A Lone Star team of celebrities has purchased a team with SimWin, the Texas-based virtual sports reality operator. The team made up of Black owners hopes to “represent a diverse fan base that reflects each owner’s unique background.”
Daily fantasy sports still in ‘gray’ area
Given its operational similarities to daily fantasy sports, it’s safe to assume that SimWin exists and functions in the same legal limbo as DFS sites.
So far, the state of Texas has not targeted DFS players for prosecution. Regrettably, efforts at the statehouse to fully legalize DFS have failed in the past.
Texas natives focus on empowerment
The new Texas SimWin team is owned by standout University of Texas linebacker Emmanuel Acho, lifestyle influencer Sara “Lovestyle” Hood and entrepreneur extraordinaire Edward Madongorere. Their team is the Houston Hyenas.
The three Texas natives said the main objective of the new team is to dedicate efforts to empowering minority-owned businesses.
David J. Ortiz, SimWin’s founder and former senior producer at EA Sports, believes the team highlights SimWin’s efforts “to promote an inclusive, diverse and equitable ownership base” by harnessing their “outstanding professional accolades in the tech and media industries.”
The three join a list of SimWin’s star-studded owners, which includes the NBA’s Magic Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Penny Hardaway and LaMelo Ball. NFL stars Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk and Mike Singletary also field teams, as well as Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL.
What is SimWin and how does it work?
SimWin’s metaverse sports league is powered by blockchain technology from Horizen Labs. It mirrors real life via a player performance model comprising hot and cold streaks.
It’s the first professional esports league in which celebrities and investors own teams. It’s also the first league – virtual or otherwise – that competes all year long. Daily fantasy players and esports fans will be able to buy, sell, trade and train virtual players after the initial virtual drop.
The metaverse is made up entirely of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are unique cryptographic emblems that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated. Every team, player and trainer is an NFT that possesses unique business opportunities.
Those who buy a team battle it out in games and coach virtual teams in live simulations streamed to any device.
You can participate as an owner or an agent
To be part of the action, however, you don’t need to be an owner. One can also become an agent by purchasing the rights to an NFT player. Agents who acquire player NFTs can generate a weekly salary and performance bonuses, not to mention a cut of the NFT Marketplace transactions, NFT collectibles and more.
To buy a team, you have to use the SimWin token. Once the team is yours, the next step is to personalize it by picking suitable logos and uniforms. After that, you partner with SimWin to create stadiums.
Owners shape and customize their team with every decision they make from one season to the next.
An owner’s journey or action plan will include:
- League draft: Owners form teams by selecting players in the league draft
- Weekly strategy: Owners devise a game plan and modify tendencies before each game
- Game day: Strategy is a key aspect during games, and owner decisions cause teams to win or lose
- Player progression: After each game, owners monitor and direct player progression
- Roster change: When the season ends, owners sign free agents and re-shape their teams
- College draft: The last step is adding college players through the draft to inject new life into the roster
Simwin players and customers each have their own journeys. SimWin games run on a proprietary player platform model, which allows each digital athlete to develop during the season and career with growth, atrophy, and hot and cold streaks.
Connection and diversity behind Hyenas
As for the Houston Hyenas, Hood said Ortiz’s leadership, as well as his “pivotal role in ensuring that ownership opportunities have been accessible to black and brown investors,” made her want to invest.
“It’s especially meaningful to me to be a partner in the Houston Hyenas alongside Ed and Emmanuel, one of our first investments as a group.”
Acho, a onetime linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, said the investment connected him to his hometown.
“As a Dallas native and University of Texas graduate, this is a special investment opportunity to be a part of the acquisition of the Houston Hyenas and the SimWin sports family.”
Acho has also written three books, two of which became New York Times best-sellers.