Fantasy Sports is Single Biggest Fan Engagement Tool for Sports Leagues, Says FIFS Director-General Joy Bhattacharjya

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At the FICCI Turf 2022 on Saturday, November 26, Mr Joy Bhattacharjya, Director General, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports and Mr Amit Purohit, CEO and Founder, Fantasy Akhada engaged in a deep dialogue on ‘How Fantasy Sports Enhances Sports Experience’. They highlighted the general constructive outlook of the Central authorities in the direction of the fantasy sports activities trade, and in addition addressed the necessity for sports activities leagues to additional leverage fantasy sports activities (FS) platforms to drive & improve fan engagement.

Joy Bhattacharjya described how fantasy sports activities is pushing the fan engagement and defined the idea of second screens intimately. He mentioned, “The phenomenon that has modified fantasy sports activities is using second screens. Sports followers whereas watching matches on TV, are checking match statistics, or seeing how their groups are performing and even partaking in pleasant banter with different fantasy sports activities customers. Fantasy sports activities makes use of a second display screen to push the engagement even tougher,” he mentioned.

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With fantasy sports operators bringing in more fans’ viewership and a larger engagement to the product, they are natural allies for sports leagues. Hence, national and international sports leagues and tournaments like IPL, PKL, ICC, NBA, CPL, Super Smash etc. have partnered with fantasy sports operators for deepening engagement, viewership and building a closer connection with their fan base. Mr. Bhattacharjya stressed that the leagues can do more than just bringing on FS platforms as fantasy partners.

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“In 2019, when we did the first Volleyball League, we had a fantasy partner. We started off with 2000 people playing on the first day. On Day 17, we had 85,000 people playing FS and by the final day, we reached 185,000 people. These numbers were organic because we did not push our fantasy sports partner hard enough. We realised that once you give people a product they can engage with, there is a huge opportunity,” Mr. Bhattacharjya mentioned.

“The Indian leagues have some solution to go earlier than they will combine with FS on the degree of International leagues,” he added.

Mr Amit Purohit also addressed the need to supply FS consumers with ample information and statistics to improve their experiences. Mr. Purohit pointed out that a fan creating a team for an England vs New Zealand cricket match may not find enough information on an Indian broadcasting channel, as the analysts are often discussing the upcoming India cricket match. “Today, even if you search for statistics for any league, you may not find it. You may find information on Virat Kohli’s last five years’ performance, but you will not find enough information at the granular level for all the leagues,” Mr. Purohit mentioned.

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“We can’t say that persons are utilizing FS for immediate gratification. We, as an ecosystem, don’t present sufficient inputs for them to make well-informed choices. People are longing for statistics, they wish to enhance their abilities, we’re but to do sufficient to offer that platform. The fan who’s enjoying Fantasy Sports is hungry for info to enhance their abilities, so there’s a hole which must be stuffed,” he added.

Mr. Bhattacharjya and Mr. Purohit also spoke on the recent positive steps from the government and what it might mean for FS in India in the coming years.

“Recently, Google has allowed Fantasy Sports on the Play Store. It means a far bigger opportunity to reach a larger set of audience. We, at FIFS, have always been supportive of bringing uniform regulations so that we can strengthen the industry, protect consumer’s interests and work in accordance with the prescribed set of uniform laws and guidelines,” Mr. Joy Bhattacharjya mentioned, as his closing remarks.

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“I imagine Fantasy Sports may have an area for itself in conversations not simply in drawing rooms, but additionally in boardrooms of the suitable folks, that are the associations, federations and broadcasters. People have already began noticing, and it’s only going to extend going ahead,” Mr. Purohit added.

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