Anyway, the Cricket World Cup is on, and the usual downs and less frequent ups associated with being an Indian cricket fan continue. But what's new for me this time was that I got involved in a fantasy cricket league. I've always known what fantasy leagues are, but had never joined one before. Somehow I never really though it'd be something I'd enjoy too much; almost joined a friend's NBA league once, but then got lazy...
Anyway, I ended up joining this league that a friend set up for the World Cup, and now I suddenly get it! I'm caring about matches that I would've earlier never even known had taken place. I'm checking up how I did compared to everyone else in my friend's league, even though I know it's not going to look good. I'm kicking myself for not manipulating my transfers optimally, even though I know I'm not very well informed about cricket and it's always a crapshoot. And it's all pointless anyway! However, my performance in this league is in a very, very small way affecting my day-to-day happiness... and my b-school education now tells me that has to be a big market!
So I did the MBA-techie things and Googled my way into understanding that
- 16 million fantasy sports players just in the US (most of the market is fantasy football)
- The market size for online fantasy sports in 2005 was already estimated at over a billion (dollars) a year.
- Their are strong fantasy sports organizations for businesses, fans, writers (yeah) and addicts :).
I now get something that first struck me as strange. The case we got when I participated the the Yahoo! Case competition out in Berkeley, prominently, repeatedly mentioned their fantasy sports app in with Intel. This allowed you to keep track of your fantasy sports score on your TV while you were watching games. I never really got why it was such a big deal, and why Intel kept showcasing it so prominently as well. Now I do!