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Fantasy Sports: Why You Should Be Making Them a Reality in Your Brand Activation

By: Andy Cooper

Fantasy sports have typically been reserved for one group—older, high-income, male sport enthusiasts. Leading brands targeting this group, such as Dove Men + Care, Snickers, Verizon and Toyota, have all invested heavily in leading fantasy destinations and their own activations.

However, fantasy sports’ appeal is much broader and will continue to expand in the future. This presents an exciting opportunity for brands looking to be first to engage non-traditional players through a proven platform. Consider the following:

  • Fantasy is for teens

In the United States, almost one in three teens (age 12–17) play fantasy sports. This is the fastest growing segment of all fantasy players, up 75 percent in new players from last year. By comparison, 41 percent of teens have claimed to use Snapchat, so fantasy is not far behind. Now only imagine fantasy on Snapchat…mind blown!

  • Fantasy is for women

Fantasy sports added 6.8 million new female players since 2013, approximately 2 million more than male players. Not only are women outpacing men, but more women are choosing fantasy sports over other more “traditional” programming. For example, nearly 3 times the amount of women started playing fantasy than watched The Bachelorette (2.5 million).

  • Fantasy is for other “sports”

Fantasy sports can enhance viewing of forms of entertainment like events, shows or movies. For example, Matthew Berry, who is the face of fantasy sports for ESPN, recently founded a fantasy film game, Fantasy Movie League ( In his game, instead of picking between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, you’re selecting between Jurassic World and Pitch Perfect 2. Fat Amy over Chris Pratt every day in my book.

  • Fantasy is for good

Pledger is a start-up that allows fans to make a monetary contribution to an athlete’s causes based on his or her on-field performance. Think the jog-a-thon from grade school, but way cooler. If your brand sponsors an athlete, this could be a great way to reinforce your athlete relationship while making a positive contribution to society.

No matter your target consumer, with a fantasy game in your next campaign, you can increase the chances of making fan engagement a reality for your brand.