Fantasy Sports and Fan Interaction Peter Jankulovski
Agenda What are Fantasy Sports? Who we are – a brief history Going Mainstream – growth and popularity The Fantasy Sports user Benefits of Fantasy Sports Fan Interaction The Future…
What are Fantasy Sports? A game where participants act as coaches, team owners/managers, building a sports team of real sports stars, competing against other fantasy team owners. Teams score points based on the statistics generated by the real individual players and teams of a professional sport.
Fantasy Sports – A brief history Origins in US university dorm rooms, dating back in the 1940s-1960s, using year-to-date stats. Modern ‘rotisserie’ style fantasy sports games (based on on-going player statistics) originate from early 80s. Seminal moment for growth and popularity of fantasy sports was the rise of the Internet in the mid-90s.
Fantasy Sports – the global landscape 2009 – Est. 27-30 million fantasy sports players in the US. 70%+ of all players are involved in NFL. Estimated 6-7 million players in Europe, predominantly driven by the U.K. US fantasy business estimated to generate over $800m in direct revenue, estimated sports industry impact of $3-4b. Mature industry, with 8-10% annual growth rate.
Fantasy Sports history in Australia Popularised by The Age newspaper in 1991 with print-based competition. Entry by paper coupon and phone. To late 90s and popularisation of internet - predominantly the domain of an enthusiast development community and user base of approx. 30,000. Enter Vapormedia…
Vapormedia and Fantasy Sports Established in early 2001 with VirtualSPORTS.com.au fantasy sports brand. Provided 3 innovative AFL games, including first draft-style competition. Commercialised in 2002 with Telstra and the AFL, introducing the AFL Dream Team – 38,870 fantasy players.
The Vapormedia Games Provides a ‘white label’ platform for the country’s biggest fantasy sports competitions. Since 2004, over 13 different sports and sporting events (NRL, Union, Soccer, Cricket, Tennis, Horse Racing, Motor Sports etc. 2010 – dominant player in Australian fantasy sports landscape, 90%+ market share.
The Australian Fantasy Sports Industry In 2009, approx 1.2 million registrations. Estimated market of 8-900,000 unique players, or approx 4% of entire population. 65% of all use is AFL. 20% of all use is NRL. 15% is rest (Horse Racing, EPL, Cricket).
Going Mainstream – Growth in Australian Fantasy Sports Significant year-on-year growth of approx 80% from 2004-2008. 10-15% on-going growth trend. AFL Dream Team: 73,000 in 04 – 163,000 in 05 – 294,000 in 09 AFL SuperCoach: 91,000 in 06 – 152,000 in 07 – 350,000 in 09
Key Growth/Commercialisation Factors for Vapormedia Providing a realistic, addictive and compelling form of entertainment, which is highly engaging. Integration with, and extensive reach of sport bodies and media partners (online and traditional print). 52.3% play fantasy sports simply to ‘compete’. 32.5% play fantasy sports to socialise with like-minded sports fans.
The Typical Fantasy Sports User Is male. (although finally getting traction with a female user base – almost 13% in 2010!) Most likely to live in Victoria (AFL bias). Is overwhelmingly a student, or employed as a Professional or a Skilled Worker/Tradesperson. Belongs in one of two key demographics: 19-34 – 43% 18 and under – 26% Widely spread demographic range – fantasy sports appeal to everyone.
The Typical Fantasy Sports User – fan and media interaction Reads the newspaper as a means of getting content and advice – 55% read the paper at least 5 days per week – 25% read 7 days per week. 54% attend at least 3 football matches each season – 25% attend 7 or more. 86% of AFL fantasy players watch at least 1 AFL match on TV every week – more interest in ‘neutral’ games. Approx. 29% of AFL fantasy players are paying club members.
Fantasy Sports – the benefits to Digital Media New revenue opportunities for our partners via sponsorship and advertising. Toyota, TAC, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola. New user and customer list generation – a strong, dedicated and loyal user base; 10 minutes avg time on site, 19% of all visits last 10-30 minutes; 86% of all visits over season are returning visitors, 42% of visitors return to the site at least 26 times per season; Brand recognition and content consumption – retention of users in partners’ network, increased readership, content/video consumption etc.
Fan Interaction The new Monday morning water cooler discussion topic. Live Chat and head-to-head League banter between friends, colleagues and complete strangers – the competitive nature in everyone. Fantasy Sports – the original and ultimate Social Media platform for sports fans?
Fan Interaction Wider school leagues and competitions. Dream Team and SuperCoach being adopted as part of mathematics/probability curriculum. Extended corporate and club leagues and competitions – AFL/NRL clubs engaging their fans and members.
Fan Interaction Emergence of new mobile platforms = ‘never leave your fantasy team at home’. Live and end-of match scoring right through weekend of footy at your fingertips. Live chat and messaging system via the mobile applications direct. Massive growth in WAP consumption.
Fan Interaction AFL/NRL SuperCoach iPhone app was an App Store phenomenon – one of the most popular and highest grossing Australian apps in 2010. Top 10 overall, Number 1 sports app for 3 months. 80%+ of participants who own an iPhone purchased the app, average 4 star reviews.
Fan Interaction Foray into Social Media – Facebook an important fan engagement tool – officially and unofficially!
Fan Interaction Massively popular fantasy sports forum threads – BigFooty, Sportal, others… Over 20 dedicated fan sites, including content, blogs, news and analysis, weekly video shows. Fanfooty.com.au Dreamteamtalk.com Game play tools – stat analysis, price predictors. TooSerious FFgenie
The Future of Fantasy Sports Importance of Community and Social Media (Facebook, Twitter) integration – heavy emphasis in 2011 and beyond. All about Fantasy content – professional writers, video, text, user generated. Further expansion into Draft Style games. Stats, analysis and advanced tools. Making the games even more accessible, additional mobile platforms.
Peter Jankulovski Managing Director Ph: 0402 812 099 Email: email@example.com