Fantasy Sports Play Expanding

If the local sports team doesn’t seem destined to bring home a trophy, there’s always fantasy sports. That seems to be the consensus among more U.S. consumers these days. New research from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) shows that the number of consumers participating in fantasy sports has reached a 5‑year high.

The FSTA, which hired Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct its research, says its study shows enduring characteristics of the fantasy sports audience.  “First fantasy sports remains a social activity, made more enjoyable when playing with friends. Second, people don’t stop playing fantasy sports,” explains Paul Charchian, FSTA president.

The fastest growing demographic of fantasy sports players is males under age 18. About 1/​3 of men between the ages of 12 and 29 enjoy this pastime. Currently, about 22% of all males and 6% of all females play fantasy sports. At least 19% of these players have a college degree. On average, these consumers engage with fantasy sports about 8 hours every week. For the vast majority, 69.4%, football is the favorite fantasy sport. These players don’t just pony up their league fees and transaction fees, which exceed $2 billion  year — they also access a variety of sports news websites to study interesting players.

At the same time, mobile devices are increasingly important to the world of fantasy sports. These players go mobile to:

  • Obtain scores of real major league games 69%
  • Access real-​time fantasy games 67%
  • Obtain player news 54%

Ad-​ology Research reports that Fantasy Sports Players are 105% more likely than average to attend sporting events in person. Marketers should take the opportunity to pitch tailgating supplies to this audience as these folks are over 200% more likely than average to engage in this activity. These consumers also over-​index for health club memberships. Mobile smartphone apps or text messages may be an effective way to reach these consumers. Nearly 30% of Fantasy Sports Players report they’ve taken action in the last 30 days from an ad they saw in these formats, a rate that is 49% higher than average.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.