Sports and Social Media: A Perfect Match Immediate Accessible Fosters Fan Culture
Fantasy Sports Began as a relatively unknown niche hobby in the early 1980s Enter the Internet: it has seen remarkable growth since the mid-1990s
Some Basic Rules All leagues are composed of multiple teams, with each team managed by a player Each league has a commissioner, or one manager who oversees all activity that occurs within the league The season begins with a draft, either live or automatic Points are assigned to drafted players in accordance with performances during actual games The cumulative points determine the winning managers of the fantasy game, who compete head to head against one another League winners are determined at the end of the season based on the best winning record or point total
Some Basic Stats (FSTA, 2009) 27 million users in the U.S., or 6% of the population 22% of American males, 18-49 with internet access, participate in the activity Economic Impact: $800 million within and $3 billion across the sports industry
User Interfaces Various websites host free fantasy leagues online Other websites host fantasy leagues for a fee, often offering additional features and programs Many offer features such as message boards and access to player information and statistics
Media Impact Fantasy involves more than just participation online Outcomes of fantasy games rely on results of live sporting events that take place in the physical world Users can access these results through a variety of media platforms
Media Impact cont. From the recommended readings: We continuously engage in social media We use various media platforms simultaneously Fantasy sports are a form of social networking Does it pose a risk for addiction?
Media Impact cont. Dwyer (2010) and Comeau (2009) found increased general media consumption as a result of participation in fantasy football 58% of fantasy users reported watching more sports on television since they started participating in fantasy sports (FSTA, 2009)
What’s Behind It All? The social and economical impact of fantasy sports has been well-documented in the mainstream media BUT… the motivations for participation in this activity and the level at which individuals participate is largely unknown Uncovering these motivations may reveal what kind of people participate in this activity These results could hold implications for professional sports leagues, media networks, advertisers, and consumers
Current Project: Trait Differences inFantasy Football Participation Research Questions For what meaningful purposes do fantasy football participants depend on the activity? In what ways do fantasy football participants identify and interact within social groups created by the activity? What are the relationships between the individual traits of fantasy sports participants and their motivations for participation in the activity?
Individual Traits and Motivations Traits Extraversion Competitiveness Machiavellianism Sensation-Seeking Impulsiveness Motivations Social Competitive Identification Financial Gain
End Goal? To predict the level of participation in the activity based on the interaction between an individual’s personality traits and motivations for use
Method Conducted a survey of 457 subjects, 177 of whom have participated in fantasy football Included IUB Telecom students and members of a variety of popular fantasy football forums Questions pertained to their opinions, habits, and level of participation in fantasy football General media use, social activities, and past sports participation were also addressed Questions were posed related to their fantasy activities and motivations for participating A series of personality scales were implemented to measure trait differences
Preliminary Data Analysis Fantasy football participants rank higher in competitiveness, Machiavellianism, sensation- seeking, and impulsiveness, as compared to non- fantasy football participants Fantasy football participants rank lower in extraversion than non-fantasy football participants Do fantasy football players view the activity as an alternative to face-to-face social interaction?
In Conclusion… Just where exactly are fantasy sports headed? http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/bfj
Links to Recommended Readings Social media survey finds use in bed, on waking http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/ 2010/03/18/BURK1CHVVA.DTL#ixzz1ObMoYTdv Americans Using TV and Internet Together 35% More Than A Year Ago http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/three- screen-report-q409/ Fantasy Sports: Social Networking or Time Wasting http://returnonnow.com/2010/02/fantasy-sports-social- networking-time-wasting/ Fantasy Sports: Another Internet Addiction? http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/1259/1/Fantasy- sports-another-internet-addiction/Page1.html