The website FISO.co.uk was launched 20 years ago on 10th March 2000 as the 1st website for fans of UK Fantasy Sports games and celebrates its 20th anniversary today. FISO stands for ‘Fantasy & Interactive Sports Online’. The year 2000 also saw websites such as TripAdvisor & FriendsReunited launched when there were approximately 10 million websites in existence whilst now there are about 200 million active websites.
In August 2001, FISO launched an online discussion forum for its like-minded visitors. The current version of the forum now has 300+ different forums and over 3 million posts covering many Fantasy Sports games such as the free-to-play official Fantasy Premier League game (played by over 7 million people worldwide), Telegraph Fantasy Football, Sun DreamTeam and the newer FanTeam which has a €500,000 prize fund Premier League fantasy game running in Spring 2020. Many of the people playing Fantasy Sports have similar backgrounds and interests and hence it is easy to make friends and enjoy the forum discussions or get involved in the side-games and mini-leagues created on FISO’s forum.
Background to Fantasy Football in the UK
Fantasy Football games challenge you to select an imaginary team of footballers normally within a set budget who score points based on their real-life performances on the football pitch. People who play Fantasy Sports games do so to enhance their enjoyment of watching sports events or because they enjoy competing for prizes (of up to £1m) or just for pride in beating their friends & colleagues in their mini-league.
Since its introduction to the UK from the USA in 1991, the concept of Fantasy Football has gone through several stages with continued popularity. It started with specialist books for groups of friends or colleagues to play in auction leagues (only one team in the group could have each player) before being picked up by the newspapers as a great promotional and database building tool in the mid 1990’s. David Baddiel and Frank Skinner jumped on the band wagon with their “Fantasy League ™” TV programme which topped the ratings during Euro 96. Many thought this might have been the peak but the advent of the Internet provided Fantasy Sports with a huge boost that it has not looked back from since, with the official Fantasy Premier League game now boasting over 7 million players worldwide. Since FISO.co.uk was launched in March 2000, other websites aimed at Fantasy Premier League fans were created including Fantasy Football Scout in 2006 & Fantasy Football Hub in 2017.
A Press Release about FISO’s 20th Birthday was released on 9 March 2020.