Mumbai: The year 2019 was nothing but a treat for sporting fans with IPL, ICC Cricket World Cup, The Ashes, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League and many other leagues across sports keeping the fans busy always. Global sporting entities have identified India as a huge potential for them to market their leagues, teams or even players a true testament of that are the recent NBA exhibition games held in Mumbai, Manchester City touring Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata with their six trophies.
Fantasy sports has given an additional opportunity and motivation to follow sports. A recent Nielsen – IFSG study mentions that the rise of online fantasy sports gaming in India has not only increased the interest of users in sports but also spawned a whole ecosystem around it. Most importantly, the emergence of fantasy sports is driving a deeper connection between sports fans and real-life sports and fantasy sports has converted many casual sports viewers into dedicated fans. Fans enjoy being ‘experts’ in their own rights. Putting in hours of research to understand the game, the strategy behind it and the players and their strengths and weaknesses.
Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan, Co-founders of FanCode believe this is the right time for brands, broadcasters, sports association as well as athletes to cash in on this sporting wave in India.
“The manner and the motivation behind the way fans consume sports is continuing to evolve rapidly. Growing fandom has expanded the avenues for sports consumption from live content of big sports events to fantasy sports, real-time sports updates, community participation, sports research and analysis of a variety of sporting events across various levels of sports like cricket, football, kabaddi, basketball, volleyball etc. A fragmented market exists wherein fans have access to different types of sports and leagues across different platforms. As the sports consumption patterns continue to change dynamically, there is an increasing need for a single platform that is catering to the requirement of the sports fans in India.” Says, Yannick Colaco, Co-Founder – FanCode.
“In the last 15 years, we have seen a dramatic transformation in the sports ecosystem in India. In 2007 when IPL was launched it redefined the sports entertainment segment and heralded a boom in in-stadium viewership. The IPL success led to the rise of many leagues, not just in cricket but other sports as well. For the fans, it was a great opportunity to get an in-stadium experience and watch their favourite sporting stars live in action not just in key metros but smaller cities as well. The next turning point for the sports industry was the digital boom of 2016 that brought easy access to smartphones and high-speed internet. Sports consumption has transitioned into the digital space and has led to significant growth and easy accessibility to sports content. Anytime and anywhere access to sports has increased sports consumption and viewership. And the latest trend is active participation in FS and gaming provides an immersive experience through DFS and gaming. Now we are entering a new phase wherein fans no longer want to be passive viewers but active participants. With the onslaught of fantasy sports, fans have an avenue to showcase their knowledge by creating virtual teams and competing with other fans. With the focus shifting towards fan engagement and experience, the challenge for the industry is going to be providing a seamless and unified fan experience across different aspects of sports.” Says, Prasana Krishnan, Co-Founder – FanCode