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Fantasy Sports Participation in North America Rises to 57.4 Million Players

Industry Growth Continues as More People are Playing More Often Season-Long Fantasy Remains Popular with 82% Playing the Traditional Format
61% of Those Surveyed Want Playing Fantasy Sports for Cash Prizes to Remain Legal
Fantasy Sports Players are Bigger Sports Fans


NEW YORK – Fantasy sports participation in North America has reached 57.4-million players according to new research conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). This is the highest number of players recorded in the history of the study and a nearly 1% increase over last year’s participation boom.  Complete results of the survey were unveiled today at the 2016 FSTA Summer Conference in New York City.

The record number of players builds upon two years of rapid growth that saw the industry expand by nearly 15%. Much of the continued growth can be attributed to the on-going popularity of the season-long format as 82% of players still play season-long fantasy sports.

“After two years of rapid growth fueled by the innovation of daily fantasy sports it’s a true testament to the loyalty and passion of fantasy sports players that so many recent adoptees have become regular players while the industry continues to attract new players,” said FSTA President Paul Charchian. “Fantasy sports remains a social activity, made more enjoyable when playing with friends.  That is why we are not surprised that the season-long format is continuing to grow just as fast as some of the newer innovative games.”

Other key findings from the study include:

  • In 18 states surveyed, 61% of consumers support a law that makes playing fantasy sports for cash prizes legal
  • 54% of consumers would cancel a league supported media service if not for fantasy sports (TV channels, satellite service, apps, etc.)
  • Mobile and other emerging platforms (i.e. gaming consoles, internet-connected TV) continue to grow as the predominant way (61%) players consume fantasy.  This figure grew from 56% in 2014 and just 32% in 2013.
  • 55% of players admit they are playing more fantasy sports due to technological innovations including the ability to play on a mobile device
  • Not only are more people playing, but players are managing more teams as the average number of teams managed per player increased from 5.8 last year to 7.0
  • Fantasy players are more interested in sports because of fantasy, with 64% reporting they are watching more live sports because of fantasy and 61% saying they read more about sports because of fantasy
  • The number of players who play some form of daily fantasy sports has increased from 31% in 2012 to 64% in 2015
  • 82% of all players play in a season-long league; just 19% exclusively play daily formats; and 17% play both formats


Methodology
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Phase One of the survey, conducted from January 22-February 1, 2016 included a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,212 U.S. teens and adults and 1,238 Canadian teens and adults from Ipsos’ online panel who were interviewed online to determine the fantasy sports market size in the US and Canada. For Phase Two of the survey, conducted from April 14-19, 2016, 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.  It has commissioned the study every year since 2004.

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, visitwww.ipsos-na.com.

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For media inquiries, contact:
Doug Drotman
FSTA Public Relations
doug@drotmanpr.com
(631-462-1198)