from our social community that want to play for similar stakes. To make the transition as easy as possible, we use the ESPN and Yahoo Sports platforms to run your leagues. We do
What are your plans for the future?
STERNAL: MFC wants to become the world's best social community for fantasy sports players. We want to have thousands of users and be known as the go to place for fantasy sports players to connect, communicate, and compete. We have already developed a great base that includes chat functionality and the ability to connect and message other users directly on our site. Over the next year we really want to focus on introducing new fantasy sports to the users of our websites. Everyone is already in 10 football leagues, but have they ever tried basketball or hockey? We also want to work with people who have ideas for our site and give their feedback to our developers so we can become as user-friendly as possible. Partnering with passionate leagues like the OIL is definitely a step in the right direction.
How did this idea start?
STERNAL: MFC was started in Chicago by two fantasy sports nuts who realized that fantasy sports could be, and should be, more enjoyable for everyone. Jace and I were in a bar, and after a few cocktails, we decided that this is something we were ready to dedicate our lives to. We are passionate about fantasy sports and want to spend all of our time talking about and working in this industry. We have both run leagues for many years and while most do not enjoy it, it is something that we love.
What can MFC do for the average fantasy football league?
STERNAL: MFC can take the average football league to the next level. If you take a closer look at our services we offer Pre-Draft, In-Season, and Post-Draft Solutions. Players no longer have to make 10 phone calls and send 50 texts to get a league started and they now have an unbiased commissioner whose only agenda is to make your fantasy experience as enjoyable and pain free as possible. Done are the days of your buddy texting you at 10 a.m. on a Monday when you're at work because he wants to know why he didn't get points for a safety. Our passionate personnel will handle these tasks for you. And again, MFC is a great place to join fantasy leagues in the "other sports" such as basketball, hockey, and baseball.
Why did you start MFC?
STERNAL: Simply put, Jace and I absolutely love sports. I've been told on many occasions that I'm a complete addict and rarely will you see anything on my TV other than sports. I'm passionate about running my fantasy leagues and I want to share that with everyone in the world. MFC is free to join and our service is affordable, convenient, and easy to setup.
Do you have "day jobs"? If so, what do you do (if you wish to share)?
STERNAL: Jace and I both decided that we need to focus on MFC full time in April and both left careers in outside sales to develop our website. We launched our "Beta" testing in mid June, and the site went live late July. We are available to talk about MFC and fantasy sports 24/7/365 and we would not have it any other way.
Where are you from?
STERNAL: Jace and I both grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.
Who is your favorite NFL team?
STERNAL: BEARS baby! I'm really liking our chances of making some noise this year, but there is so much parity in the league these days that anything can happen.
What is your team name (or most common team name if you are in multiple leagues)?
STERNAL: Seeing how my parents are Polish immigrants, I usually find a way to incorporate Poland into my names and my nicknames of Diz and Deezy get the mix as well. Examples might be Warsaw RazzleDazzle (2 time sternBall champ!) and sternDeezy. Not the most creative names of all time, but at least people know who they're battling!
How did you decide on a registration fee of $14?
STERNAL: The fee of $14/team is based on the work we do before, during, and after the fantasy football season. It breaks down to $1/week per team which is extremely affordable. When this service existed many years back, companies would charge upwards of $500 per league. We wanted to make sure that we appealed to all fantasy users, not only the ones with deep pockets, so we priced our service the way we did. Jace and I didn't start this company to make tons of money; we started it because it's something that we love to do. Yes, we want to make a good living, but we also don't plan to become millionaires through this site.
How many draft parties have you planned? Why do you offer it as a service? What are your capabilities in that regard?
STERNAL: Jace and I have been planning draft parties since our days in college. There is nothing like having a live draft in a public setting with friends. We have coordinated drafts at bars and restaurants, as well as destinations because not all the members of the league we in the same city and state. We offer this as a service because we know how difficult it can be for people to coordinate and we want to alleviate them of this pain. We have not put a limit on our capabilities, and that is why the price of the service is determined on the complexity of the draft. Anything from a local bar to Vegas, we will do our best to make it happen!
What made you want to partner with the OklahomIraqis League?
STERNAL: Commissioner Justin C. Cliburn of the OIL reached out to me about our service and we had a great conversation about not only helping him run his league, but also getting involved with U.S. veterans in some capacity. MFC has the utmost respect for what these men and women do for our country and we want to help if we can.
What is your favorite OIL team logo?
STERNAL: I have to give the best logo award to Jack's SoonerJacks. Pretty clever incorporating his name with the card and the Oklahoma Sooners logo!
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