A thrilling partnership: (fantasy) sports and the draft system
Fans of American professional sports like basketball, ice-hockey or football should know this popular system and a big size of European sports fan wish them — the entry draft. It’s a really popular feature to make the preconditions equal for every team of a competition. And this is how it works: in the most big American sport leagues like NBA, NHL or NFL there are no relegators. But the minder successful teams, which don’t qualify for the play-offs, get in another chance to improve their squads. In the form of a right of first refusal they’re allowed to draft the biggest upcoming talents for the next season.
The connection of the draft system with fantasy sports
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in fantasy sports a similar system works. Gamers get the chance to build up their team from all players of a (real) competition or league, mostly the providers own the licences or rights of the player names, pictures, data and other items.
After set up their team they get a result based on the real player performance and data. In daily fantasy sports it’s even possible to compose a team for every matchday new, that’s a more thrilling and challenging character than common manager games. Prominent representatives in the US fantasy sports are the platforms draftkings and fanduel especially.
The growth of the fantasy sports market
These platforms have reached the heart of the times when sports fans not only want to go to the stadium or watch their favourite team on TV, but also contribute their expertise, talk shop and compete interactively with other fans. This can also be seen from the increasing number of users in North america based on figures from the FSTA. While there were 35.9 million fantasy sports fans in 2011, the figure climbed to 56.8 million in 2015 and reached its absolute peak in 2017 in 59.3 million enthusiasts.
If you also consider the demo- and sociography of the users, you get an extremely potent and educated target group of people who love this sport. More than 50 percent of them graduated in life, 67 percent of them have a full-time job, 53 percent had an netto income of minimum 75,000 US dollars per year. Of special interest, however, are the annual expenses in fantasy sports, which amount to 653 us dollars per year for the older 18-s. To put it in perspective, some thrifty people don’t even spend that much on clothes every year.
Daily fantasy sports in Europe
While in the USA fantasy sports has fully captured the fans, the wave has not yet sloshed all the way to Europe. There are a few platforms here and there, such as football-stars, that make use of this concept. In principle, however, there is a huge potential of fans, just think of the private betting communities, be it via kicktipp or in any other forms. Or the numerous football fanatics, who make use of a league in more classic manager games or even a fixed team per season such as the kicker manager, or who gamble for more action comunio or kickbase for some time now. The fan interest, especially in football, is existing, now the American concept has to address the loyalty of the fans matchday by matchday again by creating monetary or material incentives, cause until now the opportunities of monetization of such games was rather limited. Blockchain technology could be a solution for this problem.