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Chicago's Fantasy Pizza App Will Now Give You Free Pizza For Watching Baseball

By Gwendolyn Purdom in Food on Aug 3, 2016 3:34PM

The Fantasy Pizza app's new baseball interface, image courtesy Box Score Games

The fact that baseball typically pairs with hot dogs isn't stopping the team behind the Chicago-based Fantasy Pizza app from slicing (literally) into a new local market.

On Tuesday, Box Score Games introduced a baseball version of their popular app that lets casual sports fans win free pizza for predicting game events. The downtown start-up initially launched their pizza-for-game-predictions model, a twist on traditional fantasy sports played with a group, with a football-focused format last October. They also tested a basketball version earlier this year, appropriately dubbed "Slice Madness."

For the new baseball interface, Box Score has teamed up with Jet's Pizza (earlier iterations had used Papa Johns) who approached the company after hearing about its games. To keep things simple, users playing with the baseball app are given a choice of three possible events that could happen in a given Cubs or Sox game (say, Kris Bryant gets 3 RBIs or David Ross gets a home run), and if one of the events they picked happens in the game, they're rewarded with prizes like a free pizza, free breadsticks or a discount off Jet's. Box Score Games co-founder Mike Lynch says fans can expect more secret prizes, not all of them necessarily pizza-related, the more they use the app.

"We don’t want to get in the way of watching the live event," Lynch told us Wednesday morning. "We want to make it really simple so that any type of fan can play."

Zeroing in on the casual sports fan market, as opposed to the more devoted fantasy players using other apps and sites, is central to Box Score's business model, Lynch said. In the coming months, the company plans to test a hockey format for the app, expand its baseball reach to other markets and launch some new games altogether. Since debuting the baseball app Tuesday, Lynch says it's been downloaded at least a few thousand times.

Having already checked off one of the foods Chicago is most known for, does the team at Box Score have plans to involve a Chicago style hot dog in the future? Potentially, Lynch said. Anything involving winning food and other prizes and watching sports is fair game: "It’s about enhancing the experience of watching a live sporting event."