Fantasy sports have witnessed a boom over the past two decades. Amid growth in players (at least 33 million Americans played fantasy sports in 2013) and revenues (estimated at more than $2 billion in 2013 alone), one only need look at the influence of football as the primary instigator. Forbes estimated that nearly 75% of the pie is a result of the NFL and the introductions of more websites, publications, and TV channels are just a few of the reasons to point to football as America’s sport.
But right behind the NFL in the American consciousness is NCAA football. Growing in popularity right alongside the NFL, the NCAA sees some 100 million fans attend games each year. Yet the percentage of college football fans that play fantasy college football pales in comparison. That’s why Daniel Hour’s project is so fascinating.
Hour, formerly of the athletic departments at the University of Washington and UCLA, has created a fantasy college football game to disrupt the current model. He recognized that the loyalty of a fan’s alma mater or favorite college team is much stronger than most professional team loyalties. So the professional leagues’ player selection model needed to be different, with as much opportunity to avoid rostering rival schools’ players. In response to that understanding, Hour created a game that would allow fans to select players from their favorite school only, a new and innovative approach to fantasy sports that capitalized on the passion of college football.
Knowing that fantasy sports have grown in digital presence, Hour’s company, called HOMR Sports, went live last week through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr). HOMR Sports is currently in private beta but fans and future players can sign-up at www.HOMRsports.com for free.
HOMR Sports is positioned to fill a huge void in the current fantasy sports market space. Hour’s research has indicated that strong influencers within personal networks are especially powerful in fantasy sports, as these influencers are often the commissioners that recruit their friends to join their leagues. With the combination of their social network presence and word-of-mouth referrals, Hour knows there’s still a long way to go, but is excited by the early feedback.