Magazine article USA TODAY

Friendship and Fun Are the Lures

Magazine article USA TODAY

Friendship and Fun Are the Lures

Article excerpt

Sports fantasy leagues have emerged as a popular marketing tool for professional sports teams and the media organizations that provide team coverage. Ever wonder who is playing and why they play? In a survey conducted by the Sports and Entertainment Academy in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, these questions and others were answered by students and executives aged 25 to 35 in the sports and entertainment industry. Many renewed their interest in football fantasy leagues with the beginning of the professional football season in September.

The survey found that 80% of respondents participated in fantasy football leagues in the last two years, outdistancing the closest pursuers, baseball and golf online games, which had less than 40% participation. More than half of the respondents participated in two different fantasy sports in the last two years.

"Reasons for participating in fantasy sports leagues were headed by promoting camaraderie and friendship, such as sharing time and experiences and having something to talk about with friends and co-workers, including `talking smack,' a phrase frequently used by respondents," notes Thomas Bowers, co-director of the Sports and Entertainment Academy. …

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