Fantasy Football: A Whole New Playing Field

With the NFL regular season right around the corner, I thought I would take a close look at Compete’s fantasy football ‘playbook’ and check out a few big players in the space. The closer I got down to the digital playing field, the more interesting facts started to rise to the surface. Here are few that you might not have known about.
With baseball in full swing and football about to kick-off, Compete’s ‘fantasy sports’ category was up 46% month-over-month in July as super fans logged on for a total of 634M+ minutes. With that number expected to triple during the regular NFL season, the big players (NFL, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo) are already feeling the effects of the pre-season telecasts. Advertisers such as Under Armor, Geico, Verizon and Progressive are already making some big moves in pre-season with page takeovers and banner ads.

Can fantasy football eclipse real football? The answer might surprise you. During the 2010 four month regular season, total traffic to the top three fantasy sub domains exceed nfl.com unique visitors by up to 31% in some cases. If this trend continues, will advertisers pull out of the NFL and instead place their bets on fantasy football?

Hope that La-Z-Boy has room for two. “Ladies! (Old Spice’s Isaiah Mustafa’s voice) Think fantasy football is just for sweaty beer-guzzling guys?  Think again — your man is not the only one fantasizing…about football.” Women are entering the game in a big way, according to Compete data on fantasyfootball.com and fftoday.com — they make up 28% and 34% of the online traffic respectively. On a side note, teams with the “cutest” players (according to my wife) have a female audience of 41% (patriots.com and dallascowboys.com) and 39% (newyorkjets.com); I’m looking at you Sephora and Avon.

So can Compete predict a Super Bowl winner this year? I don’t see why not. Destination traffic from NFL.com to specific team sites show the Cowboys leading the way, followed by the Eagles, Packers and Steelers. If this trend is any indication of fantasy owner’s interest in the marquee league players, then one could conclude that we will see one of these teams winning the Super Bowl.

The growth of fantasy sports is catching the eyes of advertisers and emerging demographics alike, making it a very powerful advertising platform. As the fantasy football playing field changes, Compete will be tracking its every move to see who emerges victorious.

About Aaron Smolick:
Aaron Smolick is the Senior Director of Marketing at Compete. Aaron spends his time at Compete building brand awareness and lead generations while managing the PR, the Kantar relationship and the day-to-day marketing efforts--he greases the wheels and connects the dots. Before Aaron joined the Compete team he ran the US division of the Samsung gaming division. He hopes to eventually climb the corporate ladder where the dots become larger.