Nearly 42 million people participated in some version of fantasy sports in 2014, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. As many could guess, a large percentage of that comes from fantasy football.
While the National Football League now embraces fantasy football (even going so far as to require teams to display fantasy numbers inside stadiums), that was not always the case. Until 2008, the NFL outsourced all of its fantasy rights to CBS.
When the NFL finally realized how much money and opportunity they were giving away, they were already behind. ESPN and Yahoo! had been building a fantasy football enterprise since the early days of the Internet and had very loyal users.
So, the NFL decided to leverage its corporate partnerships to try to play a little bit of catch. In 2012, the NFL signed a deal with SAP to be the Official Business Software Solutions and Business Analytics Software Sponsor of the NFL.
The partnership allows SAP to leverage its technologies to help the league stay ahead of the game. In partnership, the two entities created the Player Comparison Tool, a first-ever statistical comparison platform that allows fantasy football players to see detailed information centered around five key metrics:
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