The Horizon of Sports is Digital: Using Fantasy Sports, e-Sports and Electronic Gambling to Find Next Generation of Ticket Buyers

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Abstract: Over the last couple decades, large TV contracts and increased availability for media consumption have made up for this potential loss in in-stadium revenue. However, as linear TV is increasingly threatened by streaming and over-the-top (OTT) service providers, sports properties have begun investing large amount of resources into finding new audiences based in the digital environment; namely Fantasy Sports, e-Sports, and e-Gambling. This research analyzes the effectiveness of this outreach and tests the hypothesis that these three emerging fields are good investments for sports teams seeking to expand their current pool of in-stadium ticket buyers.

We present a forward-looking methodology into how teams should spend their investment resources and expand the understanding of how a new market can be targeted with precise and effective messaging. An in-depth understanding of a potential acquisition audience, before the allocation of money and resources, will only increase the likelihood of success. We believe our experiment is a first step in shedding light onto an area of investment that is difficult to quantify. Finally, we envision applications beyond the study of audiences. We’ve demonstrated the model’s ability to measure the interests of a subpopulation without the need for first party data sources. Adding additional data sources, such as purchase data, would only increase the effectiveness of this methodology and allow us to provide increased specificity in the analysis of results.

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