“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
Fan Duel’s Big Year
FanDuel released its overall financials for 2014, and it was a year of staggering growth for the daily fantasy sports site.
The fourth quarter — which includes most of the NFL season, was obviously the biggest for the site, as it generated nearly $37 million in revenue. That was well more than half of its 2014 revenue ($57 million). Year-over-year growth was more than 300% for Q3, and 400% for Q4.
FD also claimed to have 80% of the market share in DFS, although it’s not clear if that is a truly accurate number.
Either way, revenue was way up this year. Can the growth of FanDuel translate it into even bigger numbers for the company and the industry in 2015 and beyond? Only time will tell.
With the fantasy season pretty much over for the NFL, DFS sites are looking to solidify or increase their market share for other sports. Namely, the NBA is the current battleground. This week, FanDuel inked a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Earlier this month, DraftKings announced a partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As DFS looks to build a market around the calendar year — not just living off the highs of the NFL season — it will be interesting to see how these partnerships between DFS sites and franchises work out.
In what could be a sign of DFS expanding into other markets, former League of Legends team Vulcun put up a prize pool of a quarter of a million dollars for LoL spectators via a website.
The competition is open to spectators and fans for the 2015 League of Legends Championship Series, which starts next week.
Like more traditional DFS platforms, players will be able to pick teams and work within a salary cap in wagering on the multiplayer online battle arena video game.
Of the week
Read(s) of the week
“Couch Slouch: Fantasy sports are as much gambling as sports betting“
Fantasy sports got some mainstream coverage, as ESPN poker announcer and Washington Post columnist Norman Chad tackled the issue. In what should come as a shock to no one, he tells us that fantasy sports is in fact gambling. While that’s pretty much news to no one in DFS industry, it is worth noting that Chad takes on the issue in one of the largest newspapers in the United States.
“How Fake Sports Are Turning Man Cave Dwellers Into Millionaires“
Some more mainstream coverage from Bloomberg Businessweek, giving DFS some love as a viable portion of the sports gaming market.
Tweet of the week
Good(ish) news if you’re in the sportsbook or DFS markets:
Adam Silver said expanded legalized sports betting in US is inevitable. I agree, but timelines vary. I’ve heard estimates of 2 to 10 yrs.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) January 16, 2015
Quote of the week
“They’ve surveyed fantasy-sports players and asked, ‘When do you expect to quit? And the average response is, ‘Never.’ ”
Nigel Eccles, chief executive officer and co-founder of FanDuel.
Chart of the week
Speaking of FanDuel …
Number of the week
That’s the number of “paid actives” that FanDuel boasted in the fourth quarter of 2014. The question will be whether that number can grow at anything approaching a similar rate again in 2015.