The History, Origin & Rise of Fantasy Sports

The History, Origin & Rise of Fantasy Sports


In 50s

Fantasy Sports is born and evolve in more the 50 years its first ever used use is dated in1950s when a Oakland base Businessman Wilfred Bill Winkenbach started a Fantasy Golf game. The concept was the participant player will selected a team of professional golfers and according the players performance the participant will be awarded with points and the participant with the lowest combined total points of performing players would win at the end of the tournament.

In 60s

In the early sixties, Wilfred Bill Winkenbach created the first fantasy football league and called it the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.
The First reported Fantasy League was held in 60s in Boston the League was held for baseball game the concept was the participant would form rosters that earned points based on players performance

In 80s

Fantasy Sports developed most in the 80s it was now well organized. Rotisserie League Baseball in1980s. Well Fantasy Football also started gain popularity when Cliff Charpentier and Tom Kane Jr. published magazine “The Fantasy Football Digest” in 1984, in which they had explained fantasy football rules. The game was then popularized through various magazines. Fantasy sports was become a wide spread hobby.

In 90s

The wide spread hobby promised a great business opportunities many magazine for fantasy sports where published now which provided detailed box score and fantasy sports guided. It was estimated that up to 1 million to 3 million where playing fantasy sports in early 90s.

Internet Era & Rise of Fantasy Sports

Internet had play a major role in changing mankind the internet boom helped a business to grow in fantasy sports field. In 1995 a fantasy hockey website was released by Molson Breweries It allowed visitors to register accounts and participate in hockey leagues. In 1999 was released it was for football fantasy fans

In 2000s

Fantasy sports continued to grow as a mainstream hobby Fantasy Sports Trade Association survey showing 15 million people playing fantasy football and spending about $150 a year on average, making it a $1.5 billion industry.

Fantasy Sports Today

In early days fantasy sports use to be a tournament long process its changed now to daily Fantasy sports. Daily fantasy sports contests are played for shorter periods of time, such as for a single match, rather than an entire season. Daily fantasy games are typically played as "contests" subject to an entry fee, and making player selection and according to players performance they are awarded points. Now Fantasy sports has been wide spread for many sports of Football, Hockey, Cricket, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Handball, Kabbadi, Golf  and many others
The daily fantasy sport is majorly increase due to two predominant player DraftKings and FanDuel they made fantasy sports easy to reach to consumer by creating mobile app due to the increase use of smart phones. They heavily started advertising campaign in major sports league.

History, Origin & Rise of Fantasy Sports

Legality of fantasy Sports

The Legality of fantasy Sports in always an issue Critics has always questioned the legality of fantasy sports. The sports fantasy company where labeling it as game a of skill and dependence on luck is much lesser. Their where major debate whether it should be legalized or not. But they had same effects as gambling it used to hooked player for playing more and more matches. Many regions require gambling license to run their operations.

Fantasy sports role in boosting sports viewership

Fantasy sports have played major role in increase viewers in a sports event. Fantasy 
sports players spend hours in analyzing sports stats and past match scores finding for best picks. Many mainstream media cover analysis on major sports events for providing best picks for fantasy sports. It has been found that fantasy sports help in increasing sports events viewership and consumption. Fantasy sports users watch more sports content and explore newer sports for finding more opportunities to play other fantasy sports game.
A study shows that 37 percent of fantasy sports players consume more hours of real-life sports content per week to stay updated with knowledge on players and match conditions. They even consume sports of other their own country. 

Fantasy sports user growth  

There is exponential growth in fantasy sports user in past several years and it is estimated to be increase in years coming by. User base of fantasy sports user is growing, there are over 200 plus fantasy app in play store. Hundreds of blog and hundreds of YouTube channels providing draft teams.


Estimated   Number of Players   




1   – 3 Million   


15.2   Million   


13.5   Million   


12.6   Million   


18   Million   


19.4   Million   


29.9   Million   


28.4   Million   


32   Million   


35.9   Million   


41.5   Million   


56.8   Million   


57.4   Million   


59.3   Million   

US-only, 18+ year old fantasy sports players


Estimated Number of Players


42   Million   


42.8   Million   


43.2   Million   


45.9   Million   
Data source : FSGA 

The data shown is of USA only as the trace of origin of fantasy sports is from USA.

Fantasy sports Industry  

Fantasy sports are already a billion dollar company the major fantasy platforms are sponsoring major sports league it is estimated to growing in near future. Fantasy sports has also entered the esports the gaming market.

Post a Comment