Indian Gaming Magazine - April 2014
According to industry analyst IBISWorld, the fantasy sports industry growth from 2007-2012 has averaged 12% annually, with the NFL accounting for more than 36% of play. And it shows no sign of slowing with an annual growth of 8.8% forecast over the next five years. That means fantasy is projected to be a $4 billion business by 2017.
From 2007-2011, the marketgrew over 60% and included one in five males by 2011. In 2013, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) estimated that their market included 33 million adult Americans. College educated, full-time employees are more likely to take part in fantasy sports than their less educated and less employed counterparts. Nearly two in ten (18%) have recently played fantasy sports vs. one in ten of the non-college educated population.
It’s estimated that 25% of the fantasy sports players are women, but they only represent 10% of spending. This presents another opportunity. “Fantasy sports providers that find a way to cater to this growing but underspending demographic will be well situated,” IBISWorld analysts wrote in a recent report.
How can a casino participate with this growing and profitable trend, especially since other forms of legalized sports betting aren’t available? Seneca Casinos in Niagara Falls, Salamanca and Buffalo in western New York wanted to capitalize on this increasingly popular activity and opted to incorporate a fantasy sports experience for players in partnership with Database Dynamics, an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association, that provides support for fantasy sports games and other interactive promotions at dozens of casinos throughout the U.S.
Database Dynamics worked with Seneca Casinos to identify strategic locations for customized interactive kiosks and mobile interfaces throughout the casino to make it easy for clients to access them. It was free to play and guests competed to win a share of cash and prizes in the $175,000 All-Star Fantasy Football Challenge. At the end of 17 weeks at each property, those with the top five scores received cash and free slot play credits ranging from $200 to $1,500. The top three scores for the entire season (consolidated by property) won $15,000, $7,500 and $5,000 respectively, in cash and free slot play credits.
“We are always looking for ways to differentiate our casinos and to enhance the experience of our guests,” explained Greg Bechkos, V.P. of Marketing for Seneca Gaming Corporation. “However, there were so many additional benefits to the casino from this program.”
“Database Dynamics was excited to team up with Seneca Casinos and to bring their players the best free game available anywhere,” said Database Dynamics CEO Wayne Schonfield. “The great thing about this program is that anyone can win, regardless of whether that person is a novice or a sports fanatic.”
In addition to providing an easy and entertaining option for men and women, the program from Database Dynamics allows client casinos an opportunity to attract new customer segments,capture updated email addresses and cell phone numbers, generate qualified leads, increase exposure to other casino activities and create marketing opportunities for other goods and services. For Seneca Casinos, this part of the program yielded results that far exceeded their expectations.
“Over the 17-week program, we captured tens of thousands of email addresses to update or add to our database,” added Greg. “That made it possible to cross promote other programs and events. The overall reception to the program was very positive and we are looking forward to incorporating it into our marketing and programming plans for the 2014 football season as well.”
Many guests enjoyed playing multiple times, with more than 7,000 playing at least 5 times, and 100 guests who played an astounding 90 times each. To play, guests entered one of 10 player choices for each of eight positions: quarterback, running back #1, running back #2, wide receiver #1, wide receiver #2, tight end, kicker and defense. For any or all of the positions, guests can also select a “quick pick” option for a random player. Points are earned on a variety of factors, such as touchdowns and yardage gained. Top scores were posted each Tuesday on the kiosks and the Seneca Casinos Facebook page, helping to drive traffic and increase guest engagement.