‘Fantasy sports platforms a great marketing tool among brands’

According to Indian Federation of Sports Gaming, the number of users have grown from 2 million in 2016 to almost 90 million in 2019

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Mar 30, 2020 5:20 PM
Fantasy Sports

The growth of sports, coupled with digitisation, is gradually making India a prime sports market. While cricket remains the most favourite sport, Indians have started following other sports such as football, kabaddi, basketball, hockey and so on. With a growth of 450% in three years, the industry is receiving its 50% traffic from Tier II and Tier III towns. Both domestic and international leagues are vying for their attention.

According to the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming, commonly known as IFSG, the number of users have grown from 2 million in 2016 to almost 90 million in 2019. And the number of Fantasy Sports operators have gone from 10 in 2016 to 140 in 2019.

Sources reveal the overall fantasy sports industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.1%. Even a KPMG report has shown that the fantasy gaming industry’s size will be more than 1.1 billion dollars by the end of 2023.

Experts believe that a major reason behind this drastic growth is the advent of the internet and smartphones that have opened up avenues to engage deeply with sports fans.

"The major growth drivers for Fantasy Sports in India are - internet connectivity, smartphone penetration, the success of homegrown sports leagues like the IPL and popularity of sports other than cricket," reveals John Loffhagen, Chairman, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports.

MyTeam11, one of the leading fantasy sports platform in the country, has recorded a growth of 25-30X in their first year. Now they are all set to record new growth in their business by the end of 2020.

Talking to exchange4media, Vinit Godara, Co-founder and CEO, MyTeam11, revealed that they are expecting 300% growth in terms of revenue by the end of 2020. Considering the current growth rate, Godara reveals that overall the fantasy sports industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.1% and this, by all means, makes it one of the fastest-growing businesses in the country as well.

MyTeam11 spends around 40-45% on marketing themselves. To drive its digital outreach and customer pull, the brand recently got DentsuX on board.

"We have a separate TV plan to reach out to the target audience and a focused digital campaign to drive conversions. Our investments are just not limited to marketing, but we are equally invested in making constant changes to our products. We are also customising it for individual users," he shared.

Fantasy sports marketing is also emerging as a great communication tool among marketers. According to Ranjan Bargotra, President Crayons Advertising, tournaments like IPL are already the most amazing opportunity for brands to connect with sports fans. "Now, with the emergence of digitisation, fantasy sports platforms have become a great marketing tool among the brands," says Bargotra.

Around 70-75% of sports enthusiasts tend to buy products by its advertising during sports events, Bargotra added.

However, in-app marketing is still not very popular among the leading players like Dream11 and Myteam11. Although brands have a long way to go in terms of brand association, we can surely expect noticeable brand engagements in the next couple of years, he said.

Atul Srivastava, Founder and CEO, of Smartcricket.com explains that the tier-2 and tier-3 markets have been of utter importance to the fantasy sports industry. The leading fantasy sports platform has seen a phenomenal response from the tier market in particular. Hence, Television and OOH are the major mediums for these platforms to reach to their target audience.

According to a recent AC Nielsen report, fantasy sports helps in increasing sports consumption by encourages sports lovers to watch more sports.

Explaining the relationship between fantasy sports and real-life sports, Loffhagen explains that fantasy sports users tend to explore newer sports in comparison to sports fans who do not engage with the form.

FIFS (Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports) earlier known as IFSG (Indian Federation of Sports Gaming) will continue to work with key stakeholders and liaise with policymakers to create a robust ecosystem to support the sustained growth of the fantasy sports industry and thereby protect the user interest, concluded Loffhagen.

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