Recent media reports have heralded the rise of the next arena of investment for big media companies: Fantasy sports. Media behemoths such as Disney, Fox, and Time Warner are earmarking millions of dollars to build equity stakes in the burgeoning daily fantasy sports industry, with growing competitors such as DraftKings and FanDuel now valued at over $1 billion each.

Given these significant big-media investments, Resonate took a closer look at the 18.9 million U.S. adults (78% of whom are male) who play fantasy sports regularly. In a nutshell:


Yes, fantasy sports fans are predominantly male (78%)—but nearly one in four (22%) are female. And while they skew younger—42 percent are under 34—nearly a third (29%) are 45 or older. They’re also a surprisingly affluent group, with a third (32%) earning over $100,000 in household income.


Fantasy sports players spend a lot of time in front of the TV or tablet consuming live sports broadcasts—but they fancy themselves as “athletes” too, over-indexing on a wide variety of athletic and fitness-related activities including team and solo sports and regular exercise. They value athletic accomplishments in their daily routine and having an active lifestyle.


Fantasy sports fans seek out products that are Fun/Exciting(136 index), Popular (142), and Innovative (135); nearly half (46%) are also early tech adopters. But they also have a practical side, with the majority valuing products that are cost-effective, high quality, and dependable.


The need of this audience for external validation extends far beyond domination of their fantasy sports leagues. In their personal lives, they’re also driven by extrinsic values, seeking Social/Professional status (159 index), Sexual Relationships (144), and Peer Recognition (132). And Pride heavily influences their product purchases in categories including Automobiles, Banks, Restaurants, and Travel.

Media companies and advertisers who hope to connect with this audience should look beyond the stereotype of the young male couch potatoes and focus on their underlying values and motivations. Content that reflects their active, engaged, and status-driven lives can build relationships that last well beyond the latest pro sports season.