According to the latest data from TechNavio and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the growing popularity of the fantasy sports market will remain strong for the foreseeable future. With a 36.9 percent year-over-year growth in the player base to around 56.8 million as of 2015, buoyed by a projected CAGR of roughly 10.32 percent through 2019, fantasy sports are quickly becoming a major attraction in their own right. The demographics of the core market are also choice, with 66 percent of players being men, the average player age being 37, 57 percent of players possessing a college degree or higher, and more than 47 percent of the players having a household income in excess of $75,000 a year.
Another major contributing factor to the growth of the market is how, despite the continued spread of other types of gambling across the U.S., from casinos to lotteries, sports betting has continued to be isolated to either Las Vegas or niches like horse racing. Because fantasy sports exist in an area protected by Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 exemption, they are the perfect way for people to scratch the gambling itch and win big money, actually leveraging their knowledge of the players and their favorite sport in order to succeed, rather than merely trying to court Lady Luck. This factor is key to the rapid growth of fantasy sports, as it has opened up a massive, untapped small-stakes market for companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, which offer players the chance to draft a hypothetical team and compete against others online for big prizes, like the $2 million first-prize awarded at the fifth annual FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship earlier this year.
Always zealous NFL (National Football League) diehards are driving this booming industry and make up more than 73 percent of daily fantasy sports players. An ideal market to focus on, due to the fan’s insatiable demand for content, dedication to the sport, and willingness to spend. The action doesn’t stop at football either, every major sports league in the country has its own daily fantasy sports market, and with an average annual spend of around $465 per player, the aggregate space is now estimated to be worth an enticing $26.4 billion dollars.
Even tech and search giant Yahoo (NASDDAQ: YHOO) is getting into the game, with a bid to become one of the top providers of daily and one-week (where the fantasy season runs for a week rather than over the course of a single day) fantasy sports having been announced last month. Yahoo will reportedly start off with a focus on the largely underserved MLB (Major League Baseball) crowd, before advancing its own platform into other areas. Small-stakes plus big scale means potentially huge returns for companies who can successfully establish themselves in this thriving sector and that’s why Latitude 360, Inc. (OTCQB: LATX) – the owner/operator of a growing footprint of upscale 35,000 to 85,000 sq. ft. venues combining full service dining with an extremely wide variety of entertainment options that appeal to the largest number of consumers and corporate clients – is also putting down roots, with its recent partnership and pending acquisition of sector up-and-comer, Major League Fantasy (MLF) (www.playmlf.com).
Since launching in November last year, MLF has seen extraordinary growth, with numerous players flocking to the platform. Driven by the choice between daily, weekly, and full-season contests spanning every major sports category, the MLF player base is growing by leaps and bounds, making MLF a serious contender for becoming the top daily fantasy sports gaming network in the country. Recent partnership deals with NBA World Champs, the Oakland-based Golden State Warriors, a broader independent endorsement deal with top Warriors player Draymond Green, as well as a partnership agreement with star NFL wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, Julio Jones, are a major testament to how savvy LATX is when it comes to connecting with the fantasy sports gaming community. And the Jones agreement positions the company nicely for the roll out of its planned Latitude 360 locations in Alabama and Georgia.
The MLF acquisition makes Latitude 360 the first such operation to offer customers live, in-venue fantasy sports books, and the platform put together by MLF is sure to continue successfully winning over new players in the same manner that it has been. With a player base that more than tripled over May and June this year on the strength of tight social integration and a finely-crafted overall user experience, MLF is reckoned by many to be second to none in the space today.
This newest feature is but the latest attraction to find itself among Latitude 360’s “360 Experience” suite of offerings, available at the company’s award-winning multi-dimensional entertainment eateries. A suite of offerings which runs the gamut from full service dine-in movies and upscale casual dining with a full bar, to ultra-modern bowling lanes and ticket redemption interactive gaming. Also among the entertainment options at Latitude 360 are live local comedy acts, music and DJ’s, as well as luxury cigar lounges, a Las Vegas-style live entertainment theatre, and now the 360 Fantasy LIVE fantasy sports book.
360 Fantasy LIVE is a superb addition to an already compelling broad-spectrum entertainment venue approach, as it dovetails exceptionally well with the existing amenities, such as the numerous HD screens available in the bar areas, and the state-of-the-art HD Sports Theater, where fans can follow the latest action while enjoying full service dining options.
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