Tokyo Olympics: India won seven medals including a record track and field gold from Neeraj Chopra. Tokyo Paralympics: India clinched a record 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze.
The Indian men’s badminton team recently created history by winning the Thomas Cup for the first time.
With Indian athletes and its teams conquering new heights across all sports and not just limited to cricket, it is truly the golden age for Indian sports.
The once passive fans are now active supporters of Indian sports. Their engagement, hunger for knowledge and consumption for all data and analysis is growing at a rapid pace. And it is one of the driving-forces behind the emergence of fantasy sports.
Today, India is the largest fantasy sports market in the world with over 13 crore-plus users. It is the fastest growing industry of the country and a hefty revenue generator as well for the nation.
Although 80 per cent of the Indians are hooked on the ultimate fantasy cricket game, the participation and engagement in other sports like kabaddi, volleyball, hockey is also rapidly increasing, thanks to terrific performances. This makes it more important to understand what is keeping sports fans hooked on.
A real experience: One can experience the real rush of energy and enthusiasm just like a player when your prediction or judgment comes true. One has to experience this to feel it.
All-round knowledge: The hunger for information, thanks to fantasy sports, is like never before. Browsing websites and viewing the news is not the only thing sports fan do now. They explore all social media avenues, delve into analytical platforms, follow fantasy sports experts before finalising their team. Today, the fan is not just aware about the players, they are thorough about the conditions, form, strengths and weaknesses and historical outcomes, etc.
Real-time tracking: More and more fantasy sports users are actively engaging in watching the match live. And the convenience of live streaming on the mobile has come as a boon to them. By tracking events live, the user is actively analysing his/her position on the leaderboard. The feedback, comments from the fantasy league community is becoming a great learning tool. The understanding of the game has evolved drastically with the advent of fantasy leagues. More than 60 per cent fantasy sports players claim that they watch and follow sports more than before.
Player, not team, centric: The fan engagement, especially among fantasy sports players is one of its kind. Research and several surveys show that close to 50 per cent of fantasy players watch every game irrespective of the country that is playing. It is no more about your nation. The approach is player versus player and not Team A versus Team B. That’s because you get points on how well the player you have picked performs, which results in your team winning.
It’s entertainment: Fantasy sports are seen as a fun way to pass time. It provides entertainment if your players perform. It is a unique combination that is appealing to the millennials. Here you have a possibility to get entertained as well as win prizes. Now, who wouldn’t take this plunge? It is a win-win situation for the fans.
Moment of pride: Sure, when your national team or club does well, it is exciting. But if your chosen players perform and you win, it is a double whammy. The thrill of victory is a personal moment of pride and a sense of achievement in itself. It also reassures that the knowledge you have gained about the sport is spot on. This motivation is fulfilled through victory and pursued with the thought that the next victory is just around the corner.
Social interaction: One of the factors that’s making fantasy sports interesting is the social interaction whether it is between like-minded fans, friends or family members. It is an important aspect that gets sports fans on to the platforms. With constraints of time and family members or friends scattered all around the world, fantasy sports help them bring closer in a fun and entertaining way where cousins can compete against each other or friends have a chance to go one-up over their best mates.