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Sports Business Simulations Turn Five Years Old This Month

In 2002, a former aide to The Mayor of Oakland met the head of the University of San Francisco Sport Management department to discuss stadium financing, and the need for a new stadium for the Oakland Baseball. In that meeting, USF Professor Dr. Dan Rascher, PhD, took note of Zenophon "Zennie" Abraham’s web-based simulation game The XFL Simworld, and said "I need that for my class."

When Mr. Abraham finished his second simulator in late October 2002, the Oakland Baseball Simworld, he met again with Mr. Rascher, and Sports Business Simulations (SBS) was born. On January 24th of 2003, SBS became a Delaware Corporation, with seed capital, and based in Oakland.

Now, SBS is about to turn five-years-old.

SBS is the first company who's products are built around the Forio Macro Language (FML) programming language developed by San Francisco-based Forio Business Simulations. "Forio's partners, Michael Bean and Will Glass have been our friends and advisers over the last five years," said Zenophon "Zennie" Abraham, SBS's Co-Founder and CEO.

Abraham says that SBS is an entity unique to the San Francisco Bay Area. "I mean only here can one easily meet people who have the resources, talent, and skill to start an online business like this. The Bay Area culture made SBS possible."

Sports Business Simulation's charge is to build online business Simulations of sports teams and leagues for use in the classroom. For just $15, a student has unlimited use of SBS' simulators for an entire class semester or quarter. SBS products are not designed to replace textbooks, they are developed to enhance the classroom experience.

SBS has two simulators: the XFL Simworld and the Oakland Baseball Simworld, but has plans to add a new simulator based around the fitness industry in one month.

The SBS website itself has expanded dramatically during its five years of growth. In 2003, there were just the simulations. Now, the "sims" as they're called are joined by a network of over 40 blogs, over 100 message boards, a Facebook-style social network, video shows, and pages with links to the offerings of affilate partners, like StubHub.com," said Abraham.

SBS now has an online marketing division because Abraham said too many of his friends wanted articles and videos for their business. "It got so bad I started what we call "SBS-ON" at http://sbson.com. We now have clients in the transportation and real estate industries and are looking to expand. It actually helps us promote our sims."

The SBS sims have been used by many high schools and colleges in America. The Oakland Baseball Simworld has been the focus of numerous academic papers. "What's happened over five years is that the Oakland Sim has developed a kind of cult following. It's a complex online game with over 100 decisions and asks one to run a numerical copy of the behavior of the Oakland Athletics Baseball Organization. It's kind of a sports business fantasy game."

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