The Week In Daily Fantasy Sports: January 30, 2015
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This Week In Daily: January 30, 2015

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“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.

Stories of note

Super Bowl fantasy

So one-game fantasy sports aren’t that new, but it became new to a lot of people when we learned that Rivalry Games would be offering a one-game fantasy contest based on the upcoming Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

While these one-game contests could be a hot new item in the industry, many wonder how legal it is, vis a vis the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. The UIGEA has a carveout for fantasy sports, so it isn’t lumped in with any type of gambling. But that carveout notes that fantasy sports must be carried out over “multiple real-world sporting or other events.” Just the Super Bowl? That doesn’t sound like “multiple” events.

While Rivalry insists it is in compliance with the UIGEA, a lot of people aren’t so sure. Most notably, this story from Forbes from a law professor makes it sound like Rivalry would come up short in a legal battle. Rivalry has yet to address how the “multiple events” language doesn’t apply to its contests. For now, one-game fantasy sports are out there in the universe. But the scrutiny that comes with their Super Bowl contests could be a litmus test for the niche DFS market.

DraftKings + Steelers

DraftKings.com just added its third sponsorship partner in the NFL — the Pittsburgh Steelers. It marks the third NFL franchise that DraftKings has teamed up with in recent months (the New England Patriots in October and the Denver Broncos in November).

Industry leader FanDuel has just one deal with an NFL team (the Washington Redskins) and a player (Seattle’s Richard Sherman). Some expect that the NFL will eventually partner with one or both of the big daily fantasy sports sites, but for now sites are trying to strike deals with individual franchises. FanDuel has been far more aggressive in targeting NBA franchises — seven to date. It will be interesting to see if a lot more NFL franchises pick a side, or ink deals with smaller sites, during the offseason.

Shaping fantasy sports

Want to be a part of how the fantasy sports industry grows? The Fantasy Sports Trade Association is expanding its board of directors and will be electing eight members in February.

Being a board member is not an honorary position (you actually have to do some work and attend meetings), and it’s unpaid (the FTSA is a non-profit). Other than that, helping to shape the industry sounds like a pretty cool gig.

Of the week

Read(s) of the week

“Fantasy sports games see more women in their future”

USA Today did a piece on daily fantasy sports and how women fit in. The story notes that 95% of DFS players at FanDuel are men, which obviously leaves a huge amount of room to grow the market, since there are a lot of female NFL fans. So far, the industry has just been trying to grow and get name recognition; targeted marketing toward any group other than the average NFL fan hasn’t really happened yet. There weren’t really any industry secrets revealed in the story, but it does seem like a no-brainer that DFS sites will try to become more diverse in the players that they attract.

Why Is MMA Fantasy Sports Poised For Growth? Because Everyone Likes A Fight

The big North American team sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB) are the bread and butter of DFS sites now. But DraftKings has successfully started running contests based on the UFC’s mixed martial arts cards. FanDuel isn’t in the market yet, but that could certainly change; another startup, Kountermove, also offers MMA contests. The biggest challenge is educating MMA fans about DFS, since those fans don’t have the “fantasy legacy” of the big team sports. It’s certainly a market that has been largely untapped, and it certainly lends itself to the DFS model.

Tweet of the week

It’s upside down, but…

Quote of the week

“It (daily fantasy sports) really has been an American phenomenon. The growth of the industry continues to go past barriers I didn’t think possible.”

Peter Schoenke, chairman of the FSTA and president of the fantasy site RotoWire in a story at NorthJersey.com.

Number of the week

6 million

The average number of women who watched regular season NFL contests on television in 2014(34% of the 17.6 million average total), emphasizing the room for growth for DFS sites and the NFL itself in attracting females.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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