Fantasy Football is Big (and Fun) Business
Before you know it, football season will be here. That’s great news from my perspective. Part of the fabulous success of the NFL can be correlated with the meteoric rise in popularity of fantasy football. The magazine AdWeek estimates 27 million people on average play fantasy football now, with more getting the itch every year. According to Wikipedia, fantasy football is a “virtual game” in which participants assemble an imaginary team of real life players and score points based on the performance on the field from those real life players.
In other words, fantasy football players choose real life football players to form a “fantasy” team (individual players are picked from multiple different teams for each fantasy team position), and score points based on certain criteria or game statistics (touchdowns, rushing yards, receiving yards, interceptions, etc all contribute to a fantasy team’s point total). At the end of each week, all the scores are compiled and winners are chosen by the total number of points their fantasy team scored. The fantasy team with the most points wins.
Fantasy football is hugely popular and has gone hi-tech. There is an entire industry built around the practice and it’s big business. Ad Week estimates fantasy football as an industry generates $1 billion in revenue each year, and growing. Most popular online sites including Yahoo!, AOL, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, and NFL.com operate fantasy football leagues, where individuals can sign up to play and form teams and even leagues to compete with friends and colleagues.
Yahoo!Sports, a provider of fantasy sports services, recently published some research on fantasy football. According to their results, the average fantasy football player spends more than 4 hours a week prepping for their fantasy matchup. For roughly 8% of players, the average time exceeds 10 hours per week – quite the commitment.
Other findings from Yahoo’s research include:
- Fantasy football and real money – 75% of fantasy football players are willing to bet on fantasy football, with 12% open to wagering more than $250 in their league.
- Favorite teams vs. fantasy teams – 35% of fantasy football players have rooted against their favorite NFL team when they had a fantasy player on the opposing team.
If you’re interested in learning more or perhaps playing, this website is a good place to start.