A Different Measure of Fantasy Industry Growth?

At the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference earlier this month, we learned from Dr. Kim Beason’s research that the number of avowed fantasy players had leveled off after several years of increases.

The obvious initial reaction to this information is to assume at least a temporary lull in industry growth. A different view of things, however, might just point to how business is thriving or perhaps just how much room to grow still remains.

We all know about the various businesses and affiliated websites that exist to support our fantasy games, and new versions enter the market all the time. Each entry represents at least one person’s belief that he or she can prosper in delivering fantasy sports to consumers in some way.

Lately, however, there seems to be more branching out into different areas and ancillary services that play off of the growing mainstream appeal or simply support the games that millions already play.

For starters, it’s been no surprise to see fantasy efforts extend beyond the more traditional sports to exploits such as bass fishing and wakeboarding and non-sports such as American Idol.

Beyond those kinds of competitions are the more complementary products. Multiple outlets exist, for example, that will provide opinions from lawyers to resolve league disputes for a fee. SportsJudge.com and FantasyDispute.com have each been around for at least several years already.

Two new entrants into the fantasy marketplace complement existing leagues in a similar fashion. FantasySportsInsurance.com seeks to sell policies to fantasy owners scared that a freak injury will prematurely separate them from their league entry fees. The creators of Mission Competition believe that there’s a significant market out there of leagues that lose an owner or two during the season and will pay to have the dead teams taken over.

We’ll see whether pursuits such as these turn into profitable businesses. The fact that companies are even looking to fill these perceived voids, however, indicates an industry with plenty of growth potential — a marketplace that’s still defining itself.


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