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#TwitterChat: Why experts see IPL as a giant leap for Fantasy Sports

After a dismal first half due to the global COID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns, brands, advertisers, consumers are looking for some rebound and recovery in the second half, riding on the dual events of the festive season and the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Incidentally, due to the delayed season both IPL and the festive season are overlapping this year, giving marketers a lot of hope for renewed consumer sentiments. With September 19 as the kickoff date for IPL, which will see Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings taking on each other in the opening match, the nation is pumped to finally see their favourite sport live on TV and digital. This year, IPL is being seen as one of the main boosters for as economy that is in decline.

One such sector that is expecting a greater pull during the IPL is Fantasy Sports. With Live sports events on a halt for a prolonged period of time due to the pandemic, even the Fantasy Sports category didn’t really see much action during the first half of the year. To take a deep dive into the realm of Fantasy Sports, Adgully’s much appreciated marquee property – #TwitterChat – turned the spotlight on ‘IPL – The Perfect Shot In The Arm For Fantasy Sports?’

The Twitter discussion took place on Friday, September 11, 2020, from 3 pm to 4 pm, with some leading industry stalwarts providing key insights on the functioning of the Fantasy Sports category during the pandemic and beyond, the boost from IPL and their expectations from the tournament.

Joining the discussion were:

Dr Ranjit Nair, CEO & Founder, Germin8 (Moderator) (@ranjitrnair) 

Deepak Gullapalli, Founder and CEO, Head Digital Works (@Fanfight_app) 

Mitesh Gangar, Co-Founder, Playerzpot (@gangarmitesh) 

Amit Purohit, Founder, Fantasy Akhada (@purohita87) 

Saurabh Jha, Founder, Playing11 (@playing11app) 

Amrit Mathur, Strategic Advisor, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (@AmritMathur1) 

Rahul Nagar, AVP - Business, Paytm First Games (@rahulnagar87)

Dr Ranjit Nair commenced the discussions by asking the panellists about the impact of IPL on Fantasy Sports.

Mitesh Gangar believed that the impact will be high. He noted, “People have started watching the fantasy space since the sponsorship announcement. The content consumption has risen in this pandemic. IPL 2020 will turn out to be a huge scaling opportunity in terms of business, visibility and adoption by new users. The event will kickstart the most awaited cricketing season for a cricketing nation like India. For a growing fantasy market, which still has time to mature, it is a big opportunity to showcase their potential as Fantasy Sports start-ups.”

Tweeting from the Fan Fight handle, Deepak Gullapalli, remarked, “IPL has always been the paladin for all fantasy players. We’ve always observed an immediate hike in numbers whenever the IPL is around the corner. The England Vs Australia series and the CPL this time have both played the perfect dress rehearsals for the mega event.” According to him, “Fantasy gets extra attention, thanks to the IPL and we think many more new users will be getting into #FantasySports. The IPL, the football leagues, NBA leagues will also take place parallelly this time. We are expecting a diverse crowd with an affinity to play all fantasy sports.”

Giving his perspective here, Amit Purohit said, “I feel the 2020 edition of #Dream11IPL will be path breaking for #FantasySports, with the Title Sponsor locked in from this category. I think the industry is all set to bridge the gap between 10 crore Fantasy Sports players and 80 crore sports views in India.”

Tweeting from the Playing11 handle, Saurabh Jha felt that with fans eagerly waiting for the IPL extravaganza to begin, Fantasy Sports will definitely benefit from it. At the same time, he cautioned that neglecting or paying less heed to other sports could prove to be fatal for these companies as they have the potential to contribute to the ever-increasing revenue bag of these companies. He further said, “Fantasy Sports in the last two to three years has seen tremendous growth and it will only see an upward trajectory in the coming years. This year, lockdown and COVID-19 played spoilsport for every major sporting events.”

Nagar added here, “IPL 2020 edition will change the game altogether. This IPL, we have seen the maximum number of new Fantasy Sports operators coming to the market. This will overall boost the ecosystem.”

Mathur concluded the first round of answers by commenting, “The IPL is a huge moment – a giant leap for Fantasy Sports...it will not only spur growth, but mainstream the entire industry.”

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