Fantasy Sports Industry

in Fantasy

Since the invention and expansion of the internet, we have been able to do a lot of things that weren’t even dreamed of just a few years ago.  For example, before the internet, there was no such thing as fantasy sports.  However, now people dedicate lots of time to finding just the right players for their team.  In addition, the industry has given rise to a whole new crop of full time jobs that didn’t exist before. 

Research shows that the industry shows no signs of slowing down.  In fact, it has been estimated that 32 million people over the age of 12 in both the U.S. and Canada played fantasy sports in 2010.  And it isn’t just the big sports such as baseball, football and basketball which are attracting players.  There are also fantasy teams for golf, NASCAR and even bowling.  Participation in these sports has grown by an amazing 60% in just the last four years alone with more than 19% of males in the United States playing fantasy sports.  A lot of this increase is due to the fact that more and more people have faster broadband internet connections making it easier to follow teams and players.  With such a large number of participants, the fantasy sports world has a $3-4 billion dollar annual economic impact across the sports industry.

The industry has also moved beyond the borders of the United States.  There are now fantasy leagues for other sports such as soccer, cricket and other sports which are more likely to be found in other parts of the world.  It is estimated that in 2008, there were between 5.5 and 7.5 million British fantasy sports players with more than 80% participating in soccer fantasy leagues alone. 

The big moment for the industry came in the mid 1990s with the rise in popularity of the internet.  This new technology allowed for stats to be quickly compiled online and then shared with news and other information becoming readily available.  In addition, the expansion of broadband has helped fantasy sports as well since participants can watch videos of players and keep up to day.  Also, more and more people can manage their teams on their mobile devices such as a smart phone or a tablet computer making it easier to keep up to date with the latest news and injury reports.

The first leagues were developed and launched in early 1997.  With a price tag of $300 per league, players could get message boards, real time stats, and daily updated box scores.  Once this site called Commissioner.com was sold for $31 million in late 1999, it proved that fantasy sports were no longer just a hobby, but big business as well.  Today, there are numerous companies who allow players to form leagues.  Some of the bigger sites include Yahoo, CBS and Fanball.com. 

Fantasy sports show no sign of slowing down and as more people get broadband internet, the number of participants are sure to rise. 

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Brent Johnson has 252 articles online

Brent Johnson

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This article was published on 2011/11/19