Pay Fantasy Scores With Women’s World Cup
The past few days there has been a great deal of speculation about what the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team can mean to the business side of women’s sports. More recognition in the mainstream can bring its perks, and although the stars of this women’s program are probably the most leveraged of any team of women’s athletes in terms of brand exposure, there is still a huge opportunity void that still can be exploited.
What about fantasy sports? Last week at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Summer Convention, research showed that engagement by women in daily fantasy was the fastest growing demo, an area which is still small by comparison to men but it is growing by the day. And although Fan Duel CEO Nigel Eccles said recently at the Cynopsis Sports Conference that their company’s growth area for the next five years was going to be primarily focused on the NBA and the NFL, DraftKings and some other smaller companies have moved to find other niches of success in sports like fantasy golf and NASCAR and even soccer.
The company which has made the biggest investment in daily fantasy soccer is Mondogoal. Based in Isle of Man and Boston, CEO Shergul Arshad has built their company working with some of the bigger soccer clubs in the world this past year, and recently cast the dice by launching the first, and only, daily fantasy game around a women’s team sport, tied to the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Has the game been a success? We checked in with Mondogoal to see what the engagement has been like as we head toward this weekend’s final in Vancouver.
While they would not give hard numbers, Mondogoal reported very strong growth, which has included thus far:
Opening week of the Women’s World Cup saw 12% more activity (12% more entries from users) than the largest weekend of activity for the English Premier League.
In terms of new engaged users, thousands have become first time users of Mondogoal as a result of the WWC and Co-Ed contests.
Number of Female users has tripled over the amount of engaged users for pay fantasy play for clubs this past winter like Manchester City, AS Roma and FC Barcelona.
Despite the time difference (many games kicking off late at night/after midnight) they have seen thousands of entries in the United Kingdom as well, in part to the England National Team’s deep run into the tournament
More players becoming household names/well known. Early in the tournament Abby Wambach/Alex Morgan were among the most selected US fantasy players on Mondogoal, based on name recognition alone. Carli Lloyd, Julie Johnston and Megan Rapinoe have since passed them based on fans watching the games and recognition of their play during the tournament.
In addition, Mondogoal went co-ed and is expecting a similar rise in their $10,000 Summer Showdown contest again as well. It will feature the following matches, with 200 Users will enter and select top male players (Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez) alongside top Female Players and compete for $10,000 in prizes.
Chile v. Argentina (Men’s Copa America Final)
Germany v. (loser of Japan/England) – WWC Third Place Game
USA v. (winner of Japan/England) – WWC Final
What does this activity mean? Will we be seeing more WNBA, Olympic gymnastics and WTA and LPGA Fantasy going forward? Hard to say given the uniqueness of WWC, but safe to say that daily fantasy for select events, men or women, continues to have staying power and consumer engagement opportunities that are on the rise, and that’s good news for everyone, from fans to brands to broadcasters to athletes. The more engagement, the bigger the pie, regardless of gender.