By Joe Favorito @JoeFav @TheDailyPayoff
With Yahoo moving heavily into the daily pay fantasy space to challenge market leaders DraftKings and Fan Duel, the rumors swirl that other big media companies will follow suit to expand their fantasy offerings at some point,.
But the question still remains over market size; especially growing the market size vs. splitting up the existing pie continue to exist.
Yahoo’s move into the pay fantasy space makes sense because of the time its executives have already spent in the traditional fantasy business and their extensive work in search over the years that my give them insight into where and who to engage. If it can translate those casual searchers already on their platform into engaged fantasy players who can now win cash, their business grows.
However the one key factor that all these platforms need, and the one factor that remains a possibility for smaller players, is simplicity. The casual fan remains to see pay fantasy as a daunting task. No time to understand or plan for large drafts and to do research, especially for baseball, mean that simple, almost lottery-type games that translate easily to a mobile environment, might be the golden opportunity.
“The ‘casual’ fan wants simplicity so that they can participate in fantasy football contests. The two big players are far from simple and cater to the avid, GM type fan,” said Chris Johnson, founder of another startup in the space, Top3 Fantasy Sports, www.top3fantasysports.com, which will launch this fall around the NFL season. “The ‘casual’ US fan base is gigantic, however, all of the games on the market are all similar in nature, caps, trades, waivers, etc. Fans are clamoring for simplicity and Top3 has created it. Top3 eliminates all of the confusion and complexity.”
Still that lack of complexity needs marketing to break through the clutter, and although Johnson understands that louder draws the attention in marketing, he still sees that the growing pie, especially around big events, may migrate to simple games. Those games are attractive when fans can spend a little, win a lot, and not have to be distracted for more than minutes at a time.
“Select which QB you believe will score the most fantasy points on any given Sunday wins a big cash prize,” he added. “Like fans do for the Kentucky Derby, easy as 1.2.3. Select based on matchups, your favorite team or whatever suits your fancy and have fun! No need to have a PHD to join.”
Simpler the better, is what Johnson and many smaller challengers like DraftPot and others are banking on, literally. Will the big media companies making the noise also go that route more deeply, or will their marketing noise grow the pie for all. That will be the million dollar business challenge.