How India’s fantasy sporting leagues grew during lockdown despite live sports going offline

May 21, 2020

CricketIndian Premier League


This year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was expected to be bigger than ever for the many online fantasy sporting leagues. But the Covid-19 pandemic and the indefinite suspension of the cricket tournament has put huge marketing and advertising plans on hold, and forced many platforms to switch tracks.

The best known of the many fantasy leagues in India is Dream XI, that has former India captain MS Dhoni as a brand ambassador, and has been an official IPL partner since 2018. The platform claims to have 70 million registered users itself, but with sport on hold, the platform went into hibernation. A spokesperson for the platform refused to comment for this article.

“Businesses like ours are heavily dependent on the availability of live sporting properties and that part of the revenue definitely has had an impact and that’s not hidden as sports globally has taken a back seat,” said Vinit Godara, CEO and co-founder of fantasy sporting league MyTeam11.

But Godara said that the inflow of users on the platform has remained steady despite the absence of sport. That’s because fantasy sporting leagues like MyTeam11, My11Circle, HalaPlay and BalleBaazi have switched to alternative means to keep users engaged like games, quizzes and old favourites like ludo and rummy.

MyTeam11 has introduced new products like MyTeam11 Quiz and MyTeamRummy which it says has ensured user growth and engagement. The quiz consists of hourly competitions in a 10-question format and requires users to pay Rs 28 and they stand to win upto Rs 100 for every correct answer. There are also Bollywood and personality quizzes.

Example, a quiz on Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has questions like ‘when did he start playing cricket’ etc.

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