White Paper

The Horizon of Sports is Digital

Using Fantasy Sports, eSports and Electronic Gambling to Find Next Generation of Ticket Buyers

Authors: Peter Lenz, Matthew Sabban and Peter Ibarra

Sports teams and leagues are constantly looking for their next-generation of ticket buyers. As we progress further into the digital age, the existing methods of converting fringe followers into ticket purchasers are losing their effectiveness. Over the last couple decades, large TV contracts and increased availability for media consumption have made up for this potential loss in in-stadium revenue. However, as linear TV is increasingly threatened by streaming and over-the-top (OTT) service providers, sports properties have begun investing large amount of resources into finding new audiences based in the digital environment; namely Fantasy Sports, e-Sports, and e-Gambling. This research analyzes the effectiveness of this outreach and tests the hypothesis that these three emerging fields are good investments for sports teams seeking to expand their current pool of in-stadium ticket buyers. We test this by overlapping samples of digital behaviors between NFL and MLB attendees with behavioral models of e-Sports enthusiasts, e-gamblers and fantasy sports players to find which are most likely to convert into purchasers of in-stadium experiences.