Oct 1, 2007
When it comes to this game, firm’s executives know the drillBy Marsha BrownStar-Telegram.com

When a close friend gave Gary Fewell a board game called Wildcatter, based on the oil and gas industry, he was more than mildly intrigued.

By the time he played the game with his teenage son, in perhaps a mismatch, the chief executive of DFW Genesis Energy Group began thinking of it more as a potential investment than as a fun gift.

“It’s become one of the things that the two of us do together a couple of times a week where we actually interact,” Fewell said. “When we play the game, we spend two to three hours together. Anything that can keep a teenager focused for that long and can also keep the attention of someone like me has an unusually broad appeal.”

Fewell researched the game’s history and found that Wildcatter has been on the market for nearly two decades. It sold well, mostly in specialty retail stores and a couple of department stores including Neiman Marcus, before sales declined in the late 1980s along with the American oil and gas industry.

Still, some retailers faithfully stocked the game and enjoyed steady sales for their trouble.

Believing that perhaps the time had once again come for Wildcatter, Fewell took the game to the office to get the reaction of his company’s vice president, Ray Wright.

“I was impressed with the game,” Wright said. “I could see a lot of marketing possibilities for the game that had never been pursued by the company.”

DFW Genesis bought the rights to the game last summer and is launching a marketing campaign that includes signature games, executive additions and customized versions.

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