Fantasy sports business today is one of the most lucrative because of the massive 75 million growth of user base and new markets.
Imagine the massive impact of an addiction that it steals away the attention of an aficionado for 42 minutes every day. Such is the charm of fantasy sports that it engages roughly 75 million people worldwide.
Among fantasy sports, football is the most popular fantasy sport. In fact, 36% of the industry revenue comes from National Football League. This is followed by Major League Baseball with 19%, auto racing at 12% and the National Basketball League (NBL) at 10%. Fantasy football is undoubtedly a big deal. A Forbes report said the industry’s worth in tangible and intangible activities ranges between as much as $40 billion to $70 billion per year including actual expenditures and ad revenues. Considering this, fantasy sports website design is indeed a profitable investment that’s slated to pay dividends immediately.
US and Canada have the whale’s share when it comes to wooing users with close to 58 million users in US alone. Of the total fantasy sports players, 58 million people play season-long fantasy sports while 10 million are registered Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) users. While DFL is played by 95% males, season-long fantasy sports are played by 30% women. The season-long has catered to women audience so well that 45% NFL fans are women. The June 2018 press release from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) says that the fantasy sports industry generates $7.22 billion in revenue annually. In the words of FSTA President Paul Charchian, “The fantasy sports industry’s continuing growth demonstrates consumers’ passion for the hobby and their desire to play with friends and family. We continue to see the innovation that broadens the appeal of fantasy sports and data that shows tremendous gains in the scale of participation and economic impact.” Good news is fantasy sports are not limited to US and Canada alone – they are now standards to measure other demographics such as Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since the first fantasy football was originally created in 1971 by an Englishman named Bernie Donnelly, the sport already has roots in Europe. Back then, it was called ‘Donnelly Fantasy Football League’. Two decades later, the concept was adopted by The Daily Telegraph as players started scrambling for the sports section two weeks before the beginning of football season.
While DFS is played by 95% males, season-long fantasy sports are played by 30% women. The season-long has catered to women audience so well that 45% of NFL fans are women.
Europe offers a lot of scope for football, thanks to Fantasy Premier League game which now has more than 3.5 million players. UK continues to be the center of fantasy sports in this region followed by Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Nordics. The reason is the sheer quality of play and excitement that European leagues offer. Industry’s biggest names – Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St. Germain, FC Porto to name a few – have homelands here. Do check out how to make it big in European fantasy football market.
Three other surprisingly emerging markets are Nigeria, Mexico, and India. While Nigeria has the 8th biggest internet population in the world, India has the third largest. Football and soccer are highly popular in Nigeria while India is now waking up to fantasy cricket and fantasy football in a big way. Noted sports brands in India are now offering fantasy platforms in cricket and football along with games such as hockey and golf. Read in detail about Nigerian fantasy sports market. India has over 30 million fantasy sports players and women are emerging to be new in the Indian demographic of fantasy sports users.
In Mexico, the fantasy sports market was estimated at $737.4 million in 2015, and is projected to reach over $1.7 billion by 2020. Daily fantasy sports make up the majority of this money, with a market share of 64.7%. World leaders such as FanDuel, DraftKings and FantasyPros are expanding in Mexico quite aggressively. Read in detail about Mexican fantasy sports market.
Fantasy sports industry has been growing ever since the Internet became a household name. However, a major change happened when FanDuel was founded in 2009 followed by DraftsKings in 2012. The two began as startups offering DFS, soon became huge corporations giving away millions of dollars in prize money and earning in billions as entry fees. Now sports brands such as ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Sportsline are offering their own fantasy sports platforms along with specific leagues such as NFL. Good news is several countries are now recognizing fantasy sports as a game of skill and not gambling. This concept is crucial for the growth of the industry because this makes the business completely legal and hence subject to regulations. This assures investors, users and entrepreneurs to invest in the industry fearlessly.
The DFS is undoubtedly almost predominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings, based out of Boston, allows users to enter daily and weekly fantasy-sports related contests in five major American leagues – NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and PGA along with UEFA, NASCAR auto racing, Canadian Football League among others. FanDuel, on the other hand, is a daily fantasy sports provider and bookmaker from New York City. It happens to be the second largest DFS service in the country based on entry fees and user base. In May 2018, FanDuel agreed to be acquired by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair as a result of which FanDuel became its main brand in the United States.
Dream11 is fantasy sports platform based out of India that allows players to play fantasy cricket, kabaddi, basketball, cricket and football. Founded in 2012, the company reported 1 million registered users in India growing to 2 million in 2016 and 30 million by August 2018.
There have been predictions about revenue, users and growth of fantasy sports industry from time to time. Several times critics have written off the growth of this industry creating a gloomy picture around its user base. However, the reason why most of these predictions became untrue was because new markets around the world are waking up to it while sports fans continue to take renewed interest in playing fantasy sports. We are living in times where any business offering fantasy sports is likely to strike gold because emerging markets such as Europe and Asia are now ready for this business.
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