Map of Fantasy Sports Ecosystem
Fantasy Sports Ecosystem
Some caveats before we dive into the analysis. This fantasy sports market map is not designed to be 100% comprehensive. It’s more to understand all the different spaces within fantasy sports. I am biased toward the US fantasy sports market but do recognize the swift development in other markets which will be covered in more depth in future updates.
57 million people play fantasy sports in the US & Canada. In Europe the number is 30 million. Fantasy sports has been dominated by the season long format and that is still the product with the largest following. Since 2009 the DFS format ,with Fanduel and Draftkings leading the way, has made significant progress and continue to do so. The 2015 advertising frenzy by Fanduel and DraftKings really put the spotlight on DFS and combined with an alleged insider scandal that same fall, made for increased focus on regulating the industry state by state. Fantasy sports has been regulated in some states, other states have regulation in the making and a few states have deemed fantasy sports illegal. More about the legal situation and progress can be read on legalsportsreport.com.
The trend goes toward faster plays, additional niche sports & esports and above all mobile interfaces.
Sports & Entertainment
The main sports are still the big four
With the addition of daily fantasy sports and the continued growth in fantasy sports overall, additional sports get more traction. Growing sports include:
- Auto racing
For the international markets and venturing outside traditional sports we also see an uptake in:
- Game shows
The FSTA, Fantasy Sports Trade Association, is a trade group representing the fantasy sports industry, listing over 200 member companies on its web site as of June 2015. Members range from small startups to large media corporations. FSTA was founded in 1998 and provides demographic data, annual conferences and collective action including lobbying to support the growth of fantasy sports leagues.
Fantasy sports providers
The majority of fantasy sports players play traditional season-long fantasy sports. The largest providers of season-long fantasy sports include:
- CBS Sports
- FOX Sports
The quicker and rapidly growing daily fantasy sports (DFS) is dominated by two players that account for about 95% of the US market.
The proposed merger between Fanduel and DraftKings was blocked by the FTC on antitrust concerns,noting that a combined DraftKings and FanDuel would own 90% of the U.S. daily fantasy market. We have since seen that Fanduel are withdrawing from the UK to focus on the US and overall marketing efforts from the two DFS giants can be expected to slow down in order for them to stabilize their businesses while keeping their multi-state legal efforts going. For smaller business this means that the overall driving force in the industry might slow down a bit but on the flip side they should get in a better position to catch up to the two giants.
The DFS model is cemented with the Fanduel and DraftKings’ DK models but still new alternative ways are emerging, mainly focusing on making the user experience more mobile, fast and engaging.
News & Injury reporters
All the big news channels and sites cover sports and fantasy sports. TV, sites, podcasts and forums are the main channels but print publications still play central role particularly in preparation for the drafts.
The dominating stats provider is Sportradar being the official stats provider of the major US sports and also moving in on esports.
Loads of tools available to simplify the draft process and give players an upper hand.
Analytics & Predictions
Analytics, rankings and predictions are always hot topics and a central part of fantasy sports. Numberfire and DFSR are some of the most favored sites.
- Sports betting — betting on sports has for long time been a stigmatized topic in the US and continue to be so. Pending the US Supreme Court ruling on sports wagering in New Jersey we see several states taking a more liberal stance toward sports wagering. If we over the next couple of years see a development in favour of sports betting we can expect to see the major global players within this field such as Bet365, PaddyPower Betfair, SBObet & Pinnacle along with Las Vegas based sportsbooks and Indian reserve casinos. The impact on fantasy sports should be substantial but with the expected decrease in terms of share of the market (when including sports betting) should be off set by the overall growth of the market. Even though a positive decision might come end of year it will still take years before there will be any significant change in more than a couple of states. We also see some tribes pushing back against sports wagering which will further complicate the potential regulation of sports wagering in many states.
- Europe — significant progress on the fantasy sports scene is taking place in Europe today. The UK is leading the charge with Germany, Italy and the Nordics following suit. The debate whether fantasy sports will be attractive to users brought up with sports betting is still going but with sports becoming increasingly more stats heavy and sports attention shifting from team focus to player focus, fantasy sports is becoming more popular. The main sport in Europe will be soccer, followed by rugby, basketball and handball.
- ROW — Fantasy sports focused on Cricket is growing rapidly in India and with the increasing internet penetration and micro-payments we see fantasy sports also making its way into many African countries. Asia is largely focused on European soccer and the major US sports but we expect to see services popping up focusing on more local sports and content.
Originally published at No Halftime.