As Time Goes By: Deciphering the Fantasy Sport Playing Teenager

Brody J. Ruihley
Andrew C. Billings
Coral Rae

Fantasy sport now involves over 41 million Americans (Fantasy Sport Trade Association, 2014). Past research has identified reasons why adults are motivated to participate; yet little research has focused upon why younger participants—a key demographic for the growth of the industry—are participating. Utilizing 1,360 online questionnaires pertaining to player’s demographics, habits, consumption, and motivations, comparisons were made between the 12-19 year-old demographic and other older age groups. Teen motivations for participation varied considerably from other age demographics, as this younger group was more inclined to play for reasons of ownership and passing time while frequently being less likely to participate for more social reasons, such as camaraderie and keeping in touch with others. Friends were the main teen influencers for starting and continuing participation, sports media consumption was significantly lower for teens, and overall satisfaction with the activity was significantly lower for teens than all other groups.