The BT Sport Industry Awards announced the shortlist for its 2015 honors, and among the contenders was a daily fantasy sports site for soccer — Mondogoal.com.
Best digital platform
Mondogoal received the recognition from the awards, which are given to the leaders in sport in the United Kingdom in a number of different areas. In the category of “Digital Platform of the Year,” Mondogoal is up against AELTC (The Official Wimbledon Mobile App), BBC Sport, CelticLIVE Matchday App, Lucozade Powerleague and Teamer.
Mondogoal is the only fantasy sports site on the shortlist. The awards will be handed out April 30th.
A quick rise
Mondogoal’s recognition came very quickly — the DFS site launched in 2014, for the World Cup. The site interface is as polished as its U.S. counterparts — hence the award nomination.
“After being hailed by Adam Krejcik of Eilers Research as one DFS company who has found the right new vertical and market to focus on at the FSTA keynote, the BT award for digital platform of year is further validation that Mondogoal is the company that should be the choice of all fantasy football gamers,” Mondogoal CEO Shergul Arshad told ODFReport.
The keynote address Arshad referenced came at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Winter Conference, in which Krejcik made several “bold predictions” for the future of DFS. Among those was the rise of fantasy soccer in Europe, led by Mondogoal. Already, Mondogoal has sponsorship deals with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona, AS Roma and West Ham.
Daily fantasy sports, outside of the U.S.
So far, the massive growth of DFS has been largely an American phenomenon — after all, it developed from the popular seasonlong fantasy games for the NFL and Major League Baseball.
The recognition and early returns for Mondogoal show that the growth of DFS might not be limited to just the U.S. While non-American sports fans might not have the same history and knowledge of fantasy sports as Americans do, the potential for DFS in Europe and beyond is clearly there.
Right now, anyone in the world can register for Mondogoal and play in the site’s free contests. Currently, however, real-money play is limited to the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland and Brazil.
Next up is offering cash play in Italy’s regulated market. Much like the online poker market, Italian fantasy players would be segregated from the rest of the world and would compete against only other Italians for cash prizes.
Mondogoal also has its eye on a global market: the site is available in Italian, English and Spanish. Portuguese will be available soon. And offering cash-play in other countries in Europe and Asia, as well as Australia, is on the company’s radar.
Potential for growth
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and the pool of fans that a soccer-based DFS site like Mondogoal can tap into dwarfs that of the fan pools for North American team sports.
Of course, those fans would need to be converted to DFS players. But as Mark Bell, Head of Licensing for Chelsea FC, said in a press release about its sponsorship deal with Mondogoal: “We have seen studies that show US daily fantasy sites get 70% of their revenue from NFL games, but around the world 70% of global sports wagering is directed at soccer, so this partnership should be well received by our followers.”
Also, Mondogoal has the pool of tens of millions of DFS players in the United States, and certainly some of them are soccer fans, as well (see the growth of Major League Soccer). DraftKings already offers contests based on the English Premier League.
Mondogoal also highlights a piece of a fledgling market for the DFS industry — all sports outside of American football. While DFS contests for the NBA, NHL and MLB have seen moderate interest — nothing like the interest in NFL fantasy — there are more sports with fantasy potential on the horizon.
Eilers noted in its FSTA keynote that sports that are not as popular in the U.S. — like cricket, rugby and Formula 1 — are likely to see interest ramp up in the coming years.
And there are other sports with potential in North America as well — golf and mixed martial arts, to be specific. A deal between MMA’s UFC and DraftKings is reportedly close, although it isn’t official yet.
Those sports and others — like soccer — represent another avenue for revenue and customers for DFS sites. Mondogoal might show the way on how to succeed with a sport that doesn’t have a long history in fantasy contests.