Can Daily Fantasy Sports Be A Success in the UK?


With the launch of Daily Fantasy in the UK, a market where gambling is already legal, could this mean that daily fantasy will struggle to break into a market that is flooded with sports betting?

There is a big difference, as daily fantasy sports offer an alternative to sports betting, and there is much more of a personal attachment and sense of accomplishment with fantasy when a person constructs their own team and backs it with their own money as opposed to simply betting on a team to win. Sean Koerner, Director of Predictive Analytics at STATS, believes this will really help the product grow in popularity in the UK, as well as other counties:

“Due to the nature of constructing a team for Daily Fantasy as opposed to betting on a line set by the sports betting market, a user actually has more control over their outcome when playing Daily Fantasy. This is why it is still considered a game of ‘skill’ as opposed to ‘gambling’. It’s true that any given night anything can happen, but over the long-run the more experienced players tend to win more times than not, which is very appealing to people that are experts in a particular sport.”

For fans of accumulators, Daily Fantasy will certainly have appeal as an alternative to betting. Accumulators require more luck with each additional selection to the bet, but could turn a small amount of money into a large prize, in some ways mirroring the Daily Fantasy model potential. Furthermore, the current market trends suggest a hunger for fantasy in the UK. Season-long fantasy is already growing, with three million people playing the Premier League’s fantasy product alone and 8.5 million season-long fantasy players in total. Corey Schwartz, analyst and daily fantasy sports expert, highlights the appeal of daily fantasy over traditional fantasy games.

“Part of the appeal of daily fantasy sports versus season-long fantasy is the ability to commit just as much time as you want, on your own schedule. If you’re going on vacation, planning a wedding, etc, you can simply choose not to play on certain days. In season-long you can be ‘stuck’ with an underperforming team, DFS gives you a brand new opportunity every day or week.”

Of course, as Daily Fantasy increases in popularity in the UK, the industry as a whole will grow as fans search for information to fuel their decisions. This will give media companies in Great Britain the opportunity to enter the fantasy landscape with content, much like is already done with betting. Daily fantasy sports’ export to the United Kingdom offers great potential, for both players of the game and the media alike.

New to Daily Fantasy Sports? Download our ebook ‘An Introduction to Daily Fantasy Sports’ here, and Sean Koerner and Corey Schwartz will be hosting a DFS webinar on March 8th, which you can sign up to here.

Take Advantage of STATS for Euro 2016


The UEFA European Championship is Europe’s biggest sporting event and one of the biggest in the world of sport, and Euro 2016 will be no different. With data feeds, hosted solutions and second screen experiences, STATS has all the solutions you need to provide coverage that excites and engages your football audience.

The success of Euro 2012 was reflected by extraordinary television and digital media audiences around the globe, as UEFA described the figures as stunning. The European football organising body reported that Spain’s 4-0 victory over Italy in the European Championship final attracted an official television audience of 299 million viewers worldwide, up from the 237 million for the final of Euro 2008. England vs Italy is believed to have boasted the highest quarter-final audience in the history of the European Championships, with viewership peaking in England, Italy, Germany and Poland for their respective team’s matches. Yet interest was also piqued across the pond, as Euro 2012 audiences on ESPN in the United States averaged above 1 million viewers, as the group stage audience increased by 82% from Euro 2008, and ESPN Deportes saw a 142% increase on the equivalent stage of Euro 2008.

There was huge interest online too. At its peak there were seven tweets per second using #EURO2012, and more than 15,000 tweets per second were recorded by Twitter when Spain scored its fourth goal, which set a then-new record for a sporting event. According to Bobby McMahon for Forbes, ESPN scored big with their website offerings as page views averaged 3.5 million per day, an increase of 35% from four years before, and TSN’s Euro 2012 web-page attracted more than 10 million page views throughout the tournament.

The appetite for information from the general sports fan continues grow, searching for news and data on the teams they follow as well as their fantasy line-ups. STATS can power the content you need, with solutions available in a variety of easy-to-use formats from statistics to projections, and data feeds to customisable graphics. STATS’ data feeds save you time and eliminate technical integration headaches, whether you are looking for statistics, scores, standings, previews or reports for Euro 2016.

Furthermore, STATS’ Hosted Solutions seamlessly integrates all of the action from Euro 2016 into an easy-to-deploy, turnkey solution, providing your visitors with the content they desire without worrying about securing your own development resources. Customised to match the look and feel of your site within 24 hours, our flexible widgets allow for a streamlined integration with your own content. As 87% of consumers use more than one device at a time, second screen options include STATS’ MatchCast and Trackers, providing your football audience with the most complete digital experience. Engage your audience with STATS’ advanced statistics and compelling data visualisations and a variety of interactive fantasy contests.

The European Championships will dominate the European sports space this summer, with interest in the event extending around the globe. Between Euro 2016 and the Copa America, hosted in the United States at the same time, the worldwide interest in football this summer will rival figures set during a World Cup year.

Delivering Data-Powered Competitive Advantages


The STATS Player Performance-to-Value Statistic

When does sports data move beyond just the numbers and become meaningful insight that can change the way that teams are constructed and how games are won? When STATS is involved in the process, bringing a deeper data set combined with football data architects who can turn data into meaningful performance-based insight. The result is the STATS Next LVL NFL Performance Data Index, producing context-based data that: 1, provides an outcome story beyond the box score; 2, can be used to predict future performance; and 3, be tied to financial costs to provide a view to the player value he brought to the team.

How is STATS doing this to help NFL teams make better personnel decisions and win more games? We deploy three levels of data capture against each player on each play to ensure we accurately map player performance. (We do it right @gregolsen88!)

GregOlsenTwitterScreenOur football data architects understand what a chip block, protection shift, or overload blitz means to offensive line play. It is our understanding of the game coupled with the rigor in recording performance outcomes that leads to STATS data being the deepest and most accurate there is.1

That sounds impressive – but complicated. Here is an example of how we turn data into personnel decisions that win games.

The STATS Next LVL NFL Performance Data Index breaks down player and team performance to expected value for individual players playing at least 200 snaps during the 2015 season. Focusing our analysis on the 63 Offensive Tackles (OT) who qualified for our Index last year, we assess each OT through the rigorous STATS data capture process outlined above, providing us with a library of data sets to use. What should been seen as success for an OT? Simply: protect the QB on passing plays and move defenders on running plays. We combined meticulously captured and weighted data sets to create the STATS OT Performance Statistic, allowing us to quantify and order the 63 OTs based on their 2015 performance.

Yet we did not stop there. We took the median OT profile as a baseline, allowing us to contextualize every player that hit the 2015 Cap, providing a prediction on how they should have performed based on how they were paid. Taking the difference between their actual performance and their cost-predicted performance shows how each player either over or under-performed against their contract.

That is how STATS delivers performance-to-value data stories. NFL teams – and agents, fans and anyone else – now have quantifiable ways to grade General Managers on the value of the investment decisions they make.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ Andrew Whitworth graded out as the best performing Offensive Tackle in 2015. With a cap hit of $8,000,000 Whitworth should have been expected to perform at an 80.10% level per the STATS OT Performance Statistic. However, Whitworth actually performed at a 98.53% level, meaning that he over-performed in comparison to his contract while also adding $1,841,176 of value above expectation in performance to the Bengals.

Ryan Schraeder of the Atlanta Falcons had a measly $585,668 cap hit in 2015, yet he had the third best Performance Statistic among the 63 OT’s who qualified for assessment, adding an incredible $9,202,572 of performance value above expectation to the Falcons on the way to being recognized for his solid 2015 by the Associated Press and others. Schraeder is a restricted free agent this year and, at age 26, is entering his prime. NFL General Managers would therefore be wise to pursue Schraeder and should be willing to value him as an $8M+ per year asset to their team. GM’s using our Performance Statistic are equipped with a quantifiable value point in pursuing his services, a massively insightful advantage over other teams who negotiate based on the eyeball test.

Sample STATS Next LVL NFL Performance Data Index

Sample STATS Next LVL NFL Performance Data Index

The STATS Next LVL NFL Performance Data Index equips team with performance and value points for each position on the roster. That differentiating insight will enable teams to win the personnel game off the field, which in turn will allow the team to win more on the field.

Stop by and visit us at the upcoming NFL Combine if you would like to learn more about how STATS is changing the way teams are built and compete.

The STATS team will be available for meetings in the Monument Room at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis. Click here to schedule a meeting.


David Ladd is an AVP at STATS leading the Teams & Leagues practice. Prior to joining STATS David was a technology consultant building data-driven enterprise solutions for Fortune 500 companies. David works out of STATS Worldwide headquarters in Chicago and is a lifelong Chicago sports fan.

Sports Streaming: Analyzing Super Bowl 50


Much of the discussion entering Super Bowl 50 centered on quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers; however, neither Peyton Manning nor Cam Newton threw for a touchdown, as both players were intercepted once and fumbled twice, with Newton’s first fumble resulting in a Denver touchdown. The Broncos went on to win the contest 24-10 in a game that would be best described as ‘one for the purists’; however, the broadcasting figures for the event were more encouraging from the newer platform for sports viewing.

SuperBowl_Img2In total, 111.9 million people watched the broadcast on CBS in what represented a decline in viewership from the last two Super Bowls. The Broncos-Panthers contest trailed both Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, which drew a US television record 114.4 million viewers, as well as Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and Broncos (112.2 million viewers). That said, Super Bowl 50 ranks third among the most watch broadcasts in US television history, as Super Bowls occupy the top seven spots in the list.

Yet while television saw a decline in viewers, online streaming set several records, CBS has announced. The unique viewing audience rose to 3.96 million for Super Bowl 50, up from Super Bowl XLIX’s 2.5 million online viewers, an increase of over 58 percent.

Yet records didn’t stop there, as the average audience per minute, average number of minutes watching the steam per user and the total minutes of digital consumption for Super Bowl 50 all showed an increase on Super Bowl XLIX, as the increases were far from insignificant.


So while cord cutting isn’t hitting television’s viewing numbers considerably just yet, the popularity of live streaming in the US continues to grow. Whereas, it can’t exactly be considered to be a rival at this point, as the lure of the big screen with a group of friends still takes precedence over online viewing, if the cost of cable subscriptions continues to grow, the number of people cutting the cord is likely to follow suit. The NFL has known the potential of online stream following a $1 billion streaming deal with Verizon that will end after Super Bowl LI, and increasing streaming viewing figures will likely factor into the value of the renewal. Furthermore, FOX, who will broadcast next year’s Super Bowl, will likely factor in these growing number of online viewers when pricing its web advertising, albeit at a much lower cost than television advertising for the event.

Television still has the convenience factor that helps draw in viewers over live streaming, yet the percentage of people watching the Super Bowl online has increased from 2.1 percent to 3.4 percent in just a year – as almost 1.5 million additional people chose to stream the event in comparison to this time last year. It may not sound like a lot in the overall figures of people, but as cord cutting continues, streaming could very easily take over as the primary option for sports viewing in the not-to-distant future – even for the biggest events in sport.