Tag Archives: Fantasy Sports

Zaheer Khan roped in as brand ambassador of BalleBaazi.com

BalleBaazi.com’s saga with the 2011 World Cup heroes continues as the brand, known for offering the best sports gaming experience has roped in one of the greatest bowlers to have played for Team India, Zaheer Khan as their brand ambassador.

Earlier the brand was endorsed by the Man of the Tournament in World Cup 2011, Yuvraj Singh.

The Padma Shri and Arjuna award recipient will spearhead the company’s campaigns and special tournaments, exhibiting the skills required for playing and excelling in online fantasy sports.

The wily fast bowler Zaheer Khan kick-starts his association with BalleBaazi.com with their upcoming national-level championship series for cricket fans. While the series and its campaign will be revealed soon, the cricket enthusiasts can expect it to be one of India’s biggest championship series they have ever participated in.

It will be yet another never-seen-before concept, to be hosted on BalleBaazi.com, for the cricketing fans to showcase their talent in one of the most popular games of skill and go for glory!

Welcoming Zaheer Khan as their new brand ambassador, Saurabh Chopra, CEO of BalleBaazi.com said: “Mr. Zaheer Khan personifies the skill and dedication, which blends well with our vision. We believe the hallmark for achieving success at anything, one needs to have an idol who has been known to do that, time and again. Through this association, we want Zaheer to play that role for our users.”

“Zaheer has been at the forefront of India’s transformation into a world-class cricket team and we are hopeful that under his representation, BalleBaazi.com will revolutionize the OFS industry,” he added.

Acknowledging the association, the left arm fast-medium bowler Zaheer Khan said: “I am excited to be representing BalleBaazi.com. It is interesting to see how skill- based games like Fantasy sports in India have grown in the last five years. It is an absolute pleasure to acknowledge that the sports fans today, have turned from being just a spectator to a decision-maker basis their understanding and knowledge of the games. The segment overall has altered many misconceptions and emerged as an engaging sport gaming format.”

“Happy to be a part of this popular and growing fantasy platform that glorifies and celebrates every sports in India with its unique take towards the segment,” he added.

BalleBaazi.com has created waves around the fantasy gaming industry by providing the best sports gaming experience and a level-playing field for enthusiasts alike. They recently launched an industry-first Player Intelligence feature which allows users to have access to a plethora of in-depth information while making their teams such as venue-specific performance history, fantasy point break-up, players’ form, and batting position, alongside specialization feature that detects the strength of an all-rounder. With new additions and initiatives, BalleBaazi.com is setting new benchmarks and making fantasy sports more interactive and exciting for the fans.

BalleBaazi.com, the fantasy sports gaming vertical of Baazi Games, is India’s best sports gaming experience platform. Sports fans with their knowledge of the game can win real cash by playing on the application. Started in 2018, the platform has attracted over 8 million+ players with its innovative features and formats in the OFS industry.

Dangal Games to venture into fantasy gaming with start of IPL 2021

Ahead of the start of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, online gaming company Dangal Games has decided to venture into fantasy gaming with the launch of FantasyDangal platform.

Founded by Varun Mahna, Varun Puri, Shashwat Jain, Karan Gandhi and Manan Sobti in 2017, Xeta Networks Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of Dangal Games, operates rummy and poker platforms – RummyDangal and PokerDangal.

The FantasyDangal application will go live on April 9.

“FantasyDangal is our first product outside the card game space so we are excited about how it does. We will begin with cricket and in the next quarter we will add rest of the games. Unlike poker or rummy, fantasy sports caters to the masses so there is no dearth of opportunities to create a huge user base despite being an intensely competitive industry,” said Varun Mahna, founder and CEO, Dangal Games.

Dangal Games, that recently secured 1 million US dollar in ‘Series A’ funding from a strategic investor, is aiming to expand into tier I, II and III cities and towns.

“We are aiming to reach 1 million userbase on FantasyDangal within six months period and five million overall userbase across all the three platforms in the next 12 months,“ said Mahna.

Also, the firm will release a marketing campaign across digital platforms to acquire users on FantasyDangal.

Fantasy sports is pure sports engagement: Report

IndiaTech.Org (TSIA), a non-profit organization focused on building the world’s largest internet commerce ecosystem, has unveiled the findings of its white paper –  ‘Online Fantasy Sports: Adding Value to the Indian Sporting Ecosystem’.

The paper brings to light the playing pattern of OFS users, the current regulatory landscape, misplaced perceptions plaguing the industry and the positive impact of the industry on Indian sports and the overall economy, states a Press release.

The study finds that 80% of the online fantasy sports (OFS) users prefer participating in the ‘free-to-play’ format and 98% of the 20% who ‘pay-to-play’, have either won or lost less than ₹10,000 net in their lifetime (past 3 to 4 years).

This reinforces the fact that fantasy sports are a competitive digital sports engagement platform and clearly not in the nature of addiction. The average ticket size of the participation in the pay-to-play format is usually as low as ₹35/- (typically the cost of a snack). It is explicit that Fantasy sports are unlike all forms of online games that do not need a real-life player to be actually playing a real sports match to decide the outcome for the participant.

The very fact that it is dependent on actualities, seasonality and availability of real-time sports matches makes it a non-addictive form of play which sets it distinctly apart from online games that are commonly perceived to be in the nature of gambling and/or betting.

The format of fantasy sports ensures that sports enthusiasts follow the game more keenly and this directly results in increased focus and attention towards sports. This contributes to increased viewership and higher sports fan engagement that naturally contributes to more qualitative investments, up-gradation and packaging of these sports making them more viable and remunerative to the players of that sport.

The report highlights the following facts:

  • The dependency of OFS on actualities, seasonality and availability of real-time sports matches makes it a non-addictive form of play
  • 98% of the 20% fantasy sports users, participating who pay-to-play format, have either won or lost less than INR 10,000 net in their lifetime
  • The average ticket size of participation in the ‘pay-to-play’ format is as low as ₹35/-
  • Fantasy Sports has become one of the primary sources of sports entertainment
  • Increased viewership and higher sports fan engagement is positively supporting the sporting ecosystem

Commenting on the need to safeguard the interest of sports enthusiasts in India, Rameesh Kailasam, CEO, IndiaTech said, “In the last few years, fantasy sports has certainly become a potential sector that has performed exceptionally well and boosted the consumption of sports in India. As a legally approved format of sports fan engagement, the industry is self-regulating to protect the users and operators through FIFS. There are multiple perception issues the industry has to overcome to reach its full potential as a non-addictive and skill-based platform.”

Fantasy Sports as a sector is represented by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), a self-regulatory body incepted in 2017. FIFS has a defined Charter which outlines a framework within which the industry must function. Self-regulation has so far proven adequate for the industry and the focus shall be towards ensuring that the effectiveness of self-regulation continues with government recognition, as more players add to the ecosystem.

Other key findings:

  1. 80% of the active users are playing Online Fantasy Sports for free
  2. 20% engage in a pay-to-play format and the average ticket sizes are as low as INR 35/- which is the typical cost of a snack
  3. 20% of users who participated in the pay-to-play format of fantasy sports have either won or lost less than INR 10,000 net in their lifetime (past 3 to 4 years)
  4. It is explicit that fantasy sports are not like any other form of online gaming. The very fact that it is dependent on actualities, seasonality and availability of real-time sports matches makes it a non-addictive form of play which sets it distinctly apart from other forms of gaming that are perceived to be in the nature of gambling and/or betting
  5. The most active set of fantasy sports users lie in the age group of 25 to 40 years of age who treat fantasy sports as a means of online entertainment
  6. OFS is a game of skill where a player needs to constantly learn, practice and refine skills to be able to perform in a contest
  7. The income tax outlay due to direct employment by Online Fantasy Platforms and operators in FY 2019 amounted to INR 43 cr, which doubled to INR 81 cr by FY 2020
  8. Fantasy sports as an industry has attracted significant amounts of FDI in India. In 2018 and 2019, the industry attracted FDI of INR 1,500 cr (approx.) and has been growing exponentially.

CLICK HERE to access the full report.

‘Fantasy sports team selection needs more skill than mutual fund management’

This report will defy the notion that fantasy sports is pure gambling. The researchers have concluded that picking a fantasy team acquires a higher set to skill that the mutual fund managers.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Columbia University have published a joint academic study titled ‘Is It Luck or Skill?’.

The study applies tests to data obtained from fantasy sports platforms for cricket and basketball for the period between 2013 and 2016; and various Mutual Funds between 2005 and 2018. The study conclusively demonstrates that luck plays a bigger role in the success of a mutual fund manager compared to that of a fantasy sports player, states a Press release.

The study included over 16 million data points collected over 4 years.

The rigorous data-driven study, undertaken by the researchers at MIT and Columbia University, used a robust statistical framework for evaluating the hypothesis of luck and applies a novel test that addresses the question of whether fantasy sports is a game of skill or luck.

The study was performed by Prof. Vishal Misra, Columbia University along with MIT’s Prof Devavrat Shah and Dr Sudarsan VS. Ranganathan.

The research study quantified the degree to which fantasy sports and mutual funds relatively exhibit a predominance of skill

Data as provided by Dream11 for this study strongly indicated a predominance of skill, in that luck may have more role to play in Mutual Fund Management than that in Team Selection in Fantasy Sports format as offered by Dream11 since the variance in skill is higher in Fantasy Sports than that in Mutual Fund Management.

Dream11’s fantasy cricket data indicates a skill predominance by a factor of 10, while the mutual fund data indicates skill predominance by a factor of 3

The hypothesis of luck playing a role in the fantasy sports team selection is overwhelmingly rejected. In particular, the data present strong evidence that the outcomes of fantasy sports (cricket and basketball) administered by the Fantasy Sports operators, like Dream11, are not driven by pure luck and skill has a predominant role to play

The number of users in Dream11’s fantasy sport, with predominant skill, is at least 9-time higher compared to that if skill had no role to play

Talking about the study, Vishal Misra, Professor in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Departments at Columbia University, said, “Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) is a rapidly growing industry, especially in India. Time and again the OFS industry has presented a challenge for the regulatory bodies across the globe: do they represent gambling or games of skill? Our mission was to address this question scientifically and devise a technique that can answer this question rigorously.

“Our analysis included data sets from Fantasy Sports as well as a vocation that requires significant analysis and research, Stock Market – Mutual Funds. Based on our comprehensive research with a data set containing millions of events, it is safe to say that picking a team for fantasy sports requires a significant amount of skill and the variations in skill levels of Fantasy Players exceed that of the Mutual Fund Managers we analyzed.”

Prof Devavrat Shah, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Decision as well as Director of Statistics and Data Science at MIT, said, “The question of whether skill has a role to play in fantasy sports presented us with an opportunity to address age-old questions by developing novel mathematically grounded data-driven test: the failure of the test, as it happens to be the case data observed on Dream11 platform, undeniably establishes that their skill has significant enough role to play in the outcomes.

“Indeed, it makes sense to check whether mutual funds, which are traditionally considered to be driven by skill, do manage to fail such a test. But the intensity of failure in the context of Dream11, for example, is much more significant. That is, we are way more confident about the role of skill in the outcome of Dream11 compared to the performance of mutual funds!”

A similar study was undertaken by Dr. U Dinesh Kumar, Professor, Decision Sciences, IIM Bangalore in 2019 which, through a detailed analysis of the data set with sufficient evidence, established that Dream11’s format of fantasy sports is skill dominant.

The inferences indicated that player selection has a huge influence on achieving high scores, therefore establishing that performance on the Dream11 platform is skill dominant. The students at IIM Bangalore also go through this unique case-study as a part of their curriculum.

This case has been published in the Harvard Business Review and is available in 75 countries across more than 410 universities.