Fantasy sports, in general, are extremely popular around the world. The United States has the most active players in fantasy sports leagues, with football and baseball accounting for the majority of the engagement.
Football (the English version) is the most popular fantasy sport in Europe, and cricket is the most popular fantasy sport in India, which is somewhat unsurprising.
There were almost 60 million fantasy sports participants in the United States in 2018, but this number fell in 2019 and 2020 as sports events and leagues were postponed or canceled.
Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted in some regions and countries, a sense of normalcy is returning to sports and fantasy sports competitions.
Given the popularity of fantasy sports, it’s fascinating to learn how it came to be, as well as to predict where it might go in the future.
Where and how did fantasy sports begin?
It is thought that baseball was the first fantasy sport, which began in 1951. The American market was introduced to a board game named American Professional Baseball Association.
The board game was by Dick Seitz.
Every year, gamers could purchase a fresh pack of cards with the statistics from the previous season’s baseball players.
In 1980, the first fantasy baseball league was established in a Manhattan restaurant named Le Rotisserie Francais. Which is why you will hear the names rotisserie baseball or rotisserie sports.
However, most people agree that the first legitimate fantasy sports league began in 1962. The Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League was founded by, Bill Winkenbach, along with a group of other enthusiasts.
This paved the way for a slew of other fantasy sports, including cricket, tennis, hockey, golf, Formula One racing and basketball. Although fantasy football in the United States refers to the gridiron, it has a different meaning in Europe and the United Kingdom, and it is the most popular ‘rotisserie’ sport.
What makes fantasy sports so exciting?
Fantasy sports is one of the most exciting things that people can take part in. It gives fantasy sports fans to get a taste of the action by trading. It is getting into the competitive spirit and becoming like the manager of your own team.
Fantasy sports give people the opportunity to take part in their favorite sports in a whole new way. Using what they know and love about teams to make up their own teams.
Every piece of action taken during play is directly related to the real-world actions and stats of the play in each game.
Not only that, but fantasy sports are one of the main ways that real teams see an increase in fan participation and loyalty.
How is technology fuelling fantasy sports?
The fantasy sports industry has boomed since the dawn of the internet and flashy smartphones. The appeal of fantasy sports is that you can oversee professional sports teams without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
Drafting teams, betting on elite player success, and trash-talking with your similarly obsessive buddies all take place on Web and mobile platforms, making fantasy sports more than simply a game of bragging rights. It has grown into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 33 million Americans participate in one or more fantasy sports, with 24 million of them playing fantasy football and with annual revenue ranging from $800 million to $1 billion. The rise in popularity corresponds to the expansion of broadband access and the prevalence of smartphones across the nation.
Players were already using their smartphones to read sports news, check game scores, and keep up with their favorite teams.
As a strategy to make themselves more appealing to consumers, wireless carriers are now working to identify themselves completely with whatever sports properties they can.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s most recent data, over 63 percent of American adults currently use their cell phones to browse online. At least 21 percent do all of their online browsing on mobile devices.
This is a fantastic trend for major fantasy sports sites.
It is important to remember that the UK has a strong fantasy team scene and other European countries are getting involved as technology improves.
While it is normally free to manage teams on those sites, premium information such as scouting reports and immediate monitoring apps is not.
However, advertising and sponsorships, which are mostly targeted at the young male fantasy audience, provide the majority of the funding for the industry.
What does the future hold for fantasy sports?
According to the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, over 59 million people in the United States and Canada participate in fantasy sports.
Fantasy sports are played by millions of young sports fans throughout the world. Due to the quick availability of user-friendly fantasy gaming applications and increased internet penetration, this figure is expected to skyrocket in the near future.
During the projected period, the online fantasy sports gaming industry is expected to rise rapidly. The discovery of modern smart mobile applications dedicated to fantasy gaming is driving the market.
Many global and regional players, including DraftKing, have created a new fantasy sports app to engage users and give daily and monthly cash rewards.
Online fantasy sports gaming is predicted to be fueled by rising internet penetration among the youthful population, the introduction of next-generation technology (5G), and the rapid usage of smartphones.
The industry is expected to benefit from the increased use of fantasy sports gaming applications for brand marketing.