Three major players in the consumer-facing Fantasy Sports space are DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fantasy Premier League. Traditional season long fantasy sports are popular in the United States and Europe, however, the US market dominates daily fantasy sports.
General information on the fantasy market landscape
I have included some general information of the differences in the US and European fantasy sports markets. It gives a great deal of perspective as to why daily fantasy sports exploded in the US/Canada, but to this day have not gained traction in Europe.
A 2015 analysis of the US and Canada fantasy football market states that as of 2015, there were 50.6 million fantasy sports players in US and Canada. That is more than a 270% increase since 2003.
FanDuel and DraftKings generated over $2.6 billion in revenue, which is estimated to reach $7.29 billion in 2018. The same report breaks down the demographics further as follows:
Ethnicity — 89% Caucasian.
College degree or more — 78%.
Full-time employment — 66%.
Statistics from a 2016 report shows, “Nearly 57 million people play fantasy sports in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and 66 percent of players are male. The average age of players is 37.”
A 2017 report noted that FanDuel remains focused on the US market and has withdrawn from the UK market. Updated numbers: "57 million people play fantasy sports in the US & Canada. In Europe the number is 30 million. Fantasy sports has been dominated by the season long format and that is still the product with the largest following." The same report asserts that since 2009, FanDuel and Draftkings continue to lead the way.
“Daily fantasy sports, such as fantasy football, have been present in Europe for years, but have failed to achieve a strong market share against traditional gambling and sports betting.” This is attributed to the strong nature of sports betting in the UK, while in the US, sports betting is not as regulated compared to online gambling. However, there is a sizable market of fantasy sports players in Europe with the most popular being football. "The most popular Fantasy Football game in the UK and Ireland is the official Fantasy Premier League game which has 3.5million players."
According to a report by Gambling Insider, daily fantasy sports found more success in the US than Europe due to various reasons. “Daily fantasy football solves two problems: the amount of time season-long games take up and the fact players aren’t rewarded for that time. In the US, DraftKings and FanDuel spent hundreds of millions of dollars raising awareness around both of these problems. [...] As mentioned, DraftKings and FanDuel were the first time that most people in the US could gamble on sports legally. This contributed to DFS’ growth, as daily fantasy football filled a void. They built something US users wanted. The UK landscape is different, with widespread, regulated and incumbent sports gambling. The daily fantasy football operators that launched in the UK asked users to make a choice between betting on daily fantasy football or their regular betting site.”
The three major players in the cousumer-facing fantasy sport space
The three major players that I identified in this space are DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fantasy Premier League. I will discuss each of them below.
DraftKings currently has more qualitative advantages. DraftKings offers a wide array of sports that you won’t find at FanDuel. It has expanded to Malta and Germany, and is still attempting to tap into the European market. DraftKings receives more daily traffic and is ranked higher globally.
“Draft Kings, a fantasy sports operator originating from the USA, has chosen Malta as its base of operations for Europe." They were able to acquire a license after a Malta legal notice recently split games of chance from skills based games, such as fantasy football. They set up office in the UK in 2016 and found the results to be encouraging. This is what motivated them to expand their operations in Europe. They are expecting to see results similar to what they saw in the UK and expand their presence in Europe. They offer additional sports for those looking to play daily fantasy, e.g. eSports, MMA, CFL, and NASCAR.
DraftKings is ranked in the top 50 fantasy sports websites although not all are prototypical fantasy sports sites. On this report,
In this report, FanDuel was ranked slightly above Draft King's in 2015. The report also states that FanDuel is the overall market leader in terms of number of players overall. Since 2009, FanDuel and DraftKings continue to lead others. FanDuel and DraftKings generated over $2.6 billion in revenue, and estimated up to $7.29 billion in 2018.
As of August 29, 2017, FanDuel remains focused on the US market and has withdrawn from the UK market. "FanDuel offers a better sign up bonus, arguably a better withdrawal policy, and their fantasy scoring and roster requirements are easier to understand." FanDuel also offers both the desktop and mobile versions which are more user-friendly and offer a cleaner experience. Their strategy seems to be to increase their customer base by offering a user-friendly experience to their users.
FanDuel is ranked in the top 50 fantasy sports websites although not all are prototypical fantasy sports sites. On this report,
FanDuel.com is ranked number six and the Global rank is 10,382. FanDuel and DraftKings generated over $2.6 billion in revenue, and estimated up to $7.29 billion in 2018.
"The most popular Fantasy Football game in the UK and Ireland is the official Fantasy Premier League game which has 3.5million players."
"The key to the success of FPL, is how simple it is to play — picking a team, understanding the points scoring system, having a chance of winning." The ease in understanding the scoring system is their key to success, which eliminates the need to research about the scoring system for hours. The owner believes in following a "niche strategy", however, its success is yet to be estimated.
The three major players in the consumer-facing Fantasy Sports space are DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fantasy Premier League. The report has discussed the general state of the fantasy sports landscape and then narrowed down to the three major players.