“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
Golf newest DFS vertical to expand?
Mixed martial arts had grabbed the headlines lately as a hot new vertical in DFS. Golf is not as new to the world of DFS, but there were some interesting developments this week.
First, the Tiger Woods Foundation announced that DraftKings would become a partner for two of the PGA Tour events that it hosts: the Quicken Loans National and the Deutsche Bank Championship. Both events benefit Woods’ charity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There was also this story, from Golf.com, talking about the growth of fantasy golf and DraftKings‘ big push for the Masters in April — a $2.2 million guaranteed prize pool, with a million dollars going to first place.
It’s interesting that FanDuel has stayed out of the fantasy golf market, like it has avoided MMA fantasy so far. The Golf.com story talks about possible legal issues under the fantasy carveout in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Either way, the expansion of yet another vertical in DFS is one to watch.
State legal progress
Two states made headway on formally legalizing fantasy sports in their jurisdictions.
Iowa, which is one of five states that DFS sites generally avoid, saw the state senate pass a bill that would allow real-money fantasy sports games. The story from The Gazette notes that passage in the state house is no guarantee, however.
Kansas, which is not usually considered a gray state in terms of DFS, also saw some progress, as a committee hearing in the state legislature considered the Fantasy Sports Protection Act. That bill hasn’t gotten out of committee, however, so there is still a lot that needs to be done before fantasy players in Kansas can breathe a little easier.
Of the week
Read(s) of the week
An interesting read from an expert in the world of poker, Marco Valerio. He examines two different approaches to online poker players taken by the two largest DFS sites.
On the one hand, there’s FanDuel, which doesn’t market to poker players at all. And then there’s DraftKings, which sees value in trying to attract online poker players in the United States. Online poker has been a dicey proposition in the U.S. since Black Friday took away Americans’ ability to play on the largest online poker sites in the world, like PokerStars.
It’s an interesting study in how the two major players in DFS have taken entirely different marketing approaches to attracting players. Is one right and one wrong? As Valerio discusses, it’s not quite that simple.
March Madness for college basketball is around the corner, which means billions of dollars will be wagered in office pools around the country. The DFS industry has not yet been able to turn the NCAA tournament into a moneymaker. Why not?
- Getting people to fill out brackets for real money online, nearly everyone agrees, would fall into the realm of sports betting, not DFS.
- College sports are not nearly as popular with DFS players as pro sports are.
- DFS sites have to spend more money and energy on aggregating college basketball stats, which isn’t worth the effort because of low player interest.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings offer college basketball contests, and likely will during the NCAA tournament. But interest in DFS for March Madness still pales in comparison to filling out brackets.
Tweet of the week
Would be interesting to know what these individuals are getting paid to appear at this Fantasy Sports combine: http://t.co/0MhApgeyJv
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 8, 2015
–A Sports Illustrated writer ponders the lineup of coaches coming to a daily fantasy sports “bootcamp” this summer in Las Vegas.
Quote of the week
“It makes sense that pro sports, which are full of individual stars, are so much more popular for fantasy sports. For instance, most hard-core sports fans could easily name 20 NFL quarterbacks, but might not be able to name even five or 10 college quarterbacks. And I think that is true for most sports fans. I personally am a huge college football and college hoops fan, but I don’t have anywhere near the same amount of knowledge about individual college players, even within my favorite conference.”
–Ross Borden, CEO of fantasy sports site ScoreStreak, on the success of DFS contests for pro sports vs. college sports, in a story at Gambling 911.
Number of the week
Percentage of DraftKings’ active users in February that participated in a fantasy golf contest, according to a story at Golf.com.