The Fantasy Sports Phenomenon

Online fantasy sports are big"¦ really big.

In September 2005, over 9.5 Million people in the United States were involved in a fantasy sports league through one of the three largest fantasy services – Yahoo, Sportsline and ESPN. To put this in perspective, the volume of people playing fantasy on these three sites equates to the population of Michigan (the 8th most populated U.S. state)!

As such, fantasy sports have emerged as big business and changed the way sports are viewed, reported and discussed. I won’t go so far to say Fantasy Sports has changed the world, but it certainly is an interesting topic to investigate from a social and business perspective.

To peel back the layers of Fantasy Sports, we analyzed the online fantasy sports activity of the 2 Million+ strong Compete member community and also conducted a targeted survey of over 300 fantasy sports fans.

Some of our interesting findings:

  1. Enthusiasts participating in Fantasy Sports at Yahoo, ESPN and Sportsline are 31% female
  2. Respondents that pay to play are seasoned veterans – 37% have been in the game for more than 7 years
  3. Yahoo captured 68% of the fantasy market share in paid and free services, while Sportsline at 18% and ESPN at 13% lag behind
  4. 47% of all respondents owned a video game console – Sony’s Playstation was the most popular

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