In the past months we have written blogs about both fantasy football sites and celebrity popularity based on search engine queries. Initially you might think these topics are completely unrelated, but sadly, you would be quite wrong. Last May, Bill Simmons from ESPN wrote a hilarious article describing his attempts to explain the allure and excitement of fantasy sports to his wife. In the weeks following its publication, it became a topic of discussion amongst friends and coworkers.
Then in September, it was brought to my attention that someone took this funny idea and actually created a fantasy league for women. My initial thoughts were that this was a little ridiculous, but upon further consideration, I decided it might be an interesting business venture. The fantasy sports industry is booming right now, generating $1-2 billion in revenue from more than 15 million U.S. adults (mostly men) each year according the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). But what about the huge untapped female population that is left out of this booming industry?
I just recently stumbled upon TabFL.com or Tabloid Fantasy League. Upon further review of the site the similarities to fantasy football were striking. They hosted two games called "FaceFecta" and "TabFecta" both of which are similar to popular fantasy football games. "FaceFecta" is similar to a Pick "˜Em or Survivor League in which you predict what celebrities will grace the cover of the "Big 4" magazines (People, Star, US Weekly, InTouch) the following week. "TabFecta" is like your traditional fantasy league as you draft a celebrity cast and score points as cast members appear in the "Big 4". The last major similarity is their "News/Gossip" section which works just like athlete news/updates in traditional fantasy sports leagues.
While researching TabFL I came across two similar "competitor" sites: FantasyFashionLeague.com and Fafarazzi.com. The rules at FantasyFashionLeague.com are slightly different, but the premise is the same, an owner drafts designers, celebrities, clothing and accessories and receives points for mentions and photos of their team members on popular websites and fashion magazines. Fafarrazi.com is also similar in that you draft celebrities and you get points when your celebs are in the gossip blogs.
So how do these sites compare? All three sites are fairly new with the TabFL.com entering the Compete top million in October, FantasyFashionLeague.com as it is today re-entering the top million in July, and Fafarazzi.com entering the top million in August. In November all three sites user base grew relative to the previous month but it was TabFL.com that on the real upswing growing 80% from October compared to 58.4% growth from Fafarazzi.com and 6% growth from FantasyFashionLeague.com. The data in the table shown above indicates TabFL.com is the most engaging of the three with more Pages/Visit and Time/Session, but Fafarrzi.com is dominating the niche thus far with 6,000+ visitors in November.
So do I expect these sites to achieve the fantasy success of Sportsline, ESPN and Yahoo? No. Are they creative business ventures with potential to capitalize on the huge fantasy sports industry? Yes. And so, with the first selection in the Compete Celebrity Fantasy Draft, I select"¦"¦ LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers. (What did you expect? I’m a guy.)
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