The global fantasy sports market is expected to register a CAGR of 5% over the forecast period 2020-2025.
The increasing popularity of players in various sports, growing investment in internet infrastructure and the launch of fantasy sports applications are the primary factors that will offer immense growth opportunities to the market.
The emergence of 5G technology in 2020 is expected to increase wireless network investment in infrastructure. According to the report, global 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will reach USD 4.2 billion, an 89% increase from 2019 revenue of USD 2.2 billion. Additionally, investments in 5G near radio network infrastructure will account for 6% of the total wireless infrastructure revenue of communications service providers (CSPs) in 2019, and that it will reach 12% in 2020 which represents operator’s motivation to capitalize on the opportunity to provide fast and cost-effective service. It is predicted that 5G will enhance the performance by 100 times faster than 4G networks that will provide better user experience and drive the fantasy sports market.
India has a population of 1.38 billion, the second-highest populated country, and has a tremendous scope for fantasy sports market. Cricket is the prominent game supported by billion fans in India that has brought together many big brands, celebrities, gambling, league tournaments (like IPL, ICL, etc.). For the same reason, Dream11, India’s biggest fantasy sports company valued more than USD 1 billion has developed a cricket application that allows users to join contests for all formats of international cricket, create their own team and earn rewards based on the performance of actual players. The company’s brand ambassador Mahendra Singh Dhoni is able to attract more users to the platform as currently it has 8 crore registered users. Further, increase penetration of smartphone and internet ,accessibility, fantasy sports market would boost in the region.
Inceased technical development of fantasy sports platform due to high variety of sporting events across the globe will urge the users to participant and hence provide favorable opportunity to the market in the future.
Key Market Trends
Sporting Events Will Experience Significant Growth
- The sports industry is estimated to be around USD 500 billion in 2020 out of that, USD 250 billion is contributed by professional sports. Association football (soccer) is the top game and holds the majority (43%) and thus attracts maximum investment and audience to the real as well as a virtual world. In order to elevate the game-day experience for sports fans on virtual platforms, key vendors are partnering with streaming companies. For instance, in 2019, FanCode signed a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA), one of the world’s most premium sports brands to live-stream NBA games in India. It has also helped to spread awareness about the game in a bid to increase basketball’s popularity in India.
- Moreover, the growing investment to buy digital advertisement space by the top companies to enhance the awareness, as well as sales of their offerings, provides a positive occasion to key vendors to hike up their revenue streams. According to the Dentsu Aegis Network 2019, digital advertising witnessed a 26% increase over 2018 to reach Rs 13,683 crore, even as overall advertising witnessed a sober 9.4% growth.
- Google also lifted the long-waited ban on fantasy sports companies to buy the ads and had updated its advertising policies on conditions that fantasy sports advertisers must meet minimum creative standards and hold state licenses to promote their services. Venders like FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo Daily Fantasy are experiencing the power of advertisement across Google properties including Search and YouTube, via Google Ads and DV360. It has increased the awareness of the platform and opens a new world of opportunity.
North America to Hold a Significant Market Share
- North America currently holds the maximum market and going forward it will account for significant growth due to economic growth, the growing popularity of sports, and increasing number of internet-accessible devices and sports sponsorships. For instance, in 2019, the National Football League (NFL) signed a multi-year deal with DraftKings and become the first official daily fantasy partner that has the exclusive sponsorship on NFL branding and other integrations across its platforms.
- Growing penetration of smartphones, desktop or laptop in North America is expected to increase the fantasy sports market in the forecast period due to better accessibility of the platform. The smartphone market in the United States accounts for more than 260 million smartphone users and had a penetration rate of 81% that has increased by 35% in 2011. It has forced the key vendors to develop efficient and user-friendly applications and resulted in a huge customer base.
- COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world, infecting people and fatalities. It has also wreaked havoc the sporting calendar of 2020 as many professional and amateur leagues across all continents and sports took the unusual step to postpone or suspend their seasons to prevent the spread of virus by avoiding large gatherings. For instance, on 11 March 2020, National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the suspension of the 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz center’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19. This action has halted the fantasy sport market temporary across the world.
The fantasy sports market is fragmented and the companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets.
- April 2020 – FanDuel Group and New York Liberty have signed a partnership and designated FanDuel as an Official Partner of the New York Liberty. It aims to reach new and existing fans who want to experience the very best of New York basketball both digitally and at live events.
- April 2020 – Sportech announced the renewal and extension of the Totalisator services agreement with longtime client Emerald Downs Racetrack and Casino. Sportech delivers tote services to Emerald Downs Racetrack and Casino (Emerald Downs) with Sportech’s Quantum system software and services from the global quantum data and operations center.