Women Love Fantasy Football Too by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Fellas, Females love Fantasy football Too
30 years ago in a Manhattan restaurant, a group of guys who loved sports and athlete statistics, came up with the idea of fantasy football. For a while, the phenomenon grew only amongst the “stat geeks”, and was not a part of the sports mainstream. For decades, even the NFL was hesitant to endorsed the product. Things have changed over the last five years however, and the league now clearly supports and benefits greatly from fantasy football.
In 2012, the number of participants in fantasy leagues rose to a record 33 million Americans, or roughly 10% of the U.S. population. Today, that number has grown to over 42 million. Not only has the number of participants grown, but so has the demographics. It’s not just a bunch of nerdy guys drafting in someone’s mancave anymore. Women have come into the fantasy fold in droves, and have quickly become 20% of the the players in fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) estimates that women will comprise 1/3 of all fantasy football players in the very near future. Along with the joy of competition, women interviewed reported by that fantasy football facilitated staying in touch with friends, being a part of the draft day experience, being part of the water cooler talk, and being able to hang with the guys as incentives to participate.
Fantasy football is a multi-billion dollar industry, and aiding fantasy football’s popularity is the ever growing stream of daily fantasy sports websites. A few years ago, the only type of fantasy football available was the standard season-long league where you have the same players on your team the entire year. Instead, these daily websites allow you to choose new players (hence a new team) each week. FanDuel has more than 1 million paying users and is valued at more than $1 billion during its last investment round, according to a source familiar with the company’s finances. Additionally, women are joining FanDuel twice as fast as men, according to the company’s chief executive, Nigel Eccles. The next-biggest site, DraftKings, based in Boston. This year the daily fantasy-sports industry will collect more in entry fees than all the sports books at Vegas casinos combined, according to research conducted about the gaming industry.
Fantasy football owners, men and women alike, might be surprised to know that there are now websites that offer real insurance that provides coverage when players on their teams have season-ending injuries. Fantasyplayerprotect.com is available for a fee (premium), and the coverage is intended to replace the league entry fee, plus research expenses such as magazine or online subscriptions. Since fantasy football has become a legitimate part of the most sports, it makes sense that these insurance products will also grow in popularity. An estimated $2 billion dollars was spent on fantasy league fees last year.
So fellas, the next time you are heading out the door to a fantasy draft, don’t be surprised if instead of asking when you’ll be home, she instead asks you to hold that door, because she’s heading out for one herself.