One in Four Fantasy Football Players Are Women

Sep 11, 2015, 16:50 ET from Leger, The Research Intelligence Group

FORT WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Overall, 13% of US adults plan to play Fantasy Football this year. However, women who are playing Fantasy Football continue to grow in numbers, and are taking up a larger piece of the ever-expanding pie when compared to men.  In a new poll released by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, approximately one-quarter of this year's NFL Fantasy Football players will be women, which is a steady climb over the past few years.

"We're seeing a small, steady trend showing the rate that women are playing Fantasy Football is growing faster than that among Fantasy Football players in general," said Lance Henik, Senior Account Manager at Leger, The Research Intelligence Group. "According to the Fantasy Sports Trade association, approximately 20% of all fantasy players in 2011/2012 season were women. The results from our 2013 poll showed 23% of Fantasy Football players were women, with our latest poll results currently showing that 25% of them are women."

Women who play Fantasy Football continue to show favorable levels of employment and household income than non-players. First, women are more than twice as likely to be employed full-time (players, 66%; non-players, 31%) than non-players, which naturally falls into their higher affluence over non-players, based on household incomes over $100K (players, 16%; non-players, 11%). While these differences exist among women, between players and non-players, such differences are not as pronounced when looking at the employment and income characteristics among men.

In what could be seen as a surprise finding, most of the women who play Fantasy Football are older than their male counterparts. The average ages of Fantasy Football players among men and women are approximately 38 and 39 years of age (respectively), however, it is the age categories among these players that shed some light on the extent to which players are dispersed by age. To this end, more than half (59%) of male players are between 18-39 years of age, while the majority of women players (72%) are in the 30-49 year range, with nearly two in five (38%) of them in the 40-49 age group.

"Households with children" is one of the few demographic areas where Fantasy Football players vastly over-index their non-player cohorts. Nearly three in four (74%) women who play also report having a child under 18 in the household, while among men this drops down to about two in three (67%). "This informs us of two implications," said Henik. "First, the possibility that Fantasy Football serves as a family activity. Second, that Fantasy Football provides a vital outlet or escape for those adults who have children."

Despite the favorable demographic characteristics that make up the females who play Fantasy Football, men continue to be more entrenched with their Fantasy Football play than women. The Leger poll indicated that men are still more likely to participate in multiple leagues/teams when compared to women. Approximately two-thirds of men (66%) who are going to play Fantasy Football plan on joining two or more leagues for the NFL 2015-16 season, among women this drops down to half (50%).

While the demographic characteristics of Fantasy Football players (for both men and women alike), are attractive for prospective companies, the challenge lies in how to best reach them.

For starters, Fantasy Football players are more likely than non-players to be engaged with their mobile devices. This is evidenced by the Leger poll that shows Fantasy Football players are more likely to conduct mobile banking on either a tablet or smartphone, and to do so by using an app on their device. Consider that when someone is managing their money with a mobile device, they are likely managing their entire lives with the same device. This is because trust in mobile banking is indicative of an entrenched mobile user who has adapted to mobile technology, and believes in the convenience and security in the devices they use as they have become engrained into their everyday living.

There is also the marketing implication for those who want to engage with Fantasy Football players, especially through television advertising. This challenge becomes more critical given the ever-growing activity that is 'binge' viewing, where viewers are watching multiple episodes of a show during one sitting, whether they watch programs on-demand (VOD), on the DVR, or among viewers who are using an Internet platform (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) as they have cut the cord or never connected in the first place. The pervasiveness of marathon viewing is alive and well among Fantasy Football players, however, the results of the Leger poll show it is the female players in particular that are more engaged in this activity than men. With this in mind, marketers will need to be creative in engaging this desired consumer, especially women who play Fantasy Football.


The survey was conducted online with 1,006 respondents, 18 years of age or older, among the U.S. population from August 14th through August 17th, 2015, and was balanced/weighted to statistically represent the country by age, gender, ethnicity, and region. Based on this sample size, the results carry a margin of error of approximately ± 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

About Leger

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned polling, research, and strategic marketing firm with 600 employees in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary in Canada, and Philadelphia in the United States. Leger is part of the WIN network partners in more than 100 countries, making Leger not only the largest Canadian-owned company in its sector, but also an internationally recognized brand.

Leger provides its clients with unique expertise in market research and information technology, in addition to business consulting and strategies in the fields of customer satisfaction, positioning, brand management, communication efficiency, corporate reputation, social acceptability, crisis management and customer experience. For more information on Leger, please consult our Web site,


SOURCE Leger, The Research Intelligence Group