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The New Stadium: Fantasy Sport’s Effects on Sports Sociology Essay

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Fantasy sports has evolved from its humble roots as the niche Dungeons & Dragons-esque intersection of sports fandom and statistical nerdiness. According to Fantasy Sports Trade Association market research conducted by Ipsos, there are over 36.6 million people playing fantasy sports in the United States and Canada and is a rapidly growing industry that generates over a billion dollars per year. The once maligned cult hobby has grown into an undeniable sports subculture, commanding regular coverage from all major sports networks, in addition to active online communities, podcasts, and even paid services catering to fantasy sports players. With the development of such a massive fantasy sports community, one has to wonder whether the…show more content…
Team success takes a backseat to individual success in fantasy sports; if individual players on a losing team do well, that is considered a success in fantasy, yet if all players are statistically mediocre in a winning team effort, that results in a poor fantasy outcome. I set out to analyze the extent to which fantasy sports affected the social bonds established by traditional sports. The expected result was that as involvement in fantasy sports increased, social reasons for enjoying sports would decrease. I focused the research on fantasy football for convenience purposes, as it is the largest and most active of the fantasy sports communities. Furthermore, as I participate in fantasy football myself, I already had an understanding of not only the specific knowledge and jargon, but also of the current trends and developments. This allowed me to gear the research towards this particular community, and helped connect to respondents as one of their own as opposed to an outsider. I tested my hypothesis in several ways, both quantitatively and qualitatively, with the hope that my dual approaches would support one another and help guide my research towards a comprehensive answer. Quantitatively, I administered online surveys to online fantasy football communities on Facebook and reddit to a self-selected convenience sample over a one week period. Qualitatively, short interviews were conducted both in person and via
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