Online sports is big business

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SportsThe month of September featured the return of professional football and the buildup toward the Major League Baseball playoff season, and according to Nielsen, one beneficiary was the online sports industry, providing news and fantasy destinations for millions of users.


Nielsen stated, “Fantasy sports in particular have become big business since sprouting from a rotisserie, or owner simulation, game decades ago. The growth of this niche industry has also picked up momentum as technological advances in interfaces, devices and statistical data aggregation have allowed players a way to easily check scores, adjust rosters and trash talk from anywhere and on any device—that’s light years from having to hand-tabulate player stats in the years before the digital age.”

Nielsen provided a wealth of information about this massive audience, which includes 87M Americans and 36M smartphones.

Here’s a look at who is using online sports sites:

Demographic Profile of US Fantasy Sports Players
Demo Audience % 18+ index
Female 31.6 59
Male 68.4 149
18-24 17.3 163
25-34 30.7 172
35-44 25.1 129
45-54 15.6 77
55-64 7.6 45
65+ 3.8 25
HHI $25K-$49,999 22.4 95
HHI $50K-$74,999 25.9 107
HHI $75K-$99,999 16.8 96
HHI $100K+ 20.1 97
Married 50.6 91
Not married 49.1 112
No children 50.4 91
One+ children 49.6 111
African-American 12.3 105
Asian-American 4.1 121
Hispanic 14.9 118
White 74.6 96
Source: Nielsen

And now, a look at which sites are getting the most use:

Yahoo Sports Websites is #1 1.253M unique audience members, followed by ESPN Digital Network with 1.038M, FOXSports.com on MSN with 957K, MLB.com with 614K and Big Lead Sports by FSV Network with 609K.

And finally, what these users like to buy when they’re online.

Index: Product 149: Beer 157: Cell Phones/Service 118: Clothes/Shoes/Accessories 167: New Credit Card 158: Event Tickets 139: Fitness and Diet Products 160: Home Electronics 166: Insurance 184: Movie Tickets 155: Deodorant Source: Nielsen


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