Monday, January 18, 2010

A New Fantasy

Casual hobbies rarely develop into two billion-dollar potential industries. However, when this growth takes place over just 25 years and relies on many free services, it is even more remarkable. What on earth could I be talking about? This industry that has influenced and on occasion messed up the lives of many, many individuals is the industry of fantasy sports. I know I've written about my obsession with fantasy baseball prior to this, but an article I read on CNN International brought this issue to my mind once again. (

This article states that 26,000,000 Americans play some form of fantasy sports in one year. According to the U.S. Census, there are just over 304,000,000 people in the United States. Therefore, by crunching these numbers, almost 9% of Americans of all ages play some fantasy sport. This article highlights the fact that this industry is going to attempt to branch into the world market through utilizing the international passion for soccer. I think this is a great idea; I wish this had been done earlier. I think that if this trend can catch on and prove to be profitable, it will perhaps encourage American companies, such as ESPN, to attempt to sell international soccer to Americans. I don't mean to insult Major League Soccer, but I would like to be able to watch and be aware of the higher quality soccer that is around the globe. Given the intense observation that fantasy sports require, any Americans that would play fantasy soccer would demand greater coverage through American media outlets.

I hope this phenomenon extends to soccer, and I hope this extension occurs in America as well as around the world. Soccer is a great sport, but I feel that many highly skilled soccer players get their maximum media coverage in high school by the hometown newspaper simply because soccer has for some reason not grabbed the prominent position it has in the rest of the world.

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