I read about the growth of fantasy sports (of all places) in Quirks magazine. For those of you unfamiliar with Quirks, it's a marketing research review magazine published monthly. The article discussed how technological advances in mobile technology has contributed to the growth of fantasy sports due to the increase accessibility of statistics and data for users. More than 10 million fantasy sports users accessed information from their smart phones in 2013, up 12% from 2012. Mobile is not only an evolving modality for market research, but for all industries across the world.
As an avid fantasy sports player myself, I like to think my market research background makes me a stronger fantasy sports player, or maybe its my fantasy sports passion which makes me stronger at market research? Either way, I've convinced myself the two have some kind of relationship (I have to justify it to my wife). With so many people playing fantasy sports, many in professional and business roles within their organizations, the two should be able to benefit each other. So in other words, time spent managing your fantasy sports teams should in reality be time spent training for your job, even though you may have a difficult time proving it to your boss.
Nonetheless, here is my attempt to get you a raise through 7 key business benefits from playing fantasy sports:
Benefit 1: Fantasy sports makes you better at team building
You can't build a successful team with all QBs or a team where everyone specializes in stealing bases and does little else. It takes balance. At the end of the day you need a well-balanced team or at least a few areas you excel in to make up for other short-comings.
Benefit 2: Fantasy sports makes you better at decision-making
Fantasy sports is a game of decisions. Successful fantasy sports players constantly evaluate their teams to determine strengths and weaknesses, and how they can make their team better. Decisions are made on a daily basis and similar to business - you win some and lose some. Poor decisions made in the past are in many cases regretted and not forgotten. What you learned from bad decisions can help you not make the same mistake again.
Benefit 3: Fantasy sports makes you better with time management
Whether it is scrambling to make a trade before the deadline, adding a player with one day to go in your match-up, or using a few seconds to make a pick during a live draft, fantasy sports forces you to make quick gut decisions on players. You begin to understand when a player needs to be added now or whether you can prioritize your research elsewhere and revisit the player in a week.
Benefit 4: Fantasy sports makes you better at turning data into insights
Fantasy sports lends to research: researching draft strategies, researching professional teams, researching prospects, and analyzing competitors. In many cases you can develop a strategy to determine what level of HRs, RBIs, and ERA you need to win. Essentially you become a poor man's statistician. It also helps you realize data is just a means used to interpret information, formulate insights, and make less risky decisions. (Sorry, it's a shameless plug for using market research for your business.)
Benefit 5: Fantasy sports makes you better at planning - both short-term and long-term
Do I add a player in the short-term hoping he returns from injury to help me two months from now? Do I trade a prospect for a veteran player to win now but give up on the long-term benefits offered by a younger prospect? In fantasy sports you are constantly confronted with the now versus future trade-off. Eerily similar to a stock broker.
Benefit 6: Fantasy sports makes you better at sales
Trades are commonplace in fantasy sports. It involves convincing another owner to give something up in exchange for something he/she values (thanks @DanielPink). Both owners communicate in sometimes persuasive conversations. At the end of the day when a trade is made, both parties involved feel like they won. Trading in fantasy sports is essentially a sales process.
Benefit 7: Fantasy sports makes you focus on results
At the end of the day businesses succeed based on results, not promises. There comes a time when you need to cut ties with a prospect, drop a player who is having a down season, add a short-term spot starter during the stretch run, or make a trade for a specialist. Results are what drive a business and at the end of the day, results are what matter.
Feel free to cut and paste my text directly into an email to your boss and request a raise. Best of luck! Drive Research is a marketing research company in Syracuse, NY. For more information, learn about our marketing research services including surveys and focus groups. Call us at 315-303-2040 to discuss your next market research project.