New Research from HPL Digital Sport Reveals Size Does Not Equate to Loyalty for Daily Fantasy Sports Websites

First-of-its-kind brand loyalty index ranks TradeFan as the #1 daily fantasy betting site; DraftKings, FanDuel rank 2nd and 4th, respectively, and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports ranks last, among field of 12 sites

As the 2019 fantasy football draft season kicks-off, HPL Digital Sport, a specialty group within Hot Paper Lantern (HPL) focused on fantasy betting and e-sports marketing, released its inaugural Fantasy Sports Loyalty Index with TradeFan claiming the top spot. The index surveyed more than 1,000 daily fantasy bettors measuring their loyalty for daily fantasy betting sites based on levels of trust, customer experience, betting value, frequency of bets, likelihood to increase betting amount, return rate, and referral opportunities.

You can buy awareness, but you can’t buy brand loyalty

The survey found that, while awareness drove market share and volume of bets to fantasy industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel, smaller sites such as TradeFan, FantasyDraft and RealTime Fantasy Sports scored higher on several attributes ranked most important by consumers, including customer support, online betting tools and player research capabilities.

For example, 61% of TradeFan users agreed strongly that the site provides effective customer support while only 37% of DraftKings customers felt similarly. What’s more, 54% of bettors who frequently use RealTime Fantasy Sports believe the site provides tools that make betting easier compared to only 38% of Yahoo! Fantasy Sports users.

With loyalty comes increased bets and referrals

Players who use smaller sites indicated they are more likely to recommend and spend more money on those sites compared to those who frequent the larger players:

  • 62% of TradeFan users said they were likely to recommend the websites, compared to 56% of FanDuel and DraftKings players and 51% of Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports players who said the same.
  • 74% of TradeFan users, 65% of RealTime Fantasy Sports users and 62% of Daily Fantasy Insider users are likely to raise their betting amounts. In contrast, only 44% of FanDuel users, 40% of DraftKings users and 38% of Yahoo Fantasy Sports users said the same.

“With more states legalizing online sports betting, sites are looking for any advantage to gain market share in a competitive multi-billion industry,” said Edward Moed, CEO of Hot Paper Lantern Digital Sport. “While some of the industry’s smaller sites currently lack awareness and user volume, many are offering a superior customer experience through ease of use, customer service and mobile app functionality, opening the door for them to gain share of consumers’ wallets this fantasy football season.”

Female and younger bettors are flocking to smaller sites

The youngest demographic surveyed (ages 21-29) shows the greatest growth potential for online fantasy sports betting. The demographic outpaces the 30-39 and 40+ age groups in frequency of betting and amount of bet spend.

  • Female bettors are more likely (+5%) than their male counterparts to place bets on smaller, lesser-known websites.
  • Younger bettors are also more likely to use smaller sites: 31% of players on, 36% of players on FanDraft and 38% of players on Playline were in their twenties, while only 27% of DraftKing players, 21% of FanDuel players and 24% of Yahoo Fantasy Sports players were in their twenties.
  • 66% of 21 to 29-year-olds bet at least once a week vs. 52% of 30 to 39-year-olds and 51% of players over 40-years-old
  • 21 to 29-year-olds are most likely (36%) to spend more than $200 a month betting online over 30 to 39-year-olds (26%) and players over 40-years-old (26%)
  • 78% of 21 to 29-year-olds are likely to spend more in the next month as compared to 72% for 30-39s and 65% for players over 40-years-old

“The world of online sports betting is very much in its infancy,” said Ken Colen, head of research at HPL Digital Sport. “Given the growth potential of this space, the Fantasy Sports Loyalty Index will become an important barometer of consumer perception, habits and loyalty among the top destinations for betting on fantasy sports.”

Fast facts from the Index

  • 56% of online bettors bet at least once a week
  • 89% of bettors are likely to bet on the NFL this year
  • More than half of the female bettors surveyed (56%) say they are “very likely” to bet on the NFL this season (almost two-thirds of the men, 63%, said the same)
  • NFL bettors bet more per month than non-NFL bettors (34% spend more than $200 a month vs. 21% of non-NFL bettors)
  • 51% of those betting weekly say they are “very likely” to increase the amount they spend vs. only 19% of those betting less than once a week
  • Minority bettors are more likely (33%) to spend more than $200 betting a month than non-minority bettors (26%)

For more information on the Index or to access the full report, please contact Ed Moed at or (212) 931-6116.

Research Methodology:

The Hot Paper Lantern Fantasy Sports Loyalty Index was conducted by the independent research arm within HPL Digital Sport. The Index is an online survey of 1,055 respondents who play fantasy sports. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the fantasy players surveyed reported having already placed a fantasy sports bet online; the remaining 9% said they were likely to do so in the future. The data was collected between June 21 – June 26, 2019.

HPL Digital Sport is a specialty group within Hot Paper Lantern (HPL) that works with fantasy, sports betting and e-sports brands to gain a competitive edge and acquire new audiences. The group’s tailored services include customer research, marketing campaigns, public relations support, branding activities, experience design and product strategy.


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