A handful of interesting – and insightful – comments regarding the one-day fantasy sports industry are sprinkled throughout Mark J. Burns’ year-ahead survey of 85 sports business pros over at Forbes.
One-day fantasy on several watchlists
Fantasy sports made the cut for four of the 85 Burns surveyed.
One of those – Fantex CEO Buck French – obviously doesn’t come as a surprise.
And it’s also something short of shocking that Sal LaRocca, who is both the NBA’s President for Global Operations and Merchandising and an investor in FanDuel, tagged DFS as an industry to watch while making special note of the “continued momentum for it being a global business.”
Jeffrey Gerttula, SVP of CBSSports.com, listed fantasy as a package of forces (including social and video) that will spearhead a drive to offer “access to more information but also more personalization and control” to fans.
And Steve Brener of Brener Zwikel & Associates identified fantasy sites and the pending cable mergers as “the two areas that will certainly gain the most attention in the sports world in 2015.”
Other oft-cited trends should intersect with DFS
Several of the most frequently mentioned trends to watch carry direct implications for daily fantasy sports.
- At the top of that list: digitally augmented stadium experiences that employ a fan’s mobile device to layer any number of functions and features on top of the live game viewing experience.
- And the power of social media – as employed by teams, athletes and fans – to drive sports conversations is expected to continue its dramatic expansion in 2015, highlighting the need for daily fantasy operators to ensure a prominent place and a relevant role on major social channels.
- Finally, many surveyed expect an expansion of the amount and depth of mobile interactions between teams and fans, raising the potential for DFS to expand beyond a platform on which a single game is conducted into a platform that facilitates a variety of transactions.
Leveraging Facebook’s increasing focus on sports
One comment that didn’t address daily fantasy sports directly but still bears a mention came from Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships for Facebook.
Reed predicted that in 2015, “[l]eagues, teams, agencies, brands and sports media will better understand and capitalize on the fact that Facebook represents the single largest collection of sports fans on the planet.”
While excluded from the list, DFS operators won’t find themselves immune to the gravity of Facebook – especially because, as Reed noted, the social giant is “placing a big emphasis” on sports video in 2015.
And Marc Reeves, the International Commercial Director for the NFL, echoed Reed, saying he expects a trend of:
Greater integration from large-scale distribution/publishing platforms into sports. I believe groups like Vice Sports, TMZ, etc. as well as Facebook (via its recent Sportstream and Occulus acquisitions) and Google/YouTube will continue to carve their way into the sports industry.