A classmate of mine said something yesterday that caught my attention. She said she doesn’t read my blog because, if it’s about sports, she’s not interested.
Fair point. I feel this is a common sentiment among my colleagues. Well, I have a beef to pick.
The problem is that this blog is not about sports. If you want sports, go to Deadspin or ESPN. In fact, this blog is not even really about fantasy sports. If you want fantasy sports, go to Rotoworld or The Talented Mr. Roto. This blog is about business and media, and, in my opinion, fantasy sports plays a major role in the development of the two.
Let’s start with business. According to a study by the FSTA, 27.1 million Americans play fantasy sports, an industry that is estimated at $4.48 billion, which exceeds the expected 2010 revenues of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace combined.
And it’s not who you think is playing. Nearly 3 million players are women. 71 percent of fantasy players have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Furthermore, the average household income of a fantasy sports player is $94,000. In other words, it’s not just deadbeats all caught up in this movement. Many businesses have even acknowledged the positive effect fantasy sports has had on their companies.
In addition, the influence of fantasy sports on media is immense. Besides the noticeable adjustments that various sports companies have made for fantasy, advertising and even newspapers have catered to its evolution. ESPN viewers and ESPN Radio listeners will often hear the various ESPN personalities discuss their fantasy teams.
In fact, as a prime example of the overwhelming influence that fantasy sports has had on media, not only has satellite radio created a 24-hour fantasy sports radio station, but the FX Network has a show in its second season, “The League.” Its premise? Five guys and their sometimes unhealthy obsession with fantasy sports.
I don’t write about recent scores or trades. I avoid statistics and rankings.
The purpose of this blog is to gain a better understanding of the history of this evolving business, its motivations and its effects on society. So don’t worry. Take a deep breath. Even if you don’t know who Brett Favre is, my blog is for you.