The omnibus survey showed that in the past year, 7.2 percent of all adult Americans played fantasy sports, with 78% of those participants playing fantasy football. A previous FSTA survey showed that the average person plays in 2.4 fantasy football leagues per year and spends an average of $154 on fantasy football, ranging from entry fees, commissioner services, fantasy news sites and draft publications. Today's average fantasy football participant has been playing for six years, checks his teams online at work regularly, spends almost three hours a week managing his teams and is more likely to become even more involved in this hobby in the future.
"This survey clearly defines the size of our growing industry and shows that millions of dedicated sports fans are getting more involved in their favorite professional sports by participating in fantasy sports," said Greg Ambrosius, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. "The Internet has allowed more people to get involved in fantasy sports and it is easier than ever to become a part of it. Fantasy sports is now big business and all of the major sports web sites are making it easy to transition from sports fan to fantasy sports fan."
CBS SportsLine.com, for instance, generated more than $11 million in revenue on fantasy games and services last year and its baseball revenue in 2003 jumped over 50 percent from 2002. Most fantasy businesses are expecting a record-breaking football season in 2003 as interest in fantasy football is at an all-time high. That interest is especially high in males as 11 percent of all males surveyed play fantasy sports, with 16.6 percent of all males ages 18-39 playing fantasy sports, with football being the most popular.
Interestingly, 50 percent of all fantasy football players say they attended at least one professional event last year, making an average visit of 3.5 NFL games per year per person. The demographics of all fantasy players paints an upscale profile: Average age is 37, average household size is 2.7, average annual household income is $76,689 and over 90 percent of players are male. The University of Mississippi, which conducted the FSTA demographic survey in 2002, projects an 11.5 percent growth rate for football this year, meaning that hundreds of millions of dollars will be generated in 2003 through this growing industry.
Not surprisingly, 62 percent of current fantasy players say they check their fantasy football teams online during work. A whopping 73 percent of fantasy football players also use e-mail in their day-to-day management, likely proposing trades to other league owners. The average fantasy football player spends 2.8 hours per week managing his team.
"The average fantasy football player spends almost three hours per week visiting their fantasy teams, so it is only a matter of time before mainstream advertisers embrace our booming industry," Ambrosius added. "With that kind of frequency, advertisers will be sure their message is heard by this highly desirable demographic. While fantasy football is the current leader in our industry, interest in other sports is increasing at the same huge rate of growth offering additional connections by advertisers to consumers. The future of fantasy sports is promising for both fantasy players and sponsors alike."
NEWS MEDIA: For more information, contact Greg Ambrosius at 715-445-4612, ext. 284,or Marty Appel Public Relations (914) 235-4017.