InGamer Sports: Thinking outside the (penalty) box

Don't get stuck in here

Ironically, many people have rigid ideas on what constitutes “innovation” – a new product, a unique service or a more efficient platform are usually what come to mind when the word is thrown around.  Toronto-based start-up (and MaRS client) InGamer Sports has its sights set on something even loftier.

By fusing concepts popularized by fantasy sports and social gaming, InGamer hopes to provide a unique way for fans to not only watch, but participate and interact in spectator sports. And you can play too during the Stanley Cup Finals!

Here’s how it works:
Users select from a list of games being played.  They choose five players from either team, and gain points based on the real-life stats of their chosen players.

Sounds a lot like fantasy sports so far, doesn’t it?  Yes, and no…

What makes their application unique is that you can make lineup changes for each quarter or period of the game, allowing for greater interactivity.  While fantasy sports emphasize preparation and statistical analysis, InGamer Sports pushes users to actually watch the game and make decisions based on actual play.

In other words, this game is meant to be played WHILE watching the game.  Coming from a fantasy sports player like myself, an idea like this changes everything.  It has the potential to redefine the way we play fantasy sports and also changes how gamers watch sporting events.  Relying solely on statistical averages to determine which fantasy players to choose will not win you games.  A greater understanding of who is playing well during the game, as well as good timing and intuition during roster changes mid-game is what separates the fantasy winner from the fantasy wannabe.

Check it out and win some swag!
InGamer Sports is currently offering both NHL hockey and NBA basketball game modes, with more to come. They’ve partnered with The Hockey News and the NHLPA to provide support during the Stanley Cup Finals – and as a bonus, they’re awarding prizes!

– The top overall scorer for each game during the Stanley Cup Finals will come away with a copy of EA Sports’ NHL 2010 for the Xbox 360 and an NHLPA prize pack.
– To top it all off, the player with the top two cumulative game scores during the Stanley Cup Finals will win a signed Alexander Ovechkin jersey!

What are you waiting for? Check out now and sign up.  It’s free to join and you don’t even have to know much about sports to participate (Trust me, I know next-to-nothing about fantasy hockey and still managed a decent 11th place in game two.)

The implications for sports fans are huge – but what about those who could care less about pucks and balls?

Could this pave the way for similar offerings in the realm of reality television, where players can pick and choose which contestants they think will make it further – an InGamer Canadian Idol edition perhaps?  How about a foray into the world of online gambling in lieu of games like Pro-Line?  Possibilities abound…

Entrepreneurs – don’t be afraid to go out of bounds.  Innovation exists in many shapes and forms, across various mediums, industries and interests.  InGamer Sports’ founders Nic Sulsky and Simon deBoer found inspiration in a hobby they enjoyed and the winning combination of a dedicated team, experienced advisors and a great idea has turned their company into a real-life fantasy contender.