Putting TV Spots in Lineup Paid Off for Fantasy Sports

TV made a big contribution to the growth of daily fantasy sports over the past three years, the Video Advertising Bureau says.

The VAB says daily fantasy sports, led by DraftKings and FanDuel, spent $300 million on TV advertising over the last three years and have built themselves into households names and substantial business.

The fantasy sports business now is under pressure as state authorities question whether or not it is a form of illegal gambling. Some states have threatened to close the sites to their residents, and a leading payment handler plans to stop doing business with the industry at the end of the month.

But some in the business are predicting that while the legal challenges have people nervous, they might return to their free-spending ways.

Between August and November alone as the NFL football season started, DraftKings spent $123.4 million on national TV ads, according to iSpot.tv. FanDuel spent $136.5 million. Spending tailed off after that with DraftKings spending $3.1 million and FanDuel just $1.1 million.

All that spending led to monthly unique website visitors jumping to 32.1 million in September 2015 from 67,000 visitors in March 2013. Player engagement increased 38% year over year during the football season.

More importantly, revenue increased to an estimated $330 million in 2015 from $5 million in 2012 and user spending on daily fantasy sports is projected to increase over the next five years to $17.7 billion.

“It’s clear that the above results would not have happened without the category’s immense, deep push into TV to reach their primary target, Millennials,” the VAB said.

(Photo via Pictures of Money's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 17, 2015 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.