Fantasy Sports Grows to 57.4 Million

By Will Mossa,    News

Fantasy sports participation in North America has reached 57.4-million players according to new research conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). This isthe highest number of players recorded in the history of the study and a nearly 1% increase over last year’s participation boom. Complete results of the survey were unveiled today at the 2016 FSTA Summer Conference in New York City.

The record number of players builds upon two years of rapid growth that saw the industry expand by nearly 15%. Much of the continued growth can be attributed to the on-going popularity of the season-long format as 82% of players still play season-long fantasy sports.

“After two years of rapid growth fueled by the innovation of daily fantasy sports it’s a true testament to the loyalty and passion of fantasy sports players that so many recent adoptees have become regular players while the industry continues to attract new players, ” said FSTA President Paul Charchian. “Fantasy sports remains a social activity, made more enjoyable when playing with friends. That is why we are not surprised that the season-long format is continuing to grow just as fast as some of the newer innovative games. ”

Other key findings from the study include:

  • In 18 states surveyed, 61% of consumers support a law that makes playing fantasy sports for cash prizes legal
  • 54% of consumers would cancel a league supported media service if not for fantasy sports (TV channels, satellite service, apps, etc.)
  • Mobile and other emerging platforms (i.e. gaming consoles, internet-connected TV) continue to grow as the predominant way (61%) players consume fantasy. This figure grew from 56% in 2014 and just 32% in 2013.
  • 55% of players admit they are playing more fantasy sports due to technological innovations including the ability to play on a mobile device
  • Not only are more people playing, but players are managing more teams as the average number of teams managed per player increased from 5.8 last year to 7.0
  • Fantasy players are more interested in sports because of fantasy, with64% reporting they are watching more live sports because of fantasy and 61% saying they read more about sports because of fantasy
  • The number of players who play some form of daily fantasy sports has increased from 31% in 2012 to 64% in 2015
  • 82% of all players play in a season-long league; just 19% exclusively play daily formats; and 17% play both formats

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Phase One of the survey, conducted from January 22-February 1, 2016 included a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,212 U.S. teens and adults and 1,238 Canadian teens and adults from Ipsos’ online panel who were interviewed online to determine the fantasy sports market size in the US and Canada. For Phase Two of the survey, conducted from April 14-19, 2016, a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,000 U.S. teens and adults from Ipsos’ online panel were interviewed online to assess spending behaviors and playing behaviors of Traditional Fantasy and Daily Fantasy players.

The margin of error for the survey is 2.7 percentage points. The data was collected in a manner which ensures that the sample’s age, gender and region composition reflects that of the actual U.S and Canada populations according to Census information. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.