The days are past when fantasy sports fans had to buy various print editions such as magazines and newspapers and select their fantasy teams by calling a dedicated phone number and entering a special code for each player. Just imagine how time-consuming this process was! The internet and smart devices, together with fantasy sports app development, have changed the game forever.
In this article, we’ll explain the peculiarities of fantasy sports software and provide a series of valuable tips to help you to organize the process of building a fantasy application in the most feasible way.
What is a fantasy sports app?
Let’s begin with some general information about fantasy sports. These interactive games involve players in creating virtual teams of athletes that have real-life prototypes. After real competitions, and based on the real-life performance of the athletes, fantasy teams win points. In other words, the challenge for players is to assemble fantasy teams of the best athletes they think will demonstrate the highest performance in real competitions. There are various contests and rankings in fantasy sports that motivate players to carefully choose athletes for their teams.
To win in such tournaments and championships, it’s not enough to rely on pure luck. It’s crucial to get a good understanding of the skills and potential of various athletes and apply critical and analytical thinking. From this perspective, these types of games have a lot in common with sports betting. But they certainly offer a little bit more real competition vibe and are not fully focused on the financial aspect.
Today, with a fantasy sports mobile app or a web solution, everything is quite simple. It’s possible to create a virtual team just in a few clicks, while all fantasy points will be calculated and allocated automatically. Contrast that with the first prototypes of fantasy sports games, which were introduced in the late 19th and early 20th century and required a lot of manual work.
Fantasy sports app market overview
The interest in fantasy sports app development is gradually growing from the side of sports clubs, startups, and well-established companies that work in the entertainment and sports industries. According to one study, the size of the global fantasy sports market hit $25.44 billion in 2022, and the estimated figure for 2023 is $28.96 billion. If the fantasy sports industry continues expanding at the projected rates, in 2027, the market volume will grow to $40.88 billion, indicating a CAGR of over 8% within the period from 2022 to 2027.
Of course, it’s complicated to name the exact number of fantasy sports players. Nevertheless, according to some estimates, this number has crossed the mark of 60 million in Canada and the US alone.
Among the most popular fantasy sports are football, hockey, cricket, baseball, and basketball. Nevertheless, some less obvious choices like golf are also gradually gaining popularity.
The most popular types of fantasy sports apps
Though the concept of fantasy sports apps remains the same, based on a point system that reflects the real performance of athletes, apps can be divided into several categories.
Weekly or daily games
In real life, sports events do not take place every day or even every week. Nevertheless, some apps allow users to make their bids regularly, without any direct dependence on the real matches and their schedule.
Fantasy games based on real matches
These apps by their nature are similar to sport betting solutions, which fully depend on matches and games organized in real life. In other words, users can create their fantasy teams directly for the chosen real event.
Season-long fantasy sports
Such apps allow users to enjoy the game throughout the entire sports season, as they are linked directly to season fantasy sports.
Applications from this category are tied to major sports leagues such as the NFL, Premier League, NBA, and others.
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Benefits of fantasy sports app development
Our company has rich expertise in sports app development, and to keep our leading position in this domain, we closely monitor the market and analyze all the latest trends, demands, and expectations of users. Based on the results of our observations, we can say that the popularity of fantasy sports app development is gradually climbing, boosted by the expanding audience of fantasy sports lovers and all the benefits that sports leagues and clubs can enjoy.
Let’s have a look at the major factors that can explain this trend:
- Enhanced engagement. Fantasy games allow sports fans to feel a closer connection with real sports players and clubs. They need to assemble and manage their virtual teams, but to do it effectively they need to have enough information about real athletes and their performance.
- Higher visibility and community building. This benefit is related to the previous one. While sports fans playing fantasy games need to better monitor the results of players, teams and leagues, clubs become more transparent and have an excellent opportunity to organize strong communities of fans around them.
- Additional revenue stream. Without doubt, when a sports team or a company wants to build a fantasy sports solution, it will need to invest in web or mobile app development. But there are numerous options to monetize such an app. And we will consider some of them further in this article.
- Data collection. The launch of a fantasy sports app will allow you to learn more about fans who use it. You can find out not only their age, gender, or place of living but also their preferences and interests. And this info can be used for improving your offers, which will have a positive impact on their experiences.
- Better brand recognition and media coverage. A fantasy sports app can also function as a marketing tool, allowing you to reach a wide audience and let people know not only about the app itself but also about your team or business. Moreover, it is an excellent way to attract attention from media, who may have a desire to tell their readers about your product.
Key features of a fantasy sports app
For your convenience, we’ve split all the required features into several groups.
Features for users
- Login and registration
- Personal profile
- Team draft functionality
- Player cards
- List of competitions and game schedule
- Leader board
- Social media integration
Features for admins
- Game, user, and player management
- Reporting functionality
- Ad management
- Earnings management
- AI-powered recommendations. Your app can analyze the interests of users and offer them personalized content recommendations or send invitations for various events in accordance with their preferences.
- Chatbot. This functionality can greatly enhance the user experience by providing various tips and valuable information, 24/7.
- VR. You can build special VR environments for users to spend time with other users from different corners of the world.
Steps in fantasy sports app development
The process of building a fantasy football app or any other fantasy sports solution always includes several stages and, importantly, an extensive pre-development stage that requires detailed planning and market research.
Step 1: Study the market
You need to understand what solutions are already available to users, what is good about them, and what they lack. It is vital to analyze what your target audience expects to get and how you can satisfy their demands.
Step 2: Decide on the monetization strategy
From the very beginning, you need to know how you will earn money on your application.
Step 3: Choose the platform your app will be compatible with
Will it be a web solution or a fantasy sports mobile app? Or do you want to offer an application for both?
Step 4: Find good fantasy sports app developers
If you don’t have in-house developers with the relevant skills, you need to find a reliable company that offers development services. Given the growing number of players in this market, you must be very attentive to find a partner able to create a solution that will meet your expectations.
Step 5: Design and build your fantasy gaming app
This step of the fantasy sports app development process includes a lot of coding and other technical work. It will be the responsibility of your developers, but you can closely monitor the process with a view to having the opportunity to introduce possible changes when it’s not too complicated to do so.
Step 6: Test your app and get ready for its release
Before the first users get familiarized with your solution, it is vital to make sure that it works just as it is supposed to. All bugs should be fixed at the stage of testing. It’s vital to think through the correct marketing and positioning of your solution, as well as the appropriate advertising.
How to make money on a fantasy sports app
When you launch a software product, it’s crucial to understand how it will earn money. With fantasy sports applications, there are several monetization strategies worth considering.
- Advertising. This is probably the best-known way of monetizing any type of app. But be careful; don’t make ads too annoying, as they can greatly spoil the user experience.
- Download fee. Though this monetization approach seems clear and simple, think twice before choosing it, as it can greatly limit your target audience. Don’t forget that not all users are ready to pay for app installation.
- Premium features. You can offer standard functionality and premium features (such as AI-powered analytics or predictions). Moreover, you can introduce a set fee for switching off advertising.
- Entry fee. You can include one-time fees for entering a tournament, championship, or league.
- Merchandise. It is also possible to create and sell various items with your app or league logo, such as hats, backpacks, or T-shirts.
- Sports betting. You can introduce a gambling feature to allow users to make bets on the results of fantasy sports competitions.
Our experience in sports app development
Our portfolio includes numerous successfully launched solutions developed for different industries, the sports industry among them. We strongly believe that real projects can tell you much more than our words about our skills, knowledge, and expertise. That’s why we’d like to mention a couple of examples of our work.
One of the solutions is a mobile app with official golf rules. Our experts built it fully from scratch. The app includes all the detailed rules that regulate the game and provides clear answers to all the disputable questions players may have out on the course. The app is regularly updated in accordance with changes introduced to the official rules. Today this application is actively used by members of the United States Golf Association and many golf clubs and academies.
The second example of a sports app development project is a solution created by us for the UK-based Chelsea FC. It is the official Chelsea FC Hospitality application, targeted at fans who visit the stadium to watch games. The solution provides a travel assistance feature, a hospitality guide, a game timetable, exclusive offers, weather forecasts, and the latest club updates. All this is intended to enhance the fan experience. The application has been downloaded by thousands of satisfied users who regularly attend Stamford Bridge.
The main idea behind fantasy sports app development is to provide users with a solution that allows them to feel the real vibe of competition and makes their experience as engaging and captivating as possible. Such apps let companies and sports clubs reach a very wide audience. At the moment, there are no factors indicating a decline in the popularity of such solutions.
If you are considering launching such a solution and are looking for a reliable team to become your software development partner, at Cogniteq, we will always be happy to work with you! Just contact us to discuss the details of our potential cooperation.
How to make a fantasy sports app?
The process of fantasy sports app development doesn’t seriously differ from the process of building any other type of software. Everything begins with an idea, market analysis, and a search for a reliable development team that will guide you through this journey and perform all technical tasks, including design, coding, testing, and project launch.
How much does it cost to develop a fantasy gaming app?
The cost of fantasy sports app development will depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the exact functionality of the app, advanced features (for example, you may decide to add AI-powered analytics tool), the size of a team required to build it, and the deadlines you want to set. If you choose Cogniteq as your development team, after analyzing your idea, we’ll provide you with preliminary estimates that will help you plan your budget allocation.
How much time does it take to build a fantasy sports app?
The exact time frames, as well as the required investments, are greatly affected by numerous variables, such as the complexity of your solution, the desired functionality, integrations, and other requirements. As a rule, building a fantasy sports mobile app can take several months, including testing and improvement rounds, before a final launch. Nevertheless, exact terms can be approved only at the stage of planning, after your development team analyzes the tasks that they will need to fulfill.