Besides shaking up the ultra-competitive, and fast-growing, world of daily fantasy sports, Yahoo’s move represents the first mainstream US company to venture into real-money online gambling.
Despite their failings as a search engine (they currently hold less than 10% market share) Yahoo! is actually something of a power house in the world of sports. Both Yahoo! Sports and Yahoo! Fantasy are a couple of the only bright spots on the company’s roster.
In a statement to the New York Times, Yahoo!’s Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt said daily fantasy are what the people want:
We try to use the sports fans as a compass. We’re focused on what do sports fans want and how do we delight them.
And if Yahoo! happens to profit from entry fees and advertising in the process, that’s just icing on the cake.
Yahoo!’s entry into the real-money daily fantasy sports market isn’t likely to be praised by the industry’s two current biggest players; DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies are currently valued at over $ 1 billion and are in a desperate race to secure new players and establish themselves as the top dog in the only legal way to wager on sports in America.
No matter which daily fantasy sports site comes out on top, the real winner in this market will likely be the NFL. America’s dominant sports league has benefited tremendously from the country’s estimated 50 million fantasy football players. With the rise of daily fantasy sports, the league can potentially see new profit streams from selling data to fantasy sites; new eyeballs on their products; and a slew of new promotions.
In short, Yahoo!’s entry into the daily fantasy sports is a major boost both for Yahoo! and the entire fantasy sports industry.
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