Fantasy sports are a lot of fun for many people. Participants can build and manage their own teams, and the scores are based on the actual performances of the athletes. Fantasy sports can be played in person or virtually, but they started long before the Internet was widely accessible. Although fantasy sports are different today, much of the technique remains the same as it was with the original game.
The Beginning of Fantasy Sports
Fantasy sports got their start in 1962 when Bill Winkenbach and others from the Oakland Raiders met in New York to write out the basic rules for fantasy football. However, the founder of fantasy sports is considered to be Daniel Okrent, who founded Rotisserie League Baseball for a group of journalists who chose baseball papers.
Fantasy sports started to become popular in the 1980s as more journalists joined in. By the end of the decade, there were more than a million people playing. As they were able to access more statistics, the game became more popular. In fact, in 1997, RotoNews.com had more visitors than the NBA’s official website.
The Turn of the Century
By 2003, fantasy sports had gone mainstream. There were close to 15 million people playing, and professional sports leagues began to take an interest. They found that people who didn’t watch their sports were taking an interest, and they recognized a new market to expand their viewership. Most of the leagues went by seasons, with people choosing and managing teams.
The Next Level of Fantasy Sports
Through the first decade of the millennium, people continued playing season-long fantasy sports. However, as more people became involved, new gaming companies arose. They wanted to find ways to draw even more people in. One of the ways they did so was with daily fantasy sports games. In fact, in 2013, Travis Spieth won a one million dollar prize in a daily competition.
Daily fantasy sports are popular today because they are easy-to-enter contests on mobile devices. They don’t require a season-long commitment, and there are huge cash prizes. Fantasy sports is a growing industry, and it continues to draw more people each year.