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  • Tippy

    Hey Guys, haven’t posted here in years, but have a quick question to the guys who have been doing affiliate work for FanDuel from way back. I’ve got guys on my affiliate account from way back in 2009 through 2015 and now FanDuel has decided they won’t pay commissions for those guys after 730 days? Has anyone else had this happen? I’ve been making over $1000 a month for about 8 years and just this month FanDuel won’t pay a dime now. Years worth of work just stolen by FanDuel. Would be thankful to hear from anyone else in this boat? Surely you guys at RotoGrinders got hit with this too since you have been affiliate marketing since way back??? Is RotoGrinders still getting paid on all those early guys who were signed up?

    Tippy

  • jmo26

    DK did this a while back — I’m sure there’s something in the fine print that allows them to weasel out of it.

  • Tippy

    They changed their contract in September 2017. I’ve been doing this since 2009. The new contract stated that you only get paid for 730 days from the time that referral signs up. All of my signups were from 2008 through 2015. They took them ALL by going back and starting the 730 days from the time I signed them up. We were operating under a contract back then, and now they don’t want to honor that contract. They are basically stealing all of these commission generating clients I got for them from 2008 through 2016. Doesn’t seem fair.

    Surely there are more of you out there who had affiliate signups that were older than 730 days? Am I the only one? I know Rotogrinders has been doing affiliate since way back. Did you guys at Rotogrinders get all your affiliates taken from you???

  • Buffalo66

    Tippy, I have received my affiliate payment every month up to December 2017 (Paid in January). I even got my 1099 for 2017. But I haven’t received any commissions so far in 2018. My account has generated significant revenue in 2018, enough for a payout each month.

    FYI, if FD is sold/acquired, all affiliate accounts are likely toast. They may be toast anyway.

  • Jvanspro

    The sites need to start generating positive revenue. I wouldn’t be surprised if you received your last commission check. Honestly, I can’t blame the sites if this decision was made.

  • Tippy

    Buffalo, same here, I got my December payment on January 17 by Paypal. My payment always gets put in by Paypal on the 17th. It was late this month and I contacted (edit: FanDuel). This is the response I got:

    Hi Allen,

    Thank you for contacting us.

    You may have noticed our Terms and Conditions changed, effective December 31, 2017. To ensure our Program is consistent with industry standards, we regularly evaluate our Terms and make updates when appropriate.

    Among other minor changes to our terms, the following change went into effect:

    Recruited players may only generate commission within the first 730 days of their date of registration on FanDuel.

    Our full Terms and Conditions may be found here:
    https://partners.fanduel.com/terms_and_conditions.asp

    Best,
    FanDuel Partners

  • Tippy

    Jvanspro, I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years. You can’t honestly say that letting someone work and build something for that long and then just deciding to take it from them is ok. Surely you aren’t suggesting that? We had a contract when this affiliate program started. Many people put in years of work running sites and building a client base. And now they just want to change the rules? They didn’t even offer a buyout or anything. I had $1300 that was due for January, they basically stole that money. Many people spent years getting players for FanDuel, helping them grow from nothing. And now we aren’t important? How quickly they forget when FanDuel was nothing and we affiliates were the ones building the ranks with articles and advertising.

  • ElSlappo

    @Tippy said...

    To ensure our Program is consistent with industry standards

    So if DK jumped off a bridge, would you do it also?

    - my Dad

  • Srmustangs

    And this is why new player acquisition is 0 these days since they have pissed all over affiliates to try to increase the short term bottom line.I apologize . New player acquisition still occurs when a shark gets his friend to sign up so the shark can circumvent the entry limits. Like when you see a blank badge in the thunderdome.

  • bigez952

    @Tippy said...

    Jvanspro, I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years. You can’t honestly say that letting someone work and build something for that long and then just deciding to take it from them is ok. Surely you aren’t suggesting that?

    If you have been doing work recruiting players for the past 9 years wouldn’t you still be getting checks just smaller for the users you picked up in the last two years? It is hard to blame the sites for implementing a 2 year limit but they should have been a lot smarter and had that policy from day 1 to not piss people off down the road by making this change.

    DK made this change last year which resulted in a huge thread of people like you complaining they thought they would get this revenue for life and Rotogrinders fuel to the debate by taking away the indefinite premium memberships for the people they were getting commission from but no longer were.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Not fully familiar with the FanDuel contract in this instance on affiliates but I think people sometimes get caught up on the word “indefinite” like it means forever. Indefinite can simply mean “an unspecified period of time.” So the sites are now defining that period, similar to Rotogrinders taking away the indefinite premium memberships after a certain period of time for people that signed up through their links.

    In no way do I think people should be entitled to a portion of rake generated by people you signed up to play for the rest of time that they play. To me it would be unreasonable to expect that from the sites. I am honestly surprised they allowed that business model to go on as long as it did.

  • jmo26

    Don’t fully disagree with what’s being said (you getting roughly $100k over the past 8 years is bananas, and surely not sustainable for them), but like with DK, appears they could’ve dealt with it in a much better way.

    As usual.

  • TeamTwerk

    @Stewburtx8 said...

    Not fully familiar with the FanDuel contract in this instance on affiliates but I think people sometimes get caught up on the word “indefinite” like it means forever. Indefinite can simply mean “an unspecified period of time.” So the sites are now defining that period, similar to Rotogrinders taking away the indefinite premium memberships after a certain period of time for people that signed up through their links.

    In no way do I think people should be entitled to a portion of rake generated by people you signed up to play for the rest of time that they play. To me it would be unreasonable to expect that from the sites. I am honestly surprised they allowed that business model to go on as long as it did.

    The first paragraph makes sense to me and I could accept that rationale for voiding or changing the contract.

    The second paragraph I disagree with. People enter into bad contracts all the time and that doesn’t make them any less valid. Imagine if the Red Sox could just say to Pablo Sandoval we’ve given you enough money already for what you’ve provided, we’re changing the contract. For all you know the original poster may have spent $200k and is in the hole to attract his referrals bevause he was expecting to make money long term off the deal.

  • Tippy

    Bigez952, I haven’t put nearly the time into the affiliate program over the past two years as I did when it first began. As you can imagine, when this first started there was nobody advertising, but as the years went by and all the TV ads and ESPN publicity started, I realized I couldn’t keep up with the money they were spending, so I trimmed back my time. Most of my income was from the early years.

    edit: I didn’t see the previous thread on the DK event, thanks for the heads up, I’ll search for it.

    Stewbertx8, when we started the agreement was for as long as players played. Most of the players referred last maybe a couple months, but sometimes I was lucky enough to sign someone who had the skills to last. That guy I signed up is paying FanDuel for life, so shouldn’t I also get a cut for life for doing all the work to get him to FanDuel? It is a mutually beneficial event, so we should both benefit for as long as the player is producing. Secondly, I don’t have a problem with them changing the contract, however to do so RETROACTIVELY I do have a problem with. We should get to keep anyone signed before the new contract went into effect, that is fair. Anyone I sign after the new contract, sure I’ll be happy to live with the 730 day limit. As another poster stated, just because FanDuel made a somewhat poor contract, that doesn’t mean they get to cancel it and take the money we rightly earned and also keep making money off the players we sent to them. A contract is there for a reason. FanDuel was nothing when I started and may not have even survived without all the work that affiliates did. Back in the day there was ZERO TV ads, magazine ads or anything. Nobody even knew what DFS was. We helped grow the site and allowed it to survive, that surely is worth what they should continue to pay now. I mean come on, it’s a $1300 a month, I pretty sure they can cover it. The problem is they just don’t want to.

  • bigez952

    @Tippy said...

    Bigez952, I haven’t put nearly the time into the affiliate program over the past two years as I did when it first began. As you can imagine, when this first started there was nobody advertising, but as the years went by and all the TV ads and ESPN publicity started, I realized I couldn’t keep up with the money they were spending, so I trimmed back my time. Most of my income was from the early years.

    Stewbertx8, when we started the agreement was for as long as players played. Most of the players referred last maybe a couple months, but sometimes I was lucky enough to sign someone who had the skills to last. That guy I signed up is paying FanDuel for life, so shouldn’t I also get a cut for life for doing all the work to get him to FanDuel? It is a mutually beneficial event, so we should both benefit for as long as the player is producing. Secondly, I don’t have a problem with them changing the contract, however to do so RETROACTIVELY I do have a problem with. We should get to keep anyone signed before the new contract went into effect, that is fair. Anyone I sign after the new contract, sure I’ll be happy to live with the 730 day limit. As another poster stated, just because FanDuel made a somewhat poor contract, that doesn’t mean they get to cancel it and take the money we rightly earned and also keep making money off the players we sent to them. A contract is there for a reason. FanDuel was nothing when I started and may not have even survived without all the work that affiliates did. Back in the day there was ZERO TV ads, magazine ads or anything. Nobody even knew what DFS was. We helped grow the site and allowed it to survive, that surely is worth what they should continue to pay now. I mean come on, it’s a $1300 a month, I pretty sure they can cover it. The problem is they just don’t want to.

    That makes sense for the part responding to me.

    For the second part did you actually sign a contract with Fan Duel? If you have a signed contract in hand you would think you would have some leverage to get them to honor the old terms. I am not familiar with how Fan Duel does their affiliate program as I primarily only play Draftkings. If it was just a change of terms of conditions I am guessing there is nothing you can do about that and it is Fan Duel’s right to change those even if it pisses people off. However if they signed a contract with you stating lifetime commission you might have a shot to keep getting something.

    Edit : Here is a link to the affiliate revenue topic I was talking about from a few months ago shortly after DK changed their program to put limits on how long users can collect revenue from referred players.

    https://rotogrinders.com/threads/affiliate-revenue-2027764

  • Tippy

    Good points Bigez952, when the account was created information submitted and it had to be approved. I can’t recall what we did as far as paperwork, I’ll have to see what I have.
    edit: Thanks for the link!

    Buffalo, you have been around a little longer than me, do you recall what we did as far as paperwork on the affiliate account? The original copy of the agreement is no longer on the affiliate website, especially with all the upgrades, changes and modifications to the site over the years.

    JMO26, back in the good old days I got some affiliate checks during the heart of basketball/football season that were in the $5-6k range per month, so it was a good business over the years LOL.

  • Jvanspro

    @Tippy said...

    Jvanspro, I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years. You can’t honestly say that letting someone work and build something for that long and then just deciding to take it from them is ok. Surely you aren’t suggesting that? We had a contract when this affiliate program started. Many people put in years of work running sites and building a client base. And now they just want to change the rules? They didn’t even offer a buyout or anything. I had $1300 that was due for January, they basically stole that money. Many people spent years getting players for FanDuel, helping them grow from nothing. And now we aren’t important? How quickly they forget when FanDuel was nothing and we affiliates were the ones building the ranks with articles and advertising.

    Over the past 9 years you’ve earned 100-150K through recruiting. I’d say they more than paid you back.

  • Tippy

    Jvanspro, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. It isn’t that someone is “paying me back”. That isn’t how it works and to phrase it like that is a bit misleading. They aren’t “paying me back”. They are paying what they said they would pay in exchange for the work I did for them and the future streams of income that I delivered to them. Our job as affiliates was to deliver players to the sites so that they could extract commission for years to come to allow their businesses to grow over the years off of these players. We did that in exchange for a portion of that commission for the same life of that very player. The agreement was to their benefit early in the process, however it was to my benefit later in the process. Early in the process we sent them players and their sites survived, which is worth more than the money they paid early on. Now that they are established, the affiliates should collect what they are owed, even if that be more to the affiliates favor. It was a deal struck which was very much beneficial to the survival of their sites early, however now that they are established, they no longer see the deal as important. They didn’t put time limits on it in the beginning for a reason, because they knew affiliates wouldn’t work as hard. If I had known the deal was only for 730 days and then I lose those players, there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have created this business at all. I created this business because I wanted a future stream of income that would compound and last for many years (not just two years). They enticed us with an agreement that they now don’t wish to honor.

  • sochoice

    • 2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2017 FanDuel WFFC Champion

    @Tippy said...

    Jvanspro, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. It isn’t that someone is “paying me back”. That isn’t how it works and to phrase it like that is a bit misleading. They aren’t “paying me back”. They are paying what they said they would pay in exchange for the work I did for them and the future streams of income that I delivered to them. Our job as affiliates was to deliver players to the sites so that they could extract commission for years to come to allow their businesses to grow over the years off of these players. We did that in exchange for a portion of that commission for the same life of that very player. The agreement was to their benefit early in the process, however it was to my benefit later in the process. Early in the process we sent them players and their sites survived, which is worth more than the money they paid early on. Now that they are established, the affiliates should collect what they are owed, even if that be more to the affiliates favor. It was a deal struck which was very much beneficial to the survival of their sites early, however now that they are established, they no longer see the deal as important. They didn’t put time limits on it in the beginning for a reason, because they knew affiliates wouldn’t work as hard. If I had known the deal was only for 730 days and then I lose those players, there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have created this business at all. I created this business because I wanted a future stream of income that would compound and last for many years (not just two years). They enticed us with an agreement that they now don’t wish to honor.

    You either have a written contract or you don’t. Open and shut case. If you are relying on the terms and conditions in place at the time, you lose. If you have a written contract laying out the terms you described above, you win. Seems unlikely that you have a contract since FD (and DK for that matter) wouldn’t be dumb enough to break written contracts. You made a nice amount of money for a while and now you won’t. Life goes on.

  • tomac

    @sochoice said...

    You either have a written contract or you don’t. Open and shut case. If you are relying on the terms and conditions in place at the time, you lose. If you have a written contract laying out the terms you described above, you win. Seems unlikely that you have a contract since FD (and DK for that matter) wouldn’t be dumb enough to break written contracts. You made a nice amount of money for a while and now you won’t. Life goes on.

    Who had 9 hours in the pool? Message me for your prize.

  • madmanjayWV

    @Tippy said...

    Jvanspro, I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years. You can’t honestly say that letting someone work and build something for that long and then just deciding to take it from them is ok. Surely you aren’t suggesting that? We had a contract when this affiliate program started. Many people put in years of work running sites and building a client base. And now they just want to change the rules? They didn’t even offer a buyout or anything. I had $1300 that was due for January, they basically stole that money. Many people spent years getting players for FanDuel, helping them grow from nothing. And now we aren’t important? How quickly they forget when FanDuel was nothing and we affiliates were the ones building the ranks with articles and advertising.

    At least you know where you stand with good old NIGEL and the boys-

    Pretty damn sickening and I can’t believe it’s not illegal — but from what I can tell DRAFT KINGS basically got away with the same damn thing.

    Lawyers will give u a consultation for free, obviously would be worth a call IMO.

    SO is ROTOGRINDERS losing its affiliates or not?

  • kasper

    Contract ≠ Terms and Conditions, as sucky as that is.

  • Buffalo66

    The are a few unfortunate truths here, based on my experience:

    Affiliate agreements are like snowflakes. No two are really alike and they can melt rather quickly.

    In 2010 when I launched a projections website, I wasn’t allowed to give away projections (or anything of value) in exchange for signups. That is why I had to charge for projections in the beginning. Yet I noticed other sites were offering freebies, in direct violation of the standard affiliate T&C. (Eventually sites allowed me to exchange free projections for signups.)

    I also spent significant time recruiting offline, such as going to sporting events and handing out cards w my affiliate codes.

    Since these DFS sites are private entities they can deal with individual parties in any matter they choose. This means some sites (RG) get preferential deals over everyday Joes. There’s very little legal recourse here IMO. (I’m not a lawyer but I have received legal counsel on this very issue.)

    These DFS contest sites have never been profitable over a fiscal year. Something has to give eventually.

    Remember, if the FD/DK merger happened those accounts would be toast. Just like my FSL, DD, DS accounts are toast.

    PS – I have an anecdote about my experience with DK affiliate dept, another story for another time.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @TeamTwerk said...

    The second paragraph I disagree with. People enter into bad contracts all the time and that doesn’t make them any less valid. Imagine if the Red Sox could just say to Pablo Sandoval we’ve given you enough money already for what you’ve provided, we’re changing the contract. For all you know the original poster may have spent $200k and is in the hole to attract his referrals bevause he was expecting to make money long term off the deal.

    Well if these affiliates (Tippy in this case) actually have a signed contract with Fanduel, then yes, I agree with you. In that case they have a legal recourse as Fanduel broke that contract. But in this industry, most of what I’ve seen is just terms of service (which can be changed) or affiliate/referral programs that used the word “indefinite,” which again, can become defined.

    If I recall, Tippy had a daily fantasy basketball site that he ran at one point. I am assuming most of the “recruiting” occurred through that site. Similar to what Rotogrinders does when you sign up through their links. Kudos to him for developing that site though and creating an income stream.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @Tippy said...

    Stewbertx8, when we started the agreement was for as long as players played. Most of the players referred last maybe a couple months, but sometimes I was lucky enough to sign someone who had the skills to last. That guy I signed up is paying FanDuel for life, so shouldn’t I also get a cut for life for doing all the work to get him to FanDuel? It is a mutually beneficial event, so we should both benefit for as long as the player is producing. Secondly, I don’t have a problem with them changing the contract, however to do so RETROACTIVELY I do have a problem with. We should get to keep anyone signed before the new contract went into effect, that is fair. Anyone I sign after the new contract, sure I’ll be happy to live with the 730 day limit. As another poster stated, just because FanDuel made a somewhat poor contract, that doesn’t mean they get to cancel it and take the money we rightly earned and also keep making money off the players we sent to them. A contract is there for a reason. FanDuel was nothing when I started and may not have even survived without all the work that affiliates did. Back in the day there was ZERO TV ads, magazine ads or anything. Nobody even knew what DFS was. We helped grow the site and allowed it to survive, that surely is worth what they should continue to pay now. I mean come on, it’s a $1300 a month, I pretty sure they can cover it. The problem is they just don’t want to.

    Yes, I understand how the affiliates programs worked (I think I used to get a measly $10 bonus cash per referral at one point) and yes, these type of programs helped Fanduel get off the ground and running and at one point own about 80% of the market share. Personally, no, I do not think you should get a cut of the players you recruited for life. But again, any agreement was between you and Fanduel. Fanduel very well may have made a bad deal and agreed to give you a cut for as long as players played. If you have a signed contract, contact a lawyer. If not, I don’t see any recourse. I understand your frustration, but again, I can’t say from my side of the fence that I feel like you are being screwed over considering how long you got a steady income stream from this (for doing no further work). That’s just my opinion though.

    $1300 per month is a lot when you add up all of the other affiliates out there that they “were” paying as well. Fanduel has never been profitable in a fiscal year, and to me, it seems like they are the site most treading water right now trying to stay afloat. Personally, I stopped playing there once college basketball ended.

  • mnstone14

    @sochoice said...

    You either have a written contract or you don’t. Open and shut case. If you are relying on the terms and conditions in place at the time, you lose. If you have a written contract laying out the terms you described above, you win. Seems unlikely that you have a contract since FD (and DK for that matter) wouldn’t be dumb enough to break written contracts. You made a nice amount of money for a while and now you won’t. Life goes on.

    agree with this 100%. the word contract kept coming up, you should absolutely know if you had something signed or not. If you cant recall waht you did for paperwork and have to see what you have, im very much guessing there was no contract. if it turns out that there is no contract, im confused what the problem is, you got paid residuals for a long period of time, be happy that you made as much as you did.

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