With the 2014 football season upon us (who else is excited for NFL kickoff tonight?) we are seeing a variety of up and coming fantasy trends that we just had to share. So sit back, relax and keep reading to see the list of our Top Fantasy Football Trends:
- Fantasy football participation is growing and growing and growing
- Fantasy sports are attracting teens and younger kids because it enables them to capitalize on their favorite hobby – social networking.
- Fantasy sports are also gaining popularity with women. Some are doing it because it is an interest of their boyfriends or husbands, but others just simply like football and find it a good way to engage.
- In 2013, Ad Age estimated that the fantasy industry would generate more than $1 billion in revenue, and in 2014 that number will be even larger.
- In 2013, the “derivative” market, fantasy football, had already grown larger than the foundational market, the NFL. According to the FSTA, fantasy football players spend roughly $11 billion annually, while the NFL’s annual revenues are closer to $10 billion.
- In a recent study by Fortune, they estimate that fantasy football could cost businesses $13.4 billion per season
- Here is how they came up with the estimate: “The firm estimated 18.3 million employees play fantasy football on the job for two hours each week and multiplied that by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s $24.45 hourly wage average. The result: $895 million lost each week.”
- Other studies estimate that the average player spends up to 3 hours per week setting lineups and researching for their team.
- The NFL and its teams are jumping on the bandwagon and embracing fantasy sports
- The 49ers are leading the charge. Their new stadium includes a fantasy sports lounge that will include Wi-Fi so GMs can stay up to date on how their players are doing.
- The Jaguars are following their lead with a fantasy football lounge of their own that includes 20 HD TVs showing other live games and the popular NFL Red Zone.
- Fantasy football is good for the NFL- According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) there are over 41 million people in the U.S. that play fantasy sports and 80% of those play fantasy football.
Yahoo continues to be the most popular site for fantasy sports leagues, but some users aren’t happy with the site and are considering a switch to other fantasy powerhouses
- Yahoo, ESPN and CBS are the largest hosts for fantasy sports’ leagues.
- Yahoo recently received a wave of angry tweets during a site outage on one of the biggest draft nights of the year. Some tweets even included threats to head on over to ESPN or CBS.
- Yahoo, who controls nearly 20% of the sector’s revenue, is the single largest player in the Fantasy Sports Services industry. In 2014, the industry is estimated to generate close to $1.4 billion in revenue in the United States alone.
- Daily games are gaining popularity
- Daily fantasy sports take hours to choose a team, not months. And if you have a bad day, it won’t hurt you all season like a bad draft would.
- FanDuel, the biggest daily fantasy site, said that it recently raised $70 million in an investment round just one week after its biggest competitor, DraftKings, announced $41 million in new funding.
- FanDuel expects almost 600,000 people to use its site this year.
- NFL Comissioner, Roger Goodell, is handing out harsher punishments for various offenses, which means fantasy GMs have to be on their toes
- Wes Welker just received a 4 game suspension for use of amphetamines, Josh Gordon is out for the year, and Matt Prater is out 4 games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
- These guys were all top fantasy picks last year, but are they worth the risk now? (Gordon clearly isn’t after losing his appeal)
- Ray Rice’s minor punishment, a 2-game suspension for domestic violence, recently caused a fury of backlash towards the league, but those who have drafted him will be happy to hear he won’t be out of their starting lineup for long.
These fantasy sports trends reflect the overall state of the industry. Numbers are growing across the board, whether it is total participants, time spent, money for league fees or the amount of money invested in the industry’s leaders. Ultimately, 2014 should be a big year for Fantasy Football.
Since the industry is growing so fast, it is harder than ever to gain the upper hand. Subscribe to scoutPRO today and take full advantage of all that we have to offer so you can dominate your league!
- Virgina Zakas, product marketing manager