Users have asserted that online fantasy sports platforms encourage them to explore new sports, leagues, and players, and made sports consumption more interesting and enjoyable
With the rising popularity of online fantasy sports platforms (OFSPs) in India, over 64 percent users have strongly agreed that they are happy with their overall experience of participating in OFSPs, the report “Building a Sporting Culture in India through Online Fantasy Sports,” published by Koan Advisory Group said. The report is based on findings from an online survey of approximately 7,300 OFSP users from 29 states/UTs across India about their experience of participating in online fantasy sports contests and its impact on their engagement with sports.
According to the report, a large majority among these respondents asserted that OFSPs encourage them to explore new sports, leagues, and players, and made sports consumption more interesting and enjoyable. For instance, 54.94 percent of the survey respondents strongly agreed that their knowledge of sports increased, and a similar share strongly agreed that they began watching new sports after participating in online fantasy sports contests. While cricket continues to drive user engagement with OFSPs, the share of user engagement with other sports such as football, kabaddi, handball, volleyball, and basketball is gradually increasing.
The report further highlighted that users regularly follow player performance statistics from previous matches in order to build their team for fantasy sports contest. Over 70 percent of respondents strongly agreed that checking these statistics and doing relevant research made a significant difference in their fantasy sports experience, the report noted. Moreover, user engagement is not only limited to sports or teams, but also extends to interactions with other sports fans through social media. Close to 60 percent of the respondents began actively engaging with like-minded sports fans after participating in online fantasy sports platforms.
Interestingly, OFSPs may also help mitigate the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on sports engagement. While ticketing and sponsorship revenues from live events are lower, audience engagement on OFSPs can help maintain the value propositions for sports federations and leagues. The survey revealed that approximately 67 percent of the respondents strongly agreed that watching sports became more interesting and felt that participating in fantasy sports contests is a unique way of engaging with the teams and sports they love.
Finally, the report noted that OFSPs are evolving into increasingly immersive experiences, and consumers are central to the ecosystem as they generate data and can influence their own and other users’ experiences. OFSP participation cultivates deep sports fan interest in new sports faster than other engagement channels might.