Part of the massive appeal of sports is the fact that there is so much more to it than the games being played on the field. Television rights are worth billions viewing numbers for the biggest games run into similar numbers and the wages for the top players can be astronomical. The financial perspective for observers often comes down to sports betting but fantasy sports has been running alongside for just about as long and the heightened sense of involvement and interest has long appealed to players around the world. It has now become one of the biggest money-spinners in the sporting world, enjoyed by millions of players every single week.
It All Began with Golf
While we are staying on the fence with this one, for some observers no sport requires a bit of added excitement and interest while the contests are playing out than golf! Surprisingly, yet justifiably, the sport is widely considered as being the first to involve fantasy sports. Oakland businessman Bill Winkenbach first devised fantasy golf back in the 1950s with participants choosing a team of golfers each and the one with the lowest total score based on strokes throughout the tournament would win. It makes sense as while fantasy football and other sports have evolved into all sorts of different kinds of statistics, when you’re literally just keeping score there can be little room for any arguments!
Baseball Came Next
Winkenbach reportedly formed the first fantasy football league in 1962, but progress from golf was first achieved by baseball in 1960 where William Gamson started the Baseball Seminar. The aforementioned increase in the use of statistics began to take hold here with batting averages, RBI, ERA and wins all coming into play – so it was a good job that this all went down at Harvard!
However, perhaps the biggest development and influence that baseball had in fantasy sports was the founding of Rotisserie League Baseball in 1980. Editor Daniel Okrent is the man who is regarded as being the first to come up with the concept and he named the style after a local restaurant. It was perhaps a happy coincidence that Okrent worked in the media, as his style of fantasy sports soon spread and by 1988 there were an estimated half a million players getting involved.
And Then Came the Internet
Fantasy sports were around for a long time before the internet caught on but real growth in the sector both in its ‘home’ market of the US and around the world really started to kick on thanks to unparalleled connectivity.
With just about anyone able to set up a fantasy sport and to connect with like-minded people around the world, there soon were fantasy leagues based on just about everything. Understandably, the biggest sports remained the most popular with football, baseball and soccer leading the way and, along with specialist companies, even some big names of the late 1990s got involved with Yahoo even famously offering its own free fantasy sports section.
How it Became a Money Spinner
In the online age, fantasy sports have just about always been a money spinner, at least for the sites that provided the services! At some stages fantasy sports companies were charging as much as $300 to participate in a fantasy league although Yahoo changed the game somewhat in that regard and virtually forced the rest of the industry to follow suit with cheap or even free gaming opportunities. That’s certainly not to say that there is no money left in the fantasy sports industry – it is estimated to be worth as much as $2 billion in the US alone and with millions of players around the world, all vying for some great prizes, there is always going to be plenty of cash flying around!
How You Can Get a Piece of the Action
One of the genuine benefits for players, especially since the internet boom is that you really can enter fantasy leagues on just about any sport imaginable and a bit of knowledge and passion for your game of choice can always be a helpful as you only win big for being right, after all!
There are many pay to play options out there and it goes without saying that the biggest prizes you can win have been contributed to by numerous players. However, if you like to play as cheaply as possible, then you will be pleased to know that virtually every major, reliable operator is more than happy to entice players in with some free money. The codes for this and the operators that offer them are not hard to find either, and all you’ll need to do is head on over to a leading no deposit bonus portal to see the top picks of welcome offers. There are no deposit bonus codes for UK players and plenty of options for players around the world too, so no matter what you want to play and where, you can always get a feel for fantasy sports with no strings attached.
Once you’re in, you have a choice not only between the various sports offered among the biggest providers but specialist leagues, fantasy drafts that run for the entire season and now even fantasy sports leagues that operate daily! This is where insightful players can really get into the action and make the most of their knowledge as the leagues and competitions are short and take much of the guesswork out of the trials and tribulations of a regular season.
Essentially, if you know a thing or two about your sport of choice and want to make some extra cash with it you can get involved with absolutely no commitment and if you’re as good as you think you are, could well come out ahead before putting out any cash of your own!