STATS attended the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) conference this week, the premier annual conference for fantasy. There were many interesting topics discussed by industry leaders at the conference including legislative issues surrounding daily fantasy sports (DFS).
Below are some of our interesting takeaways from the presentations we saw and the discussions we had with fantasy experts and industry influencers during the FSTA conference.
- DFS Regulation
Regulation of DFS has been a top headline for the last yet, but FSTA President Paul Charchian predicts that the fantasy sports industry would continue its impressive rise, citing the industry’s growth in North America as 18% of U.S. adults now play fantasy sports, as revealed by Ipsos at the FSTA conference. According to FSTA, the number of fantasy players who DFS has doubled since 2012 fueling much of the industry’s growth. Though, the traditional season long format remains the most popular.
- Mobile and Tablet Optimized Products
Players have various devices available to them to connect with their fantasy team, but the percentage of players primarily using their computer to connect with their team is declining. A reported 83% of all internet usage is on mobile devices, highlighting the need for smartphone and tablet optimized fantasy products. It’s a key area of engagement for the sports industry as a whole, as non-optimized platforms for mobile devices are failing to effectively engage with a large portion of their potential customer base.
- Video Content
Video is the most powerful form of content in the sports world at this point, as fans can watch highlights, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. People are already watching more sports due to fantasy, leading to an increase in sport focused, subscription-based channels like the NFL Network and NBA TV and streaming services like MLB.tv. Many fantasy players stated they only keep these subscriptions because of fantasy. Fantasy players are looking at more video content while conducting research for their teams, highlighting how video becoming an important tool in the fantasy industry.
- Growth Beyond Main U.S. Sports
Fantasy has expanded beyond the traditional U.S. sports of football, baseball, basketball and hockey. International competitions, such as Euro 2016 and international football leagues, have picked up popularity around the globe. eSports is also growing in the world of fantasy sports, as the FSTA conference hosted a panel on the subject. It’s already a booming industry that is popular with millennials. The eSports market is expected to grow to $463 million this year, breaking the $1 billion barrier by 2019.
With all the amazing discussions and promising initiatives coming away from the FSTA Summer Conference, we are excited to be a part of the growing, global fantasy industry.
STATS hosts high-stakes season long fantasy games, builds fantasy platforms for partners, and develops fantasy projections that have won multiple awards for accuracy (including from the FSTA), also producing content that educates users both on the industry as a whole and using our predictive analytics. Our top 10 projected players for the 2016 NFL season can be viewed here.