Category: PrePlay News

PrePlayers on the Run

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Back in July, PrePlay employees hit the pavement at the All-Star 5K but it didn’t stop there.

All summer and fall Scott and I were in the midst of training for our first marathons, I was headed to Chicago and Scott was preparing for the New York Marathon. Week after week (with some flack from our co-workers) we traded stories on our long training runs, nutrition and training gear. Finally race day came and here’s what we have to say about our big race day.

Megan:

I never thought I’d say running a marathon is fun, but it’s true, I had a blast running 26.2 miles throughout the city of Chicago.  The city was alive with runners and the streets consistently lined with fans cheering and encouraging the 40,000+ athletes through the course.  It was a beautiful October day and I couldn’t help but smile throughout the course as I passed each mile marker and talked to fellow runners along the way. After crossing the finish line, I was overwhelmed by a sense of accomplishment and pride in what I had just done. Running a marathon is something I can now cross off my bucket list, and add to my “to-do” list each year.

 

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Scott

I ran cross country in high school and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I then went almost a decade without running much at all. Just a few years later, I found myself training for the NYC Marathon. I’m not really sure why, but I do know it was one of the best experiences of my life.

From the brutal wind on the Verrazano to the narrow streets in Brooklyn to the eerie quiet on the Queensboro Bridge to the raucous crowds on 1st Avenue to the homestretch in Central Park, I truly enjoyed every minute of it. The NYC Marathon is special because it offers such a wide variety of scenery, neighborhoods, and people. The sense of accomplishment of finishing translates anywhere though, and I knew at the finish line that I would run another one.  Now the question is, what city and when?

 

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2014 MLB PrePlay

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Baseball season just ended, but we’re already really excited about the 2014 MLB season. Last week, the NYC PrePlay office and a few members of our Paris team headed to upstate New York to do some intense brainstorming of how the app and game will look next season. Now, we can’t tell you all about what we came up with, (where’s the fun in that?) but we can tell you we’re pretty excited about the advances and where the game is headed next year.

We had a nice friendly match of wiffle ball and soccer (while exercising our minds, might as well exercise the body too!) and in the spirit of the World Cup divided teams into French and Americans. In a golden goal finish, the Americans narrowly (literally the ball went off the post) took the game.

It was a great day and we’re really excited for what’s to come with MLB PrePlay during the next year and we’re confident you’ll be excited too! Stay tuned, only 136 days until Opening Day!

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PrePlay Professional Development

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This summer, Will and Tom participated in the General Assembly Front End Development class as a part of our professional development program at PrePlay. PrePlay employees are encouraged to pursue opportunities outside the office to diversify their skill set and follow their interests to help grow our business. Take a read below to learn about their experiences in the class.

Will:
For the first time in my life, school didn’t suck. 

It all started when we thought we were restricted to sending plain emails through our email service. Then I hit “view source”. Three months later, I can make a snazzy front-end website.

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The GA class “Front End Web Development” teaches the fundamentals at a fast pace. HTML, CSS, and Javascript. From easiest to hardest. Javascript still makes my head hurt when I try to write a function from scratch.

Ultimately, what GA does is provide a set of tools in a short period of time. The instructors are knowledgeable and the vibe is very cool.

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…almost too cool. 

Tom does a better job breaking down the nuts and bolts of the course (see below), so I’ll leave you with this: GA dispels the myth that you have to be a genius to know about web development. It’s learnable.

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The GA Web Development Immersive! 

Tom:
I first heard about General Assembly a few years ago when it was just a community for entrepreneurs and startup companies with one location in the flatiron district. Now General Assembly is a top educational institution that transforms thinkers into creators through education in technology, business, and design at nine campuses across three continents. After hearing about an assortment of classes that they offer in the early Summer, I was very eager to see what it was all about and grow my professional skills to better suit PrePlay. I spent the next 10 weeks diving into html, css, javascript, and jquery as a student in their Front End Web Development class here in Manhattan.

There truly is no better way of learning than doing and that’s what my course was all about. On the first day I coded my first website and felt like a true boss… Then things got harder as we discussed responsive designs and grid layouts but, all in all, html made a lot of sense. Then to css- this was definitely my favorite part of the course. To me css is like coding your code… wonderful shortcuts to make life easier. Finally, we reached javascript and jquery- I definitely had the most difficulty with these two languages. However, the more we covered the more I saw how I could really use both to mask my novice skills as somewhat professional. Both are so “in” right now in the tech field and really help developers take their creations to the next level via animations, scrolling features, sprites, etc. You’ll be able to check out our next level work on the new and improved website when it launches soon!

Other than the languages themselves, the greatest takeaway from the course was that there are so many different ways to code the same thing, and there are so many ways to screw up. Throughout my ten weeks I wasn’t just learning to code but also sharpening my workflow. Planning and organization are essential.

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FOOTBALL IS BACK!

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PrePlay has a new name and look this football season. Rest assured, it’s still the same great game you’ve been playing the past few years, but now it’s called CBS Sports PrePlay Football. Here’s a few things you can expect to see in the app as you start playing this football season.

A NEW LOOK

Our product team worked hard to create a new game screen featuring a wheel module that will carry over to all of our apps.  Here’s what the new guess screen looks like.

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BRAND NEW FEATURES

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FOLLOW FEATURE

We have replaced the friend feature with a follow feature, similar to how Twitter works.  Simply follow anyone who you are interested in seeing in your Huddle Up, and you’ll see his or her picks and scores.

 

 

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PRIVATE CHAT

New this year is the ability to have your own private chat.  The private chat spans through all games, so if you want to play in the Lions game, but your friends are playing in the Patriots and 49ers game, you’ll all be able to chat with them without leaving your game. Anyone who you follow and follows you back, will be able to chat in your chat room.

 

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COLLEGE GAMES

This year you’ll not only get to play every NFL game, but you’ll also get a selection of 12-15 college games to play each week. College games will be announced on a rolling schedule (we’ll decide week by week) and YOU can help us decide. In the next few weeks we’ll have open voting where YOU can help us choose which games we will cover that weekend.

 

Download the app, and get ready for the first set of games tonight!

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Company Crushes

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While PrePlay is one of the leading companies in predictive gaming, we still know that we’re a small fish in a big pond when it comes to sports, technology, and gaming. Just like most people have their own role models and people that they admire, we too have companies that we admire. We look to companies that have great values, mission statements, innovation, products, marketing, and much more. Here are a few of our favorites.

Apple: Although we do love our Android apps and phones, we can’t help but recognize that Apple has taken the market by storm ever since that crazy iMac they were making back in the day. Apples has created products, from the iPhone to Apple TV, that make you think that you need to have them, and that once you’ve gone Apple, you can’t go back. There are plenty of substitutes for their phones, laptops, tablets, but seems like everyone is drinking the Apple Kool-Aid these days. And with that…we’ll toast to Apple.

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Seamless: If you don’t know about Seamless yet, you probably hate food or are super motivated to cook/grocery shop (or your mom and dad do that for you…). While we love Seamless for their extensive delivery options in the NYC area, we particularly love Seamless because of their hilarious presence on Facebook. Give them a “like”, trust us, you’ll like what you see. They have personality and pizzazz, which makes you really enjoy engaging with the brand beyond just using them to have food delivered to your apartment when you’re too lazy to get out of your pajamas and go buy a bagel at the store for breakfast.

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Electronic Arts: (Yeah we got all fancy pants with writing out the full name) Even though EA got named ‘Worst Company’ by some bozos back in April, we have always and will always admire our friends over at EA. PrePlay was born on out of a desire to combine live sports and video games, so naturally, they are giants in the video game world that we aim to emulate. Of course you know from the-8th-era’s blog post that we love playing FIFA 13, so that sways our vote a bit, but just like Apple, EA has created products that every smart gamer geek needs rather than just wants. (Please leave your EA game suggestions in the comment section, we’re getting FIFA’ed out.)

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 So now that you’ve learned a bit about some of the companies and brands that we love, what companies out there do YOU love and admire? (in addition to PrePlay of course.)

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