Fantasy sports continues to grow across the globe. The industry has not slowed down by much during covid-19 pandemic when most sporting activities are postponed or cancelled. Fans can now enjoy more and more sports on fantasy sports platforms. Technology advancements, the smartphone use and internet access has boosted the demand of sports based online gaming.
In India, where cricket is considered a religion, but the sports industry as a whole has gained. Not just cricket but also football and kabaddi as dedicated leagues have come up in the last 5-6 years. Fantasy sports is certainly one of the reasons for the rise of a multi-sports culture in India.
Does fantasy sports make sports better?
It is a bit subjective to conclude that fantasy sports make sports better or vice-versa. However, the users on these platforms take keen interest in sports. They are watching it more often, reading about it, competing more than ever, want to get more involved in who will win today match.
Sports experience has changed. The fan engagement among fantasy sports app users has reached a new level. A report by FIFS and Neilsen suggests 37 percent of fantasy sports players consume more than 6-8 hours of real-life sports content per week. May be that is the new trend and how sports will be consumed by more fans in future.
The aforementioned study also suggested that 62 percent of respondents watched different types of sports leagues. The fantasy sports certainly helps in sports expansion if not in making it better.
The exponential rise of fantasy sports in India
There has been major breakthrough in the industry, more so in India. From 30 Fantasy Sports operators in 2017 to 140 in 2019, the growth has been beyond expected. By end of 2020, India may have the most users involved in fantasy sports.
India’s leading fantasy sports operator, Dream11 has a user base of over 8 crore. The total number of users on Dream11 is expected to cross 10 crores by the end of this year. It is projected that at least 33% of all sports consumers in India will be involved in fantasy sports by the end of 2020.
Increase in strategic partnerships
The growth of dream 11 fantasy cricket in the past two years has been “astounding,” but there’s still a great ground to cover. The untapped potential of the industry is huge. The strategic partnerships among stakeholders is on the rise. It is a move in the right direction as it bring more and more sports, leagues and opportunities with it. More and more sports celebrities’ endorsing daily fantasy sports apps and operators too has had a positive effect on the industry.
Covid-19 may not have much bearing on the industry once sports activities resume. With vast scope ahead, it can be safely said fantasy sports is a game-changer for sports.