ESPN has launched a new feature to integrate open source crowdfunding technology called Tilt open for group payments allowing fantasy football players to pay their dues and fees for their online leagues directly through the sports network’s Fantasy Football Web and mobile apps.
In a Wall Street Journal Interview, Tilt CEO James Beshara told Venture Capital Dispatch his company will never move away from its crowdfunding roots and will always offer some open source, free-to-use version of its technology.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating ESPN on this tool because so many of us at Tilt play fantasy football and understand the headaches of being a Commissioner,” said James Beshara, CEO of Tilt. “We wanted to build something that integrated the experience of creating a fantasy league in a simple, fun way – we hope that our tool will allow Commissioners to focus on playing the game rather than running it.”
But the new Tilt Platform API gives larger organizations a way to simply add a button to their existing apps to enable group payments with sophisticated security and anti-fraud features, he said. Tilt technology in the ESPN Fantasy Football app lets managers collect dues and fees from league members online and via mobile.
Tilt will charge a per-transaction fee, usually around $1, each time a user makes a payment by clicking the Tilt button within ESPN’s fantasy football apps.
“Collaborating around how we all spend our money online is something people haven’t been able to do very effectively until now, outside of a few crowdfunding platforms,” he said. “The Tilt [button] is portable.”
According to estimates from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 32 million Americans spent about $11 billion playing fantasy football in 2013.