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Fantasy Sports Participation Grows Dramatically; Hits New Milestone, Reaching Nearly 57 Million in U.S. and Canada

June 23, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fantasy Sports Participation Grows Dramatically; Hits New Milestone, Reaching Nearly 57 Million in U.S. and Canada

Participation Rates Rise By Over 15 Million New Fantasy Sports Players in Last Year
Annual Player Spending Grows by Almost 500% in Three Years
Mobile and Emerging Platforms Preferred

Fantasy Sports Participation Grows Dramatically; Hits New Milestone, Reaching Nearly 57 Million in U.S. and Canada – Fantasy sports participation in the United States and Canada has reached the 56.8-million mark according to new research conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). This mark easily tops the highest number of players recorded in the six years the study has been conducted, decimating the participation numbers from last year.

The 56.8 million number represents a nearly 40% increase in the number of U.S. and Canadian fantasy sports players compared to a similar Ipsos study conducted in 2014. Incidence of play in Canada remains consistent, while in the U.S. an additional 5% of adults and 13% of teens have played in the past year.

“The continuing increase in fantasy sports participation illustrates several core, engaging elements of fantasy play,” said FSTA President Paul Charchian. “Fantasy sports remains a social activity, made more enjoyable when playing with friends. Our remarkable growth in the last year is fueled by many innovations in the industry, including dramatic improvements in mobile offerings and the rise of daily fantasy sports. The surge in consumer spending is reflective of the desire to find new ways to engage in this fast-growing pastime.”

Complete results of the survey were unveiled today at the 2015 FSTA Summer Conference sponsored by Optimal Payments.

  • Other key findings from the study include:
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) leagues are gaining popularity with almost one-in-five players playing DFS exclusively, compared to 8% in 2013
  • Fantasy sports players (age 18+) are spending an average of $465 per year for fantasy, up from $95 in 2012
  • Mobile and other emerging platforms (i.e. gaming consoles, internet-connected TV) now predominant way (56%) players consume fantasy
  • Fantasy players are more interested in sports because of fantasy, with 61% reporting they are watching more live sports because of fantasy and 60% saying they read more about sports because of fantasy

“The research shows that the growth in fantasy sports is, in part, spurred by the ease of access that players now have to all things fantasy,” said FSTA Research Chair and Director of Fantasy Sports at CBS Sports, Danielle MacLean. “Fantasy activities have shifted dramatically to mobile devices and we are seeing growth in gaming consoles and internet-connected TVs. This isn’t only changing interest in fantasy but also in sports consumption at large with three-fifths of respondents reporting that they read about and/or watch more sports because of fantasy.”

For media inquiries, contact:
Megan Van Petten
FSTA Executive Director
megan@fsta.org
(312) 771-7019

Methodology
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association from April 27 – May 29, 2105. The survey was conducted in two phases. For Phase One of the survey, a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,212 U.S. teens and adults and 1,238 Canadian teens and adults from Ipsos’ online panel were interviewed online to determine the fantasy sports market size in the US and Canada. For Phase Two of the survey, a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,000 U.S. teens and adults from Ipsos’ online panel were interviewed online to assess spending behaviors and playing behaviors of Traditional Fantasy and Daily Fantasy players.

The margin of error for the survey is ± 2.7 percentage points. The data was collected in a manner which ensures that the sample’s age, gender and region composition reflects that of the actual U.S and Canada populations according to Census information. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About FSTA
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association represents the fantasy sports industry with nearly 300 member companies ranging from small startups to large media corporations. As the voice of the industry since 1998, the FSTA has been the leader in providing demographic data, annual conferences and collective action to ensure unfettered growth. For more information visit: http://www.fsta.org

About Ipsos Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. It provides boutique-style customer service and works closely with its clients, while also undertaking global research. To learn more, visit: www.ipsos-na.com