With the launch of its mobile sportsbook app in the coming days, TopProp is hoping to be the latest innovation to attract interest in a sports betting/daily fantasy sports-frenzied world.
And if you think it’s all been done before, TopProp would like you to hold its beer.
Put simply — and it is simple — the TopProp model pits user against user in an athlete vs. athlete situation. For instance: Let’s say TopProp has Tom Brady penciled in for 18.5 predicted fantasy points, and Justin Herbert for 16.5. You can take Brady and give two points, or take Herbert and get the two points. You’re matched up with another user — or you send an invite to a pal — and that’s that.
Mano a mano for all the marbles.
Round Two matchups are LIVE on TopProp 👀
— TopProp Fantasy (@TopPropFantasy) May 20, 2022
Thank you, Mike Evans
This company — which launched last year on a web-based platform — was founded by college buddies Michael Zavagno, the CEO, and Griffin Kurzius, the COO.
“Griffin and I met at Wake Forest, where we lived in the same freshman hall, and our friends started a fantasy league, one that’s just about to enter its 12th season,” Zavagno said. “And a few years ago, we were in a situation where Griffin and I were playing, a chance for the playoffs on the line, it was Monday Night Football, I had Mike Evans and was down eight points. And we were going back and forth with each other trying to figure out what are the odds were I’d win, what are the odds he’d win.”
That was the genesis. From there, they realized the market was lacking a user vs. user model that was as simple as “Which player is going to score more points?”
“Basically, we asked how to preserve the head-to-head competitiveness while also making it accessible across the spectrum from those most involved — people who are betting, playing DFS, everything — to those just playing season-long but still fairly invested in that concept. So we started talking to people who played DFS, people who didn’t play, people who were former DFS players who had fallen off the wagon,” Zavagno continued.
“We started to identify simplicity was something people were after. People who wanted things to be more casual were struggling with nine-player builds and salary caps on things like DraftKings and FanDuel Casino & Sportsbook, and then we were looking at some of the newer entrants in the space and not seeing head-to-head competitiveness preserved.”
So the duo set out to build something that incorporated these two basic premises: Keep it simple, keep it head-to-head.
TopProp was launched for the NFL season last year, and PGA markets soon followed.
🚨 TopProp Golf is LIVE 🚨
— TopProp Fantasy (@TopPropFantasy) April 6, 2022
Swiper, all the swiping
“The mobile app will be swipe-based, by far the easiest delivery model, and one that can play into younger demographics and more casual fans, people that like fantasy but don’t want to spend so much time on these nine-player lineups,” Kurzius said.
For this coming NFL season, in the 29 states where TopProp is licensed — soon to be 32 and Canada, Kurzius notes — users will be greeted with about 200 contests the TopProp team finds interesting.
“You won’t be flooded with backup vs. backup,” Kurzius notes.
Of course, if users want to create their own contests, they can do so and then send it off to their friends for the competition.
“It’s cool to play Bob in Texas, but better to play your college friend Mike,” Kurzius notes.
Both founders also believe the key to success in this peer vs. peer model is, quite simply, peers.
“The biggest thing for us is we want people to refer their friends,” Zavagno said. “But instead of saying, ‘Hey, check out TopProp,’ people will be able to say, ‘I’m sending you a Saquon Barkley vs. Nick Chubb contest, let’s go!’”
In addition to the NFL and PGA, TopProp will be launching its NBA product in time for the tipoff to the 2022-23 season.
And most importantly …
“Mike won the Evans game,” Kurzius said. “He scored an early touchdown.”
“Smooth sailing,” Zavagno couldn’t help but add.
Head to head, peer to peer, friend vs. friend. It’s really the root of all fantasy games, and TopProp is digging right in.