Fantasy football has grown exponentially in The United States since the start of the 21st century.
Though the first Fantasy leagues began as early as the 1960s, the growth in popularity did not begin to boom until the late 1990s. Fantasy football spread as more people began using the internet for entertainment purposes.
Fantasy leagues began as a light- hearted competition between part-time owners of American Football League teams and sports journalists, but now is open to anyone with access to NFL games.
Fantasy competitors usually play against their family, friends, and coworkers. Many leagues are played for the purposes of bragging rights for the winner of the league.
Many students at MCCC participate in Fantasy leagues that play for bragging rights, including James Liedel, a 19-year-old architecture student, and Nick Scheer, a sophomore accounting student.
“The winner gets bragging rights over the other guys, so there is something to actually try for,” Liedel said
Many leagues up the stakes and play for money. Travis Boggs, a second-year criminal justice student at MCCC, plays against his friends in a league with a $20 buy-in per person.
The financial growth of fantasy football is even bigger than the leagues themselves. With a following this large, companies see Fantasy football as yet another marketing opportunity.
Fantasy team owners such as Liedel and Boggs spend multiple hours every week looking over player statistics, editing their lineups, and watching the games themselves. Even these college students have time to watch 2-4 games per week while spending hours researching and tinkering with their lineups.
With an audience this large, the marketing for companies through Fantasy leagues has grown tremendously. Fantasy football is now a multi-million dollar business where companies can have direct access to a large demographic for multiple hours every week.
Fantasy football has expanded to such a large group of people over such a short period of time. The Fantasy football phenomena has taken America by storm and it does not seem to be slowing down.