Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a growth industry. DraftKings chief executive, Jason Robins, told the Washington Post that he expects his DFS company to be worth $10 billion in the not-too-distant future.
Just about every major league sports franchise has either inked a deal with a DFS company or is in negotiations to do so. This means, among other things, that these relatively new startups have leapfrogged over the beginner's problem of getting people to come to their site--the major leagues will see to it that everyone within the sound of their media voice knows about it.
Here's how dynamic DFS entrepreneurs are making their businesses explode:
1. Taking it overseas
Marcin Andruchow is a TVC producer in Poland. He says of the DFS site DraftKings, "We Poles, of course, watch nothing but soccer, soccer, soccer. Now I understand that DraftKings is setting up sites for our national teams in the European Union. This is very astute, because all my friends are anxious to start backing their favorite players today!"
2. Making it mobile
Julius Schauerhuber is the CEO of FanPlay, a European fan engagement platform. He says of the mobile device paradigm, "Our average customer is young, male, and constantly on the go. He doesn't sit home to watch a game; he's out with friends at a club or on a cross country bike tour. He wants his game and his players available on his mobile device, and if he's betting he wants to do it instantly on his smartphone, not have to stop at a bank. The more we can cater to our mobile customer, the faster the revenue is coming in."
3. Give customers the information they want instantly
Cal Spears, CEO of DFS strategy site RotoGrinders, is quick to point out, "Because of the nature of the beast, DFS players need updates immediately as they occur. Anyone that provides that service the fastest is going to best help players gain an edge in their games, and thus get more traffic. That's why we're constantly updating our offerings and information sources so the flow is constant and real-time."
4. Listen to what the customers want, and give it to them
Earlier this year Entrepreneur magazine wrote, "When you ask players what they look for, they always say they want the biggest prize pool, the most opponent variety and the most game variety," says FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles. "Because we're the biggest, we can give them what they want." It's such a simple concept that startups looking beyond the mark for more sophisticated strategies ignore it completely--just give the people what they want and they'll keep coming back for more.
5. Fantasy Sports and Giving to Charity
There is a new company trying to change this up in this space, FantasyHub, they became the first fantasy sports site to use games as contests for organizations like charities, fraternities, and high school sports teams. People can win money, but also donate to charity as well. Not a bad way to play hard and give back as well.
Make it easy to start and easier to stay
The Bloomberg Business Report says of the most successful DFS sites that getting started takes just a few minutes. Just download the app and sign up for a user name ("Sportaholic" and "FootballGodzilla" are already taken). Money can be put into an account easily and securely, with most beginner leagues starting at anywhere from 25-cents to one-dollar to enter. More competitive leagues cost up to $25, but are still simple to get into. Click on a contest name, and up comes a scroll of player positions that you fill in, then, game on!
USA Today calls Daily Fantasy Sports a "defining issue for pro sports in the next several years." Although major sports leagues are signing up with DFS companies, they still prohibit their own players and staff from participating in any of the online competitions. Colleges and universities have also banned all NCAA players, coaches and administrators from playing on any DFS sites.
Reaction against DFS gaming has been slow to develop so far--but 2015 is likely to be the year that the backlash takes on form and strength.
And 2016 is an election year--where will campaigning politicians stand on the issue?
It's going to get interesting . . .