Despite DFS DraftKings, FanDuel Woes, Fantasy Sports Industry Tops 59M Players
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 06:48PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in DraftKings, FTC, FanDuel, Fantasy Sports, Fantasy Sports Trade Assn., Fantasy sports

By Barry Janoff

June 20, 2017: Daily fantasy sports firms DraftKings and FanDuel may be having myriad of problems with the Federal Trade Commission in trying to enact a proposed merger, but the fantasy sports industry is alive, kicking and thriving.

Fantasy sports has reached a record 59.3 million players in the U.S. and Canada, up from 57.4 million last year and more than double the number of players (28.4 million) in 2009, according to new research from the Fantasy Sports Trade Assn.

And those players like to spend, to the tune of more than $7.2 billion.

Taking into account all platforms, spending and all other venues of revenue associated with fantasy sports, the industry as a whole is valued at upward of $70 billion, according to industry analysts.

Football still reigns, with nearly three-quarters of all fantasy players associated with football-related fantasy games, leagues and groups.

The players still skew heavily male — 71% to 29% female — but combined are a stronger consumer force than ever.

That includes spending more than $1 billion on such  "ancillary" activities and goods as draft parties, food and drink and fantasy-related memorabilia.

"The fantasy sports industry's continuing growth demonstrates consumers' passion for the hobby and their desire to play with friends and family," Paul Charchian, president for Madison, WI-based FSTA, said in a statement. "We continue to see innovation that broadens the appeal of fantasy sports and data that shows tremendous gains in the scale of participation and economic impact."

The future landscape of daily fantasy sports remains uncertain with the news this week that the FTC is attempting to block a potential merger between No. 1 player DraftKings and No. 2 FanDuel.

"This merger would deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition between DraftKings and FanDuel," Tad Lipsky, acting director for the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

According to the FTC’s complaint, at present, the two companies "battle head-to-head to offer the best prices and product quality, including the largest prize pools and greatest variety of contests. The proposed merger would create a single provider with by far the largest share of the market for paid daily fantasy sports contests in the United States."

Meanwhile, fantasy sports continues to show spending strength across the board.

Of the fantasy players who watch Sunday games at someone's home, 73% order delivery from such pizza places as Domino's, Papa John's or Pizza Hut; while 61% purchase food from places like Burger King, Wendy's, or McDonald’s, according to the FSTA.

"We continue to see innovation that broadens the appeal of fantasy sports and data that shows tremendous gains in the scale of participation and economic impact."

Among other stats from the FSTA survey, conducted by Ipsos Marketing:

• 84% hold a draft party and more than 90% of players buy food and/or alcohol for the party

• 57% have a league-wide event outside of the draft party, including going to bars or clubs (51%), a group trip (47%) or a golf outing (44%)

• 73% spend money on a non-cash prize for their league winner (e.g., trophy, belt, ring)
    
• 68% spend money on a "prize" for the league loser, such as a "toilet bowl" trophy, tattoo or T-shirt.

The FSTA survey was conducted March 1-6, 2017 in Canada, and May 30-June 1, 2017 in the U.S.

It included a "representative, randomly selected sample of 3,600 teens and adults from Ipsos' online panel who were interviewed online to determine the fantasy sports market size in the U.S. and Canada."

Fantasy Reality: FTC Seeks Injunction To Stop FanDuel-DraftKings Merger

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