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How Fantasy Sports are Changing the Face of the Economy

What are Fantasy Sports Anyway?

Fantasy sports used to be a simple betting game among sports fans and friends to see who had the most insight into the art and science of the games. A group of guys would get together, watch their favorite teams, and then make good natured bets on the outcomes of not just specific teams but individual players. However, with the introduction of the internet, the game of fantasy sports has changed drastically. Basic strategies include following sports teams and their players carefully in order to increase the odds of picking the best players. If an online fantasy sports fan wants to play fantasy basketball, he would probably spend a little time researching the NBA odds of certain players doing well in upcoming games and make his fantasy team picks accordingly. 

Online, Offline – Is There a Difference?

Online fantasy sports participants combine real players into a virtual fantasy team. These teams are then ranked based on their performances, and the performances of the players within them. The statistics of each game are compiled into points which are then calculated into real cash earnings. The difference between fantasy sports at home and those online is that players can compete against anyone else who is using the same site.

So Who Exactly Plays Fantasy Sports?

Online fantasy sports have fans from all walks of life. Whereas traditional games were typically played by a group of guy friends, the individual nature of the internet presents opportunities for anyone with a computer to participate. Statistics of the top fantasy sports sites indicate that although the majority of users are middle aged men, an increasing number of women, and elderly users have begun to not only just play, but win!

This Can’t Really Affect the Economy, Can it?

Online fantasy sports were one of the fastest rising industries of 2015 with more than 50 million active players using the sites. The most popular sites of the year, FanDuel and DraftKings both saw increases of over 40% of their revenue with the use of successful marketing campaigns which included both online and television commercials using real player testimonials.
Even someone who has no interest in fantasy sports has the opportunity to get in on the action. Many online fantasy sports companies are public, which means anyone can buy and sell their stocks for a profit. This means that anyone who participates in the stock market, regardless of their ability to play fantasy sports can benefit from this booming business.

The Real Stats

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates that 56.8 million people in the U.S. and Canada played fantasy sports in 2015. This number is expected to increase by at least 15% in the next year as emerging companies begin to attract more fans.
Eilers Research is a self-described boutique research firm focused on servicing the gaming equipment, technology, and interactive gaming sectors within the global gaming industry. In 2015 they rocked leading economists worlds by projecting that daily fantasy games would be generating around $2.6 billion in entry fees this year, a statistic that later proved accurate. This is nothing compared to their projected increase of 41% annually, which indicates that online fantasy sports companies will earn around $14.4 billion in the year 2020. That’s the equivalent of earning $2 dollars for every human being currently living on earth.

So What Does This All Mean?

What was once a novelty designated to water cooler conversations or a night in with the guys has become a veritable cash cow. New formats are being invented daily to keep fans guessing and to improve the chances of winning big. With existing companies exceeding all the experts’ financial projections and new companies on the rise with intent to go even further, online fantasy sports are proving to be not only a big business, but one that is booming! Fantasy sports are here to stay.

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College Football Playoffs Have Mixed Results

Ever since the NCAA decided to add a playoff system to college football in 2014, there has been countless debate as to whether the new system is working. In some ways, the new playoff format is an unprecedented success. It allows two additional teams a chance at championship immortality.

On the other hand, some dislike the new committee that has such a large hand in determining the playoff participants. Here are some of the pros and cons of the new college football playoff system.

Great For the Fans

Nobody can deny that a college football playoff is a great idea from a fan perspective. The new system has turned games such as the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowlinto must watch television. While these games have always held a special place in the hearts of college football fans from a nostalgic point of view, they have never been proving grounds in which the victor earns a trip to the national championship game. At least not until now.

Turning nostalgic bowl games into something much bigger is a win win for college football and its dedicated legions of die hard fans. The new playoff system definitely provides a solid platform for can’t miss games, which should make fans across the country hungry with anticipation.

Selection Committees

Before the new system’s introduction in 2014, college football had always operated with a ranking system comprising the votes of coaches and writers specializing in the college game. Since that time however, a selection committee comprised of a mash-up of coaches, writers, ex-players, politicians, and athletic directors has decided the fates of top college teams.

Vegas and Fantasy Sports

It’s no secret that people across the country love to gamble on sports, especially when that sport is football. Bonus points if that sport is college football. In recent years, major media outlets such as ESPN have started incorporating information relevant to those in gambling circles. This information ranges from point spreads to daily fantasy statistics. It can be argued that at least some of these changes have been influenced by the popularity of the new system. When compared with NBA odds predictions, college football comes out way ahead.

The playoff has also served as a commercial for daily fantasy players. Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have tons of tournaments dedicated to playoff weekend each year.With millions of dollars changing hands in these tournaments, the playoff’s impact on the gambling front can definitely be seen and felt.


While the idea of multiple college playoff games on the same day seems enticing, people seemed to have other things to do on New Years Eve this year. The Orange Bowl, the first game of the day featuring Clemson and Oklahoma, received ratings 38.5 percent lower than the previous season’s Rose Bowl. The second game, a clash between Michigan State and Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, resulted in a ratings drop of 36.8 percent.

The previous season’s playoff games were held on New Years Day instead of New Years Eve , which resulted in much higher ratings. The playoff system may have generally been a big step in the right direction for college football, but the selection committee’s decision to feature the games on this date was most definitely not in the best interest of the sport or its fans.

The new playoff format implemented by the NCAA has had a massive impact on college football. It has created a refreshing new wrinkle by giving two extra teams a chance at a nation championship. It has also enhanced NCAA odds betting interest and provided even more excitement to millions of fans.

Unfortunately, a controversial selection committee making controversial decisions has kept the new system from being a slam dunk success. Only time will tell if the new playoff system will endure.

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