football was a hobby for John Hansen ’93
in 1986—the early days of fantasy sports. Today he is the
founder and publisher of The Guru Report, a subscription newsletter
that’s one of the most comprehensive around.
“I never would’ve imagined this would take off as much
as it has,” said Hansen. “The Internet has been a total
catalyst to the growth of fantasy football.”
Fantasy football, a hobby enjoyed by more than 30 million in the
U.S., is played by friends who form leagues and draft NFL players
to comprise their “teams.” For Hansen’s 12,000
customers, The Guru Report provides all the strategies, predictions
and player projections they need.
This summer, Hansen produced the first-ever preseason print edition
of Fantasy Guru.com Magazine. He is on NFL Fantasy Live, a fantasy
football DVD produced by NFL Films. Hansen started with NFL Films
last year, co-hosting its weekly NFL fantasy football TV show on
both NFL.com and DirecTV. The show is expected to air on the new
NFL 24-hour cable network this fall.
The inspiration for his business name came to Hansen when “a
guy who did a sports talk show needed some guests. I told him, ‘You
should have me on. I’m the Fantasy Football Guru,’”
Hansen said. “I made the name up right there on the spot and
A father of two, Hansen started his newsletter and a web page in
1995, producing one of the first fantasy football sites. His wife,
Holli, helped him fax the newsletter to subscribers.
A year later, he started writing exclusive content for ESPN.com,
becoming the site’s first fantasy writer. It gave him the
exposure and credibility he needed to turn his hobby into a successful