Football season has arrived, bringing with it an array of fervent fantasy football fans. Just as the National Football League kicked off its 2013-2014 season last Thursday, men and women across America joined the excitement by diving into the 2013-2014 Pro Fantasy Football season. Yet, while sports bring these friends, family, and colleagues together, football season--and fantasy football leagues in particular--open up opportunities for marketers and advertisers to engage with fans, as well.To explore precisely how fantasy football fans interact with content and how their behaviors have evolved, Burst Media surveyed 731 online U.S. adults aged 18 or older, asking them if they participate in fantasy football leagues and if so, where, when, and how they access relevant information. The study also sought to explore the "second screen" phenomenon and how leaguers are supplementing their sports-related activities with smart devices and Web access. Of those polled, 15.9 percent participate in fantasy football in some fashion, with 19.2 percent of those respondents participating in at least three leagues. Other behavioral statistics highlight how mobile has become the ideal channel for up-to-date news and information:
- - More than 40 percent of fantasy football participants go online daily to check stats, rankings, and scores. Nearly 10 percent of this group goes online more than 20 times each day.
- - Of the 65 percent of participants that say home is the place they spend the most time checking their favorite online resources, 72 percent are men. More than 47 percent of these men say after 5 p.m. is when they are most likely to visit fantast football-related sites.
- - Nearly 29 percent of participants say that the fantasy football apps on their smartphone or tablet have become their primary medium for getting up-to-date news and information.
- - Of those who use smartphones and tablets in some capacity, 73.7 percent are men, with 47.7 percent using their mobile device very frequently or frequently to access related content sites, online videos, apps, and other digital media.
While smart devices have clearly gained popularity among fantasy football fans, marketers must recognize precisely how participants are employing these gadgets before adjusting their engagement techniques. Currently, apps remain the least used medium (14.3 percent) despite increasing momentum. Instead, content sites such as ESPN (27.6 percent) and blogs such as SB Nation (18.9 percent) rank as the best places for catching up on the latest news, stats, and scores. Such activity offers marketers insight into precisely how fans are interacting with content across the Web via mobile, opening new pathways for engagement throughout football season and beyond.