Fantasy sports startups in Europe are bending rules of the game in order to engage a large fan demographic. See how.
Fun fact. Fantasy football was originally created in 1971 by an Englishman named Bernie Donnelly. 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. The newspaper thus had to publish details of pages about players, statistics, off and on-field news.
Football, undoubtedly is the most popular fantasy sports, thanks to Fantasy Premier League game which now boasts of more than 3.5 million players. UK continues to be the heartland of fantasy sports in Europe followed by Ireland, Germany, Italy and Nordics. Why FPL is so successful is the answer that should interest startups and entrepreneurs planning on building a fantasy sports application for the Europeans. It is simple to play – pick a team, understand points scoring and win. The challenge is how to get Europeans interested in statistics as much as the Americans.
The second generation of fantasy sports in Europe has to be daily fantasy sports (DFS) and there are quite a few startups (excluding FanDuel and DraftKings) who have already paved the way.
Apart from the two sharks – FanDuel and DraftKings – there are quite a few startups who have successfully engaged fans. These are –
/ UFL – Ultimatefanlive.com
Fantasy sports in Europe is as old as 20 years and has come a long way. Unlike in the United States where fans opt for NFL, NBA and the MLB fantasy games, fans in Europe are pre-disposed towards football. This is also because of the omnipresent English Premier League and La Liga and newspapers like The Daily Telegraph publishing details about football statistics. But since Premier League launched its free-to-play version, it has increased competition for the rest of the players including media houses. What are these startups doing in order to succeed in European fantasy sports?
Leaders like FanDuel and DraftKings realized soon that daily fantasy sports is going to kick off better in Europe than season-long games. That’s because DFS is a real-time product with a single game and that too live. These customers are accustomed to watching sports while also monitoring statistics on social media on a second screen. Who can fill this demand? Sportsbooks operators can partners with multiple data feeds suppliers like FSB. DFS provides an opportunity for amateur players also to win some games while also improving their game plays as they go.
Startups succeeding in the fantasy sports industry in Europe have an eye on the most popular sports – football, rugby, basketball and handball
For live statistics and virality, social media plays a key role in making a fantasy sports website really successful. Many of the successful fantasy sports platforms have good Twitter or Snapchat following apart from Facebook pages to update live status, statistics or any player information.
Sportsbooks operators have a great chance to collaborate with fantasy sports businesses or launch their own platforms. They can also join hands with data feed providers to keep fantasy sports players informed and run a lucrative business.
While the above efforts may help European players get stats when they need, they are really not the sort of players like Americans. They are emotion-oriented unlike their American counterparts who rely heavily on player stats. The formats in European fantasy sports have to start relying less on facts but more on on and off-field behaviour of players. The payouts have to be in European currency.
Sports betting is actually the biggest competition for European startups considering fantasy sports business. These startups are seen as irritants and hence there are only two ways to counter this: join hands with a local sports betting player with a license and add fantasy sports as a vertical. Two, traditional operators are still open to anything digital, so they should be approached for partnership.
UK continues to be the heartland of fantasy sports in Europe followed by Ireland, Germany, Italy and Nordics.
Successful companies in fantasy sports in Europe have mostly partnered with local sports betting companies who already have a license or have acquired license on their own. If you hail from Europe, it’s easier to get a license for operating a fantasy sports business.
Vinfotech has been creating fantasy sports website and mobile apps for demographics around the world. We have created successful platforms in such as Sports Guru and Fantasy Rugby for the European demographic.
Sport Guru was conceptualized by Guillermo Plasencia from Spain. The fantasy football platform took a bold assumption - sports fans and fanatics around the world have one thing in common – they are all managers and coaches and they can do it better than the professionals. The platform was created to inspire these fans to put their strategy to the test and let their dream team win big! The fantasy football software is based on European football.
The Rugby World Cup of 2015 saw 2.47 million tickets sold along with 120 million people watching the final on their television sets. This was the year Wembley Stadium recorded two consecutive Rugby World Cup attendance records. But for Matthew Hall, a young entrepreneur from London, these figures showed great potential for fantasy Rugby in England.
Vinfotech understands European market and can help you Creating a fantasy football website within the legislation. We have an experience of almost eight years in fantasy sports platform development. Give us a call.
Vinfotech creates world’s best fantasy sports-based entertainment, marketing and rewards platforms for fantasy sports startups, sports leagues, casinos and media companies. We promise initial set of real engaged users to put turbo in your fantasy platform growth. Our award winning software vFantasy™ allows us to build stellar rewards platform faster and better. Our customers include Zee Digital, Picklive and Arabian Gulf League.
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