- With 4 crore+ users, Dream11 is currently the biggest player in the Fantasy Sports market
Mumbai: With India’s biggest T20 cricketing extravaganza recently coming to an end, there has been an impressive rise in the number of Fantasy Sports users across the country. By allowing sports fans to become team owners and deeply engage with their favourite sport, Fantasy Sports has become a huge hit among the masses.
This has also been a fruitful season for Fantasy Sports operators that witnessed a notable growth in their user base. Dream11, India’s Biggest Sports Gaming platform, saw their registered user base jump to around 3.8 crore. This was achieved on the back of their unique consumer-focused campaign ‘Dimaag Se Dhoni’ featuring the legend MS Dhoni, clubbed with extensive digital outreach that led to remarkable brand adoption.
This deepened level of engagement along with an increase in overall sports consumption provided sports fans with a truly immersive and engaging experience. Sensing the popularity and potential of Fantasy Sports in the country, some of the world’s biggest sports leagues have also started using Fantasy Sports as their primary tool of fan engagement. The Hero CPL, Hero ISL & the NBA have all forged official partnerships with Dream11 to offer Fantasy Cricket, Football and Basketball.
This season also saw some emerging Fantasy Sports players launch their operations just in time to capitalise on the sports fever in the country. UK-based StarPick launched its Indian operations by onboarding as many as 6 popular cricketers as their brand ambassadors, while CricPlay by Times Internet Limited was also launched mid-season to keep the momentum going. With 60+ operators already present and newer players foraying into the market, the Fantasy Sports industry has scaled to almost 4 crore users this season.
According to a research conducted by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (India’s first self-regulatory industry body) and AC Nielsen, Fantasy Sports has provided engaging experiences to sports fans across metro and non-metro cities. 89% of these users repeatedly play Fantasy Sports, making it a highly sticky category. As per the IFSG-AC Nielsen report, this user growth is expected to hit the 10-crore mark by 2020.
Commenting on the growth of the Fantasy Sports industry, Harsh Jain, Chairman of IFSG said, “2 Crore Indian sports fans have embraced Fantasy Sports for the first time in the last 2 months alone to fulfil their engagement needs, thereby converting from passive fans to active participants. This is a clear indication of the changing paradigm of sports consumption and viewing patterns in India, where Fantasy Sports are helping enrich the second screen experiences of Indian sports fans. As the Indian Sports Gaming industry’s self-regulatory body, IFSG will continue to encourage an increasing amount of Fantasy Sports operators to evolve Indian sports fans, whilst implementing a standardised set of business operations in the best interests of the fans.”