Daily fantasy sports are wildly popular

B11 Fantasy

LAURA MAUER/ CC-BY-2.0 Daily fantasy leagues give users the chance to bet on favorite players.

By ZACH ROBBINS
Sportpinions

Weekends during football season are all the same. Wake up later than you intended and spend the rest of your day on the couch in front of the TV. If you watched a few minutes of any games, you’ve probably noticed something new this year.

No, I’m not talking about the new extra-point rules (which do make the game more exciting).

I’m talking about the one-day fantasy league advertisements. I would posit that there is a very small chance that you have not seen one of these ads since they have taken over our living room television sets.

Whether it is Draft Kings or Fan Duel, companies running these leagues are dominating commercial airtime.
It seems as if every other commercial is advertising the million dollar winners that daily fantasy sports have crowned or just how much fun these leagues can be. What’s up with this sudden craze and why are these companies investing so much into marketing?

The concept of these leagues is simple: each day of football you can buy into a contest and are given a salary cap. With this salary cap you can purchase the real life players that you want on your team.

Based on the stats put up that day, you are given points that coincide with their numbers. The more points you get, the better you do.

In this way the leagues score very similarly to your standard season-long fantasy leagues that football fans may be more familiar with.

The leagues can vary from those where payouts are distributed based on how high you place to ones that are as simple as doubling your money if you place in the top half and losing your money in the bottom half.

What makes these leagues so much better than season-long leagues? What drives the addictions that people have in possibly losing money just to have the opportunity to manage a team for one single weekend?

One reason is that if a star player gets hurt or has consecutive bad performances, you are not stuck with them throughout an entire season.

The new daily fantasy sports system seems to be low risk and low commitment but with high rewards. Draft Kings advertises users who have won big, life changing, checks of up to one million dollars.

One newcomer to the industry is uSTADIUM. uSTADIUM looks to bring together the social side of the football community with these daily fantasy contests. It is a mobile application focused on bringing those who enjoy football together to connect with each other and compete against each other.

“My vision for uSTADIUM is to be the place for sports fans to chat and play/compete in daily fantasy games. We love fantasy at uSTADIUM, and view it as an integral part of the fan experience,” uSTADIUM CEO Frank Vittorini said.
“The problem with daily fantasy, however, is that there are no good engagement platforms coupled with fantasy. We are working to be the first to successfully combine social media with fantasy. Ultimately, we want to be the app that sports fans love to use and remember forever.”

With over one million posts recorded in the first year, the popular app will release in November.

The recent emergence of these daily fantasy leagues has caught football fans by storm and with good reason. The opportunities to make money while giving the games you already watch on Sundays more meaning are just some of the reasons that I see daily fantasy games controlling casual sports betting for a long time to come.

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