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Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Launch of magazine for budding (fantasy) football managers

James Copeland, co founder and editor with FFM, Fantasy Football Magazine. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

James Copeland, co founder and editor with FFM, Fantasy Football Magazine. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

They say football is more than a game – and two entrepreneurs hope the same can be said for fantasy football as they launch a print magazine.

James Copeland and Jamie Reeves have secured funding to launch the world’s first fantasy football magazine, with subscriptions coming from as far away as Antarctica.

While the Premier League boasts a potential global fan base of 4.7 billion, its fantasy cousin has 4.5 million players worldwide, an audience which the duo behind Fantasy Football Magazine (FFM) hope to tap into.

Mr Copeland, 26, said: “At the moment we have around 200 subscriptions which is amazing considering most people aren’t thinking about the new season yet. Our initial aim is to get to 500 and then we hope to branch out to reach the more casual fan base.”

Fantasy football sees players act as managers of their own team, picking from real players who score points based on their real life performances. The magazine will aim to help managers make decisions such as when to drop the striker in the midst of a goal drought or to stick with a shaky goalkeeper.

Having set out to raise an initial £7,500, via crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, to get the project off the ground FFM now has more than £10,000.

“Whenever you have something people love, people spend a lot of time talking about it and a community arises,” Mr Copeland said. “The people who love fantasy football like to look at a huge amount of information in great detail and we want to provide that analysis for them. It feels like if a hobby, because that is what it becomes, has a magazine then it is more legitimate – so hopefully we can provide that for fantasy football.”

The founders met through a shared love of the game, with Mr Reeves, a former Norwich University of the Arts student, running his own fantasy football website. Mr Copeland, who studied at University of East Anglia, is the editor of the magazine, which has seen a taster edition downloaded 5,000 times, with Mr Reeves taking on the design and business aspects of the company.

The Norwich-based firm, which has had orders from the US, India, Scandinavia and across Europe, has secured licensing and image rights with the first paid for edition set to come out ahead of the new season.

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