Why fantasy football is so hellaciously pervasive right now

For anyone who isn’t yet completely fed up with EVERYTHING THIS WEEK BEING BROUGHT TO YOU BY DRAFTKINGS, get ready for a whole lot more: looks like they’re buying a quarter billion dollars worth of ads over the next two years. Awesome! I didn’t think it was possible to miss ads for pickup trucks and credit cards, but hey. It’s a brave new world.

I don’t want to go into a long post about fantasy sports – I’m not a part of any leagues, and my last venture into sports betting saw me wager and then lose a bunch of beer that I have yet to pay out to its rightful owners. But there is something really, really powerful about the combination of Fantasy Sports + Social Media that took me a while to figure out. Rotisserie Leagues have been around for a while, and it makes sense that the internet + social would help them spread and grow. But the combined effect hasn’t been additive: it’s been absolutely explosive.

And here’s why:

fantasy sports

Fantasy sports aren’t exploding in popularity because people suddenly like sports a whole lot more. It’s blowing up because fantasy sports are a solution to one of the great dilemmas of social media. Social media is at its best when everyone is talking about the same thing (which Live Sports certainly has covered), but users at the end of the day are most interested in blabbing about themselves. Fantasy Sports is the holy grail that solves that dilemma.

Related: if anyone can think of other companies, topics, industries etc that also fit this bill, please let me know in the comments because I’d love to hear about them. Unless they’re brought to me by Draftkings. Then no.


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