NCM Executes Key Acquisition as the First Step in its New Digital Strategy
National CineMedia (NASDAQ: NCMI), America’s Movie Network, has completed its acquisition of Fantasy Movie League (FML), the box office predictions game that combines the fierce competition of fantasy sports with the insanely popular world of entertainment and movies. It marks the company’s first acquisition as a key part of its new focus on consumer digital products for movie audiences.
To introduce a new audience of more than 750 million moviegoers a year to the game, Fantasy Movie League will be regularly featured in NCM’s new Noovie cinema pre-show, launching at the end of September. It will be seen on over 20,500 screens in over 1,600 theaters nationwide, including AMC, Cinemark, Regal Entertainment Group and over 45 other leading theater circuits.
“This is the first step in NCM’s new digital strategy, allowing us to reach not just moviegoers in the theater, but movie audiences on all screens everywhere,” said NCM’s Chief Digital Officer & SVP of Corporate Development, Lawrence Snapp. “To put it in movie industry terms, we will use the big screen as the trailer for the digital experience, driving audiences from our new Noovie pre-show to NCM’s digital properties like Fantasy Movie League and then back to the theater to catch the next big movie. There’s a real synergy between screens of all sizes when it comes to reaching movie audiences, and our goal is to create compelling consumer experiences for movie fans.”
As part of the acquisition, Fantasy Movie League co-founders Eric LaVanchy and Larry Tobin have joined NCM’s growing Digital Products team, both in the role of general manager of Digital Gaming. Reporting to Snapp, they will be based in Los Angeles and will oversee the growth of Fantasy Movie League as well as development of new compelling online consumer games for NCM.
LaVanchy and Tobin are both leaders in digital and mobile gaming with a long track record of success. Eric LaVanchy has developed more than 100 interactive games for sports, media and consumer brands including Anheuser-Busch, MTV, the NBA, the NFL Players Association, the NHL, and Sony, and is also named on a patent for affinity-based multiplayer gaming in partnership with Electronic Arts. Larry Tobin has led the strategy, development and maintenance of online and mobile gaming services for major media portals and sports leagues for nearly two decades, including Yahoo!, FOX Sports Interactive, the NHL and AT&T.
FML Co-creator and ESPN Senior Fantasy Analyst Matthew Berry will remain actively involved in Fantasy Movie League as a consultant and evangelist.
Fantasy Movie League (FML) is all about predicting the box office. It’s easy to play but challenging to master. Movie fans can play for free by downloading the iOS app or visiting www.fantasymovieleague.com to set up their own private league with co-workers, friends and family, or play in public leagues against anyone. Players become virtual theater owners and select which movies to show that weekend to earn the biggest box office. Winners can score great prizes every week, ranging from movie gift certificates, to T-Shirts, to premiere tickets and other special prizes from movie studio partners. Whether it’s studying the upcoming film slate, watching FML’s advice shows, listening to the FML podcast, setting their line-ups, or checking the final results every Monday, fans engage with the game all week long.
“Fantasy sports are hugely popular, and Americans love movies even more than sports,” said NCM Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Scott Felenstein. “There are over 210 million people in the U.S. who self-identify as movie fans, which is more than the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and NASCAR combined! Plus, FML attracts a younger, more gender-balanced audience than traditional fantasy sports, and its players are more brand aware, brand loyal, and three times more engaged. Fantasy Movie League allows fans to interact with the world of Hollywood like nothing else, which makes for a truly compelling brand extension beyond the big screen.”
About National CineMedia (NCM)
National CineMedia (NCM) is America’s Movie Network. As the #1 Millennial weekend network in the U.S., NCM is the connector between brands and movie audiences. According to Nielsen, more than 750 million moviegoers annually attend theaters that are currently under contract to present NCM’s pre-show in over 45 leading national and regional theater circuits including AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC). NCM’s cinema advertising network offers broad reach and unparalleled audience engagement with over 20,500 screens in over 1,600 theaters in 187 Designated Market Areas® (all of the top 50). NCM Digital goes beyond the big screen, extending in-theater campaigns into online and mobile marketing programs to reach entertainment audiences. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 39.3% interest in, and is the managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC. For more information, visit www.ncm.com.