Monday, July 04, 2011 - A New Interactive Sports Social Media Game, simply described, "is a social platform for sports fans to engage and connect online" and that's actually the "25 words or less" pitch line used by its co-founder, Marlon Sullivan. In the video above, I talked with Mr. Sullivan and he gave a demonstration of how work.

Let's just say that if you play it, you'd better know your sports info stuff. consists of two parts in its online space: a social network designed such that if you pick your favorite team or player, you can see what has been written and add to the conversation, and a unique fanometer that's coolly addictive.

With the fanometer, you can gain points for what you know about your team. You can pick a game and if you guess the correct winner you gain points. You can challenge friends in "one-on-one" competition, or go into what's called a "pool" challenge.

It's a really great social network game, that makes a game out of watching a sports event.

What it needs is to add another set of competitors: owners versus players.

Considering that both the NFL and the NBA are in the middle of lockouts, that addition would make a nuclear hit.

Stay tuned.

Port Of Oakland Budget At $296 Million, Increased 1.8 Percent

On July 1st, The Port of Oakland quietly issued a long press release announcing its 2011-2012 Budget. The release reports that "revenue from the Port’s aviation, commercial real estate, and maritime businesses has been recovering modestly," but that tenants remained concerned about the overall economy.

The Port also explains that it brought $462 million in taxes to the City of Oakland over the last fiscal year, and that it has a $40 million "pipeline" of new projects that will come under the consideration of the Port Of Oakland Board Of Directors.

Here's the full press release:

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2011
Port Of Oakland Adopts 2011-2012 Budget

$296.6 Million Budget Represents Port's Aggressive Focus on Business, Competitiveness, Positive Economic Impact, and Environmental Stewardship

Oakland, Calif. - July 1, 2011 - The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners just adopted a 2011-2012 fiscal year (FY) operating budget of $296.6 million. This is a 1.8% increase over anticipated FY2011 actuals and a 5% increase over the current FY 2011 budget, which was focused on stabilizing the Port after the Great Recession. The FY2012 budget is a forward-looking, pragmatic and job-preserving budget that is sustainable over the long term. In the short term, it will facilitate the second stage of the Port’s 5-year Strategic Plan, focused on marketing, relationship-building, and business growth.

"During these uncertain economic times, our adopted FY2012 budget strikes a healthy and sustainable balance between fiscal responsibility and strategic investments," said Port Board President James Head. “This is especially important as we aggressively focus on growing revenue from our three business lines, which will help us continue to generate positive economic impacts - especially jobs and tax revenue - throughout the region."

Revenue from the Port’s aviation, commercial real estate, and maritime businesses has been recovering modestly; however, the Port’s business lines and its tenants and customers remain concerned about general economic conditions including decreased consumer demand, oil price increases, European debt concerns and Middle East turmoil. Oakland International Airport revenues for the first ten months of FY2011 are 1.8% higher than budgeted in FY2011, though we expect to see a modest decline in actual passenger traffic. Commercial Real Estate revenues have been stable in FY 2011. For the first ten months of FY2011, Maritime revenues were approximately $9.7 million (5.9%) higher than budgeted as a result of a 14% increase in container volume that moved through the Port in calendar year 2010. In FY 2012, we expect to see moderate increases in Aviation and Commercial Real Estate revenues compared to both FY 2011 budget and actuals. Maritime revenues are expected to increase compared to FY 2011 budget, but expected to decrease when compared to anticipated FY 2011 actuals.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that the coming year will bring continued modest economic recovery," said Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin. "We therefore need to move strategically from stabilizing the Port, to marketing and growing the Port’s business. That’s why this year we are going to enhance the Port’s export program, capitalizing on our position as the only major West Coast port that exports more than we import; continue bringing new air service to Oakland International; move forward on the transformation of the former Oakland Army Base into a world-class, intermodal trade and logistics center; and continue promoting the development and utilization of our waterfront assets at Jack London Square."

The FY2012 budget includes an $85.6 million capital budget designed to maximize Port assets in order to grow core business. Highlights include:

$51 million in Aviation projects such as airport improvements at the terminals and the BART connector to Oakland International Airport;
$29 million in Maritime projects such as shore power infrastructure, dredging and security enhancements
$3 million in Real Estate projects including Jack London Square improvements at the Oakland waterfront

There is an additional $40 million pipeline of projects that is anticipated to be brought to the Board of Port Commissioners for consideration during FY2012.

The strategic investments made by the Port’s FY12 budget, both in operations and capital, are essential to supporting the Port’s continued positive economic impact in Oakland and the region, which amounts to nearly $10 billion annually, and includes the following jobs and tax revenue benefits:

The Port receives no local tax revenue, and from its operations and those of its tenants—contributes more than $462 million in taxes to the City of Oakland, regional cities and counties, and the State of California.

Through its operations and policies, and the business activities of its tenants and customers, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs across the region, and is connected to approximately 827,000 jobs across the nation.

For all of its land, I'm surprised the Port Of Oakland isn't used as a location for movies. Given the constant search for cheap land to film on, and different venues, the Port Of Oakland could fashion itself into a top destination at a time when movie production is being done less in California, and more in places like Louisian and Canada.