This week Sports Illustrated announced that it would partner with the sports fan community developer Watercooler to bring fantasy football to Facebook. The game is set to launch alongside the upcoming 2010 NFL season. Users will be able to manage their virtual teams through SI.com and SI Mobile as well as through Facebook. 

The planned fantasy football league will include fantasy news, analysis, intelligence reports, player performance update, and even videos and commentary from SI.com. Watercooler seems to have virtual goods and microtransactions planned for the new service, though it's not clear what role they'll play in the game. 

“Sports Illustrated is very forward-looking," said Watercooler COO Chris Carvalho, in a press statement. "They understand the power of social media and how this game will engage and widen their audience. Both companies are also bullish on the growing potential of in-game microtransactions as another way to create value for users and the partnership."

Watercooler has developed sports-themed fantasy sports titles since 2007, publishing them on Facebook, MySpace, and other platforms. Its leading titles are football and college basketball bracket games. Watercooler has previously partnered with major sports-related brands including Nike, Reebok, and CBS Sports. The company serves over 60 million registered users and received $5.5 million in funds last October. 

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