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Fantasy Sports Scores with Mobile and Online Users

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil | 12/11/2013, 6:10 p.m.

When it comes to defining that which is “typically American,” I think we’re going to have to add “sports” to the old expression, “As American as Mom and apple pie.” We are a country full of sports fanatics. (While I might not exactly fall into that category, I am the mother of an extraordinary 17-year-old athlete and lover of all things sports. So, I have to admit, that I need to step up and try to keep up)! Nielsen numbers bear this out. Sports programs are among the top watched in African-American households as well as those of the general population, with the Super Bowl consistently ranking as the most-watched program across the board. In fact, Super Bowl XLVII drew 108 million viewers nationally. African – Americans made up a whopping 12.5 million of those viewers. (Personally, I enjoy the parties and the commercials, the game? Not so much.)

With football and basketball season in full swing, Nielsen has identified and measured a phenomenal, growing niche industry, Fantasy Sports. Now, for those of you who, like me, were not familiar with this popular trend – Fantasy Leagues are places where you can use the web, smartphones and/or tablets, act as sports general managers, to draft professional athletes from your favorite pro teams to make up the roster how you see it in your own personal league. Fantasy points are awarded to the players, based on their performance in the actual games being played. You and your friends can compete or bet against each other while watching the real game. While you can organize a fantasy team in any sport, football is the most popular, with more than 10 million Americans using fantasy football apps on their smartphones.

So, who’s playing all of these Fantasy Sports? African-Americans are the second largest group who engage in this cultural phenomenon and make up 12 percent of fantasy sports players. And, there’s no shocker here, but 67 percent of fantasy players are male, which accounts for most of those who participate in fantasy sports. The average fantasy player is between the ages of 25-34. But, hold on fellas! What was a surprise to me, though, is that so many women are getting in on the action. Our insights show that 32 percent of adult fantasy sports players online are female. That’s every man’s dream, right? A woman who loves her sports.

And of course, advertisers are hip to this trend as well. In 2012, $13.3 billion was spent on sporting event programming all in an effort to capture the eyes and win the hearts of fantasy sports players.

Fantasy sports players are:

12 percent more likely to have children

More likely to earn $50,000 – $75,000 a year

84 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to buy movie tickets online

67 percent more likely to purchase credit cards online

66 percent more likely to purchase insurance online

60 percent more likely to purchase home electronics online

58 percent more likely to purchase event tickets online