According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, there are 59 million players, creating millions of opportunities to bet real money on the performance of electronic sports figures. Whole platforms and companies have emerged to support this industry, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, alongside Yahoo Sports and ESPN, amongst others.
DraftKings is even offered up to $1 billion worth of winnings during the first week of match ups in 2017.
7 Non- Sports Fantasy Games
But what about consumers who aren’t interested in football or other competitive sports? What can they bet on? Are there opportunities to offer these potential customers the excitement of fantasy sports without the sporting element?
Well, some gaming operators are building loyal customer bases by doing exactly that. Right now there are at least seven popular platforms that are attracting consumers who want to make competitive bets, on non-sports activities. Here’s a snapshot of some of the most popular fantasy games:
#1: Bachelor Fantasy League
In Season 21 of the series Bachelor, Nick Viall was so popular with the audience that ABC created a fantasy league, giving fans the option to bet on the top picks for the Last Four Women and the ONE who will receive the Final Rose. This really was a thing!
Other fantasy apps have appeared from ABC and ESPN, including one for another show, The Streak, which you can play now.
#2: Dancing With The Stars
Another fantasy league from the same network; where gamers can predict the winner and three top scorers each week. Both are promoted before and during the show, a sign that fantasy sports, or any kind of fantasy league, are no longer fringe activities. Fantasy leagues have gone mainstream.
Another popular league, also involving elimination contests – play along and pick your favorite winners in the Survivor.
#4: Fantasy Movie League
With this game you get the chance to play a Box Office God. Pick eight movies to fill your fantasy theatre. Earn points depending on how well the movies perform with the general public, based on earnings and market cap.
#5: The Oscars
Another movie-based idea. Slate came up with this in 2016. It works in the following way – and can only be enjoyed on Oscar night: “You get 20 points for each winner on your roster in any of the big eight “marquee” categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. You get 10 points for each winner in any of the other categories.”
#6: Celebrity Fantasy Draft
Celebrity Fantasy Draft allows gamers to place bets on whether their favorite celebrities will feature on the covers of People, InTouch and US Weekly each week. If they feature on the cover for something positive, players get points. If they’re on the cover for something negative, such as getting arrested, players lose points. In this fantasy league, players get a team of 10 celebs, plus 2 “understudies.”
#7: IDEAS fantasy league
And for something a little different… have you ever wanted to lead an economics department?
Well some people do, and thanks to the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (RePEc) they can. In the IDEAS league gamers are responsible for an economics department, with a team of 25 economists. The aim is to improve the department’s ranking compared to competing departments, with the option to trade them and activate them; in the same way you would a team of football players.
Demand for alternative leagues like the ones featured above, keeps growing. Although these represent a small percentage of the overall $7bn market, we can expect demand for non-sports fantasy leagues to increase over the next few years. Some are created and backed by major media conglomerates, whereas others are independent and could attract the attention of the eSports giants.
There are opportunities to be had by online gaming operators by developing fantasy games that reach a different type of customer.
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