With a rising consumer interest in the fantasy sports marketplace (7% over the past five years in the United States and Canada*), I wanted to focus on some of the key trends that will serve as discussion points over the next 1-3 years.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kelly Perdew, the CEO of RotoHog.com, who was gracious enough to share some valuable insights on where the fantasy marketplace is headed. Kelly oversees a RotoHog.com operation that serves as an industry leader in providing innovative games and a turnkey fantasy gaming platform for major media companies. Kelly's insights focused on four key areas:
Large opportunities exist for fantasy sports companies to capitalize on integrating fantasy games in foreign markets. And a well-built and scalable fantasy game platform could prove to be very lucrative leveraging soccer in Latin America/Europe, basketball in China/Latin America, rugby in Europe/Australia, and cricket in India. Of course, all of these games can be provided in all the major markets with the right partners.
A gaming platform that can scale and grow internationally will be able to take advantage of a four-tiered approach: adding more sports, more game styles in each sport, more countries/languages, and more media partners in each country.
The fantasy sports industry will only continue to benefit from new advances in technology. As consumers continue to demand access 24x7, providers will deliver fantasy games and information across multiplatform screens (computers, television, mobile, etc.). As a result, consumers will have more touch points to access and interact with the athletes, teams and sports in their fantasy games.
Rising consumer interest in fantasy gaming will result in ubiquitous integration across all media. Sports properties will begin looking for new ways to integrate fantasy gaming into their live entertainments (i.e. sports bars in-venue offering fantasy stations, in-arena scoreboards showing fantasy statistics, text-messaging polls asking fans which player will finish the night as the best fantasy performer, etc.).
For instance, it is only a matter of time before we see a major distribution channel offering a customizable, interactive fantasy sports ticker on the bottom of the screen providing real-time fantasy updates and information that will drive users back into the games of their media properties.
NEW GAMING STYLES
Since RotoHog.com introduced its stock market style fantasy game, there has not been a compelling new and exciting style of fantasy game (outside of new themes/sports) introduced in the fantasy space. Look for fantasy sports companies to explore new ways to leverage key sports (i.e. alternatives to brackets for NCAA March Madness, etc.) with new styles of games to drive increased user engagement. Some innovation has occurred on the casual end of the gaming spectrum to reach a less "hard core" player and a lot of that innovation is focused in the social media space.
A special thanks to Kelly Perdew for his insights on the fantasy sports marketplace. If you are interested in learning more about the next generation of fantasy sports, check out www.RotoHog.com.
*Source: FSTA and FSRS.
Brian Gainor is the founding editor of PartnershipActivation.com, a site that identifies best practices in the sports marketplace. Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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