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Fantasy Sports Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

Fantasy Sports Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

  • July 2022
  • 122 pages
  • ID: 6309369
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The Fantasy Sports Market is valued at USD 21.39 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 44.07 billion, with an estimated CAGR of 12.92% over the forecast period of 2022-2027. The increasing popularity of players, the emergence of sports leagues, growing investment in digital and internet infrastructure, and the launch of fantasy sports applications as other means to connect with their favorite sports are some factors driving the market’s growth.

Key Highlights
In recent years, the introduction of multiple sports leagues in badminton, soccer, football (rugby), basketball, and volleyball has driven a shift in sporting culture. Technology advancements, increasing smartphone and internet penetration, have accelerated the growth of sports in various countries. An enthusiastic fan base has emerged, with an increasing number of people participating in, discussing, and competing in these sports, which has changed the way fans engage in sports, fueling the growth of fantasy sports.
Sports Tech is expected to create opportunities for highly skilled software engineers, data scientists, and cyber security professionals. It will likely increase sports viewership, sponsorships, and participation, directly impacting sports development. Hence, sports fan engagement platforms, such as Fantasy Sports, are altering how fans interact with live sporting events.
Several software and platforms are introduced in the market to help the users customize and analyze their players, allowing them to choose the right players for their draft based on data. For instance, according to The Analyst, in June 2022, the Stats Perform group introduced their new and improved NBA Draft Model, which helps the users/franchises to plan and choose their players based on a performance slider. These sliders represent different on-field actions and stats of a professional athlete, giving an overall DRIP rating and helping users make the appropriate choice. Some sliders include boxes, passes, shooting, post-ups, attacking, etc.
One of the major market drivers for online sports gambling and fantasy sports is the convenience offered when compared to other channels, particularly when the betting is conducted through a connected mobile device such as a smartphone. Bets are placed through computers, smartphones, and other connected devices through the internet. With the increase in the proportion of bettors who place a bet using mobile internet, there are increasing growth opportunities for the market.
Further, increased internet penetration and usage of low-cost smartphones among the urban and rural populations, and realization of monetization through revenue streams, like in-app purchases, pay-per-download, and subscription services, by gamers, and in-app advertisements, incentive-based advertisements, etc., by the ecosystem, have been driving the growth of fantasy sports market.
As fantasy sports are similar to sports betting, they can position themselves as an important and legal alternative to sports betting in the future. However, the fairness and legality of fantasy sports and the secure nature of transactions are known only to fewer people, suggesting that further awareness and education should be required to familiarize people with these core aspects of fantasy sports.
Even though COVID-19 caused problems for some fantasy leagues, these leagues have remained active despite the shortened professional seasons starting in 2021. Despite the pandemic’s setback, the long-term prospects for fantasy sports are anticipated to stay positive. The market has seen a major influx of new participants and well-funded new startups due to renewed interest brought on by the legalization of "sports betting"in the United States. People’s obsession with fantasy sports is a major factor in the industry’s expansion. According to Sensor Tower, ESPN fantasy sports had 60,000 downloads and made USD 30,000 in revenue during July 2020. ?

Key Market Trends

Fantasy Soccer to Hold a Major Share

Fantasy football or soccer is the most popular, just like the real game, with thousands of leagues to compete in. According to FIFA, football, or soccer as it is more often known in the United States, has over 5 billion fans worldwide. Some major football leagues include Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga, MLS, Serie A, Ligue 1, etc.
Fantasy soccer has various equivalent formats played worldwide with over nine million participants. Entrepreneurs are offering these sports platforms from multiple locations to appease the growing demand from fans for virtual versions of their preferred sports.
The fantasy football leagues (for soccer) often replicate the official leagues in various jurisdictions, such as Fantasy Premier League, Fantasy La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, etc. However, players can also build customized leagues with several possibilities.
Various leagues have partnered with fantasy sports platforms to engage fans better and increase their fan base. For instance, in March 2022, MLS announced a multi-year partnership with Sorareto to launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for all MLS clubs and players that can be collected and used by the platform’s 1.5 million users across 184 countries in its blockchain-based fantasy game. Major League Soccer (MLS) created a new emerging venture team focused on three areas, increasing the league’s fan base, driving revenue, and bringing in new and emerging technologies to be utilized by the league and its 28 clubs.
Moreover, prominent market players such as DraftKings, FanDuel, etc., are generating revenues significantly from fantasy soccer platforms. For instance, according to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, In February 2021, DraftKings accounted for the highest share of adjusted revenue from fantasy sports in Pennsylvania, amounting to approximately USD 1,1170.03 thousand. In comparison, FanDuel’s fantasy sports revenue reached roughly USD 743 thousand.

North America to Hold a Significant Market Share

North America presently holds a prominent position in the football (rugby) fantasy sports market. In the future, it will account for notable expansion due to economic growth, the increasing demand for football (rugby), a growing number of internet-accessible tools, and sports sponsorships, partnerships, acquisitions, and innovations.
For instance, in February 2021, To expand current daily fantasy sports (DFS) and content partnership to Canada, the National Football League (NFL) and DraftKings Inc., a pioneer in the digital sports entertainment and gaming industry and for its daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting apps, have made a partnership. The two organizations’ connection has been strengthened by the announcement of an expanded agreement, which will also improve the DFS user experience in Canada as the NFL season moves closer to the Super Bowl.
American football (rugby) has a much more significant player base than other fantasy sports like fantasy baseball, basketball, or ice hockey in the US. Since the NFL accepted the concept of fantasy leagues considerable percentage of all fantasy league players nationwide currently participate in fantasy football (rugby). For decades, all fantasy leagues were unofficial and had no connection to the NFL. DraftKings became the league’s first official daily fantasy partner in 2019. Through the agreements, the operators will have access to official game information and content and a presence on NFL.com and the official NFL app.
Fantasy football (rugby) and fantasy gridiron football are the two most prominent fantasy sports in the United States. Due to rising interest in football leagues like the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (GOPPPL), National Football League (NFL), and American Football League, football (rugby) alone commands the largest portion of the fantasy sports market.
Canada has a significant gaming industry. Canada’s gaming industry is diverse, from online gambling to fantasy football and multiplayer first-person shooter games. The expansion of the Canadian fantasy gaming market has been driven by several key factors such as technological innovations, consumer preferences for new products, shifts in public perception, and innovation. This has further translated into interest from international companies wanting to make a strong foothold in Canada.
The region is witnessed various acquisitions for increasing performance metrics. For instance, in December 2021, A daily fantasy sports business called Betcha Sports, which blends gaming with social networking elements, was acquired by Vivid Seats for USD 25 million in Vivid Seat stock.

Competitive Landscape

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 growing their market presence by securing new contracts and tapping new markets.

April 2022 - DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation announced that they have agreed to a deal to expand their relationship and pave the way to offering the DraftKings online and retail sports betting experience in Puerto Rico, subject to applicable licenses and regulatory approvals being obtained. The DraftKings retail sportsbook will be located inside the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino and is expected to open in the coming weeks, pending receipt of applicable licenses and regulatory approvals. Once complete, the space will feature a massive video wall, bar and dining services, two over-the-counter ticket windows, and six betting kiosks.
December 2021 - Flutter Entertainment plc announced the acquisition of Sisal, Italy’s prominent online gaming operator, from CVC Capital Partners Fund VI for a consideration of EUR 1.913 billion / GBP 1.62 billion. The acquisition fully aligns with the Group’s strategy of investing in building leadership positions in regulated markets globally.

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