The Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off with yet another thrilling season last month and let us tell you its impact is being felt far beyond the boundary ropes. As the current IPL season unfolds, it’s proving to be a batting powerhouse, with cricketers smashing records and thrilling fans worldwide. But beyond the exhilarating matches and energy-packed performances on the field, the IPL serves as a significant economic driver, fostering business growth and engagement across various sectors.  

Parallel to the high-octane matches, another player is making big runs in the economic field: the fantasy gaming industry. The IPL’s unique structure and widespread appeal have turned it into a prime time for fantasy sports platforms. During the current ongoing season, these platforms are not merely passive spectators but active participants in the cricket frenzy. The spike in user engagement and investment during the IPL has directly fuelled this segment’s rapid growth, proving that fantasy sports are no longer just a niche hobby but a major economic driver. 

Our benchmarks team has been diving deep into the numbers and trends we have witnessed this IPL season for fantasy gaming to bring out some unique and interesting insights. Let’s delve into the multi-faceted impact of this IPL economy, where cricket meets commerce and fandom meets business savvy! 

1. IPL Economy: A Game-Changer for Fantasy Gaming 

Alright, folks, let’s start with the big picture. The IPL isn’t just about cricket; it’s a phenomenon that sweeps across industries, leaving a trail of excitement and economic impact.  

And guess what? Businesses, especially the fantasy gaming industry, are riding this wave, cashing in on the fever with innovative marketing strategies. This year the fantasy sports revolution is sweeping through Tier 2 and beyond cities, with over 65% of revenue flowing from these local internet economies. It’s this grassroots enthusiasm that’s fuelling the fantasy platforms’ meteoric rise. Seeing the current trends during this IPL season, fantasy sports revenue is gearing up for an astounding 25-30% surge compared to last year, reaching $500-525 million in IPL 2024! 

2. User Engagement: Capturing Hearts and Screens 

Now, let’s talk more about something that’s exploded in popularity—fantasy leagues. Platforms like Dream11 and My 11 Circle aren’t just about watching the game; they’re about playing along. You pick your dream team and score points based on how well the players do in the actual games. It’s fun, engaging, and guess what? It’s taking over the IPL market one match at a time. The user base for these platforms is booming this IPL season, driving everything from platform adoption to digital payments The gaming app platforms have shown an impressive surge in both daily active cash users and revenue per person. While daily cash users have skyrocketed by a whooping 2.8X from the Business as Usual (BAU) standards, the fantasy sports market revenue has seen a substantial 2.3X increase in the limited amount of matches that have been played.  

With such promising momentum, fantasy gaming enthusiasts expect a potential for continued growth throughout the season.  

So, what’s the secret sauce? 

Guaranteed cash prizes have increased doubly or more compared to the highest prizes from BAU. Apart from this, the platforms are also providing higher cash prizes. For example, prizes for the first spot have been hitting around $375k-$500k which would amount to $185k on usual days. The Fantasy sports platforms have also increased the distribution of cash prizes. Dream 11, for instance, has provisions where up to 4 winners can win a minimum of $125k per day. Initiatives such as 11 Crorepatis and 50 Lakhpatis have ensured more users get higher cash awards. No wonder people are glued to their screens to join the tribe! 

And that’s not it. Previously, while platforms like My11Circle gave out just one big prize, the IPL season has it giving cars and bikes to the first 10 winners! Of course, we are seeing an increased interest from new users in participating in the game as much as possible. Who wants to miss out on the opportunity to play when there is a chance to win big?

3. Explosive start: One step closer to the stump

With 21 games in the kitty out of the 74 total planned matches, this IPL season is proving to be a profitable run for fantasy gaming platforms. Thanks to the successful marketing campaigns and the massive new user adoption, the platform revenues have surged by ~2.3X as compared to BAU, already achieving 30% of the projected season revenue. Talk about a great start indeed! During the first 7 games, the fantasy gaming platforms offered higher rewards and prizes. And to take it a step further, in the next set of 7 games, the platforms generated ~10% more revenue compared to the first 7 games. 

4. Looking Ahead: Innovative Solutions and Opportunities 

In the IPL season of 2024, fantasy gaming platforms have raised the stakes with a slew of innovative features and exciting campaigns and rewards designed to enhance user experience. With an array of celebrity endorsements and engaging campaigns, these platforms are making fantasy gaming more accessible and captivating than ever before. Let’s take a closer look at the key themes driving the growth of fantasy gaming in IPL 2024: 

  • Support & AI-powered features: While AI’s prowess in various platforms is not unknown, support features such as Manager Mode and Quick Join Mode or AI-powered features like Projected Points are helping users make their own teams easily or get indicative scores. It helps empower users to make effective informed decisions with ease. These features also enable the users to seamlessly enter contests while maintaining the same teams, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.  
  • Higher cash prizes: Fantasy gaming platforms are making way for users to win higher cash and material prizes. Prizes for the first spot have been hitting around $375k-$500k which usually would amount to ~$185k. This means that a user can now win almost 2.6x the prize with the same entry fee as before.   
  • Engaging campaigns: Catchy slogans like “My11Circle pe ek crore toh bas shuruwaat hai, socho..kitni badi baat hai!” are captivating audiences trying to retain “Top of Mind Awareness” of users. These captivating slogans in the campaigns help to increase the recall rate of the users.  
  • Promotions through celebrity faces: With a diverse array of celebrity faces or familiar personalities endorsing and promoting these fantasy games, the engagement and excitement surrounding the event is growing multi-fold resonating with different geographies and various age groups.  

Through these strategic moves, fantasy gaming platforms are not only simplifying the user experience but also increasing their visibility and appeal, making IPL 2024 a truly unforgettable season for gamers everywhere. 

5. The Macro View 

The explosion of fantasy gaming during the IPL underscores a larger trend in how sports, technology, and economic activity intersect. With the IPL acting as a catalyst, there is an unparalleled integration of entertainment, sports, and economics, creating a win-win scenario for various stakeholders from tech giants to local businesses in smaller cities. 

As we continue to watch this season unfold, the stakes are high not just on the field but in every Indian household where a new player joins the league of fantasy gaming. The ongoing evolution of this sector will undoubtedly offer fascinating insights into how modern India engages with cricket, technology, and entrepreneurship. 

Stay tuned as the season progresses and keep an eye on those fantasy leagues—they’re more than just a game; they’re a snapshot of a dynamic economic shift powered by India’s love for cricket. 

Looking for more insights about IPL, fantasy gaming or other industries? Reach out to our Industry expert from the Benchmarks team or subscribe to our newsletter today! 


  • Saurav has advised clients in the retail, eCommerce, food technology, ePharma, eB2B, and investors/PE sectors at Redseer Strategy Consultants. His expertise encompasses new category launches and online strategy for offline companies in the fashion and FMCG sectors.