November 14, 2002
sports fans into czars
Simulation offers chance to
run Oakland A's online
OAKLAND -- Imagine you could run the Oakland
A's. How much would you spend on payroll? Do you want to build a
new stadium? If so, how do you finance it?
Oakland consultant Zenophon Abraham has created a sports business
simulation game, the Oakland A's Simworld, that gives users a
virtual chance to run the baseball franchise online.
"It's very detailed," Abraham said. "It's like watching the 'Godfather.'
You always see something you didn't see before. It keeps you coming
Abraham is targeting the e-learning and fantasy sports markets
and pro sports leagues. In December, the University of San Francisco's
sports and fitness management program will use A's Simworld,
which he hopes will lead to more college subscribers. A free version,
launched three weeks ago and getting 900 page views a day, can
be played at http://broadcast.forio.com/sims/Baseball
"It's perfect for a course because it covers all kinds of different
areas," said USF assistant professor of sports and fitness management
Dan Rascher, an economist who founded Berkeley consulting firm
SportsEconomics. "I've never seen a sports business simulation.
I'm very excited about the possibilities."
Rascher will have his class run a number of rounds on A's Simworld
and then write papers on the best way to manage a team's business.
A's Simworld is Abraham's second sports business sim after
last year's XFL Simworld, where users try keeping the former
football league afloat.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or
call (510) 444-4037.
The A's game is more complex. Based on real data and developed
with Forio Business Simulations of San Francisco, it has 36 decision
points. Users try running the A's from 2002 to 2017.
Abraham, 40, identified potential buyers for the A's in the late
1990s as an economic adviser to former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris.
Abraham said his game could bring value to the A's and that the
club is open to discussing it.
A's Simworld yearly subscriptions vary by usage, from $990
a year for 500 runs to $8,000 a year for 100,000 runs.