More Insights on Fantasy Sports

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned the marketing goldmine that is fantasy sports. As proof that I do not preach onto marketers that which is not true, I offer you this post from ESPN the Magazine about the goldmine that is fantasy sports.

From the article:

“Fantasy sports players consume the most media,” he says (“he” being Kim Beason, an associate professor at Ole Miss who is also the CEO of Fantasy Sport Research Specialists). “And the demographic—males, mid-30s, college-educated, income of $75,000, who have high-speed Internet—is a real sweet spot for advertisers.”

See, I kid you not. Fantasy sports is a ticket to nice-sized wallets. What’s interesting to me, however, is the segregated nature of fantasy sports as described by the ESPN article. I guess I didn’t know that because 75% of the players in my fantasy leagues are black. Yet in the statistics still lives opportunity for marketers who take a good, long look. The ESPN article contains this nugget of insight from comedian Guy Torry:

Torry makes one especially valid point: The hip-hop connection is a perfect way to market fantasy sports to a younger black demographic. “It’s that sports ego, man,” he says. “It’s you, chillin’ on the block with your boys, arguing over a player, a coach’s decision or some move a GM made, and saying, ‘This is what I would’ve done.’ And now you say, ‘All right, join the fantasy league. Let’s see what you’ve got!’ Since I joined fantasy, I’ve never loved the NFL as much as I love it now.”

So, even if the statistics say a particular demographic is not there in fantasy sports right now, trust me, they’re coming. Once they get fantasy figure skating, women are coming too (although, again, there are two women in my fantasy football league). Be ready to charge ahead with your marketing message.

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The Goldmine that is Fantasy Sports

It’s amazing how the game of fantasy sports has changed.

When I first started playing online years ago, the applications were slow and cumbersome, and it was more chance than strategy.  It was mainly limited to the major sports. Some sites were flat-out not fun.  Once or twice, I dropped teams in the middle of seasons because of it (bad teams, of course).

Now, it’s literally an industry.  A big industry.  The applications are flashy, uber-interactive, and backed by mega-bandwidth.  You can literally play any sport, from baseball to fishing (who plays this?) to Nascar to soccer. There is enough fantasy information – cheat sheets, rankings and guides – published before each sports season to fill a room in the Library of Congress.  There are tons of blogs about it (I like ESPN’s Eric Karabell and Rotowire among others) and double that tonnage in terms of fantasy sports web sites. And the number of people playing is staggering. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (there’s even an association now!?!) pegs it at 18 million adult Americans.

Most importantly, the marketing messages targeting the fantasy sites and the people who are on them are now aplenty. And for good reason. Take a good, long look at the people who play fantasy sports. They’re Grade A marketing targets. I know VPs and senior executives of companies who play. Other people who travel internationally and make alot of money. People who have families and buy every kind of household and family item, from attic fans to minivans to sliced meats. They’re tech-savvy and have gadgets. Hell, some don’t even know much about sports and still play fantasy. As I write this, I have a live online draft going on right now on a niche site called RT Sports. There are people in multiple states, from various lines of work – marketing execs, football coaches, sales guys, retail managers (even barflys).

I also have leagues on ESPN and CBS Sportsline, in both baseball and football. I’m an MBA, in a large corporation, who owns a home, purchases personal technology products, participates actively in sports, spends oodles of time online, consumes other media…see where I’m going? There are millions of us, across all demos, geos and zeros (income, that is).

As a marketer, if you’re looking for a certain demo, do you know if you can find them or not in the world of fantasy sports? Charge ahead and find out (and hurry up, I need a 10th guy in one of my football leagues).