Fantasy sports participation grows to 32+ million in North America


The FSTA, with data supplied by research firm Ipsos, issued a press release stating that fantasy sports participating is still increasing and has maintained a value demographic for advertisers and sponsors:

Fantasy sports participation has grown over 60 percent the past four years as over 32 million people now actively playing in the U.S. and Canada, new research conducted by Ipsos for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) shows. This finding shows the highest participation numbers in the history of fantasy sports. One in five males played fantasy sports in the last year.

“The fantasy sport industry continues to grow at a strong rate even through tough economic times,” said FSTA President Paul Charchian. “The combination of great passion for the hobby and inexpensive participation has made fantasy sports very recession resilient. We’re delighted to see participation numbers continue to grow.”

Overall, the survey shows that United States’ participation in fantasy sports has increased from those that played in 2010 (11%) while Canada’s participation is down slightly from 2010 (14%). As is usually the case, in the United States and Canada more males (19% and 20%, respectively) than females (8% and 5%, respectively) have participated in fantasy sports in the past year.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the leading trade entity for fantasy sports business, is holding its 2011 FSTA Business and Technology Summit this week in San Francisco.

Follow the links below for more of the good data.

Our Take: 

It's definitely a good sign for the fantasy sports business that participation numbers are going up, not down. An NFL work stoppage won't help things, but the lockout won't last forever. The biggest question is: How many of those 32 million participants play more than Fantasy NFL or Fantasy MLB and can this industry diversify its offerings away from so much NFL dependence?


Ipsos and the FSTA