Fantasy sports is probably one of the very few industries which have seen a surge during this pandemic ridden year
Sanjit Sihag, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, MyTeam11
This has been an eventful year for the entire world. The ongoing pandemic shook the globe like never before and taught us many unknowns. 2020 has also been the year when the industry came of age with many fantasy gaming platforms associating in some way or the other with the biggest cricket league in the world. The acceptance from a league of this magnitude has done the industry a world of good and has taken the industry’s reach to a much wider audience. Keeping these developments into perspective, one can term 2020 truly as the breakthrough year for the fantasy sports industry.
With the rise in the popularity of fantasy sports, many new players have mushroomed and led to the rise of healthy competition and this is a very positive development for the industry. Fantasy sports is probably one of the very few industries which have seen a surge during this pandemic-ridden year. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports KirenRijiju has also reiterated the fact that Fantasy Sports has played a very important role in fuelling sports consumption in the country making it evident that the Government has recognized the fact that OFS platforms are playing a key role in the economy and the growth of sports in the country.
We have witnessed another major development with NitiAayog recently publishing draft guidelines for operating fantasy sports business and opening it for comments from various stakeholders. This is certainly a very positive move and will surely define the future roadmap of the industry bringing uniformity in regulatory frameworks across the country.
With 2020 now in the past, it is time to look forward to the New Year. Considering the developments in 2020 and going into 2021, Customer retention would be one of our primary focus points, keeping in view the rapid emergence of new players in the market. To increase customer retention, personalization is crucial and hence we are working on a lot of initiatives around identifying customer patterns, collecting a lot of data, and then using the data to make intelligent decisions and build our offerings around that to give our users a more personalized experience. It has worked for us and has given us great results in the past few years with customer retention rates considerably going up. Compared to last year, we have seen a 35%-40% increment in the number of new users but the revenue increased to more than 100% which is a very positive sign. We are also putting added efforts to increase our user base in Tier 3 and 4 markets which is a key area for us.
Further, 2020 threw everyone in a corner with the global pandemic impending LIVE sports, but we had to keep our users engaged. Therefore, we depended on our key strength of strategic innovation and came up with offerings like MyTeam11 Quiz, a knowledge-based quiz game, 13- card format – MyTeamRummy, and the recently launched MyTeamPoker. The overwhelming response received by these offerings inspired us even more and we will work on bringing better and interesting products in the coming year which will be a key focus area for us. We will use our time in the next 6-12 months and strengthen our rummy and poker businesses while constantly growing the fantasy sports vertical.
In 2021, we will also be looking at expanding the services of our ancillary platform SportsTiger to increase engagement and improve customer experience by educating our users about sports. Over the last few months, we have built a good community of loyal fans who wait eagerly for our original shows and follow our fantasy predictions. We have many new offerings in the pipeline to keep the fan engaged and informed working towards making SportsTiger a one-stop-shop. We are also looking to integrate SportsTiger more closely with MyTeam11 to unify the customer experience. Our objective is to ensure that the fans won’t require to go to 5 different platforms to get the necessary sports news.
In terms of our original content, we are looking to expand and give coverage to sports that are traditionally not covered like tennis, badminton, etc. Our very recent interview series – “Building Bridge” is an example of the same where we are covering personalities from sporting disciplines other than cricket bringing their untold stories to our subscribers.
If 2020 has been a path-breaking year, the next 2-3 years will be even more important yet challenging.