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Top 4 Technical Challenges for Fantasy Sports Apps

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In 2021, the fantasy sports market brought in an impressive $24 billion. By 2030, that number is projected to increase to $78.5 billion, growing nearly 14 percent each year. 

This growth is due to a confluence of factors, including relaxed government regulations and the emergence of several new entrants into the space. With ESPN’s fantasy football game setting an all-time usage record in 2022, this sector shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

As more and more startups bring new fantasy sports apps to market, the battle for users will continue to heat up. Winning that battle requires companies to deliver the best possible experience to users. After all, in today’s digital age, a seamless, quick, personalized customer experience is now the expectation. 

But the problem isn’t delivering this customer experience, per se, it’s delivering it AT SCALE, and here are the problems fantasy sports platforms typically run into as they need to scale.

1. Fast contest joins in real time​

Accurately counting and limiting players in real time, according to the game’s performance limits, is a challenge at scale for various reasons. First, It can lead to data inconsistencies that result in the game taking money from players who actually can’t get in because the game has already reached its player limit. Second, it can lead to latency bottlenecks that result in the leaderboard not displaying immediately, which creates a poor playing experience. 

2. Fast payment dispersal to winners

Quickly crediting winners’ accounts after the game ends is an incredibly important part of the fantasy sports platform user experience. If players can’t get their winning amount immediately after winning the game, they’re likely to switch to a different platform. 

3. Traffic spikes with hundreds of thousands of concurrent users

Fantasy sports users are likely to be most active in their apps on game days. If you’re making a fantasy football app, for example, you’ll almost certainly experience the most active users on Sundays, when football essentially runs all day long. 

Also – think about a sport like cricket, where last-minute roster changes and changes related to who wins the toss 30 minutes before the game starts can lead to a situation of having to deal with literally millions of requests per second. 

Since all of your users will be logged in at the same time, it’s critical that you build your fantasy sports application on top of a data platform that supports as many concurrent users as possible while supporting massive spikes in traffic. 

For example, Dream11, the largest fantasy sports platform in India, chose to build its apps on top of Volt Active Data, an enterprise-grade data platform with lightning-fast responsiveness. With Volt, Dream11 is able to ensure high performance for its more than 110 million users, including as many as 5.5 million concurrent transactions and users.

4. Personalized content

According to a report from McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect personalized experiences. When companies don’t meet these expectations, they do so at their own peril. And it’s not only that they need to serve up personalized content, they also need to serve it up fast, with little to no latency. 

One study found that 86% of consumers will stop supporting a brand following two poor experiences. With so many fantasy sports apps on the market, and more coming along regularly, fantasy sports apps that fail to prioritize personalization will likely see users flock to competitors.

With the right underlying data platform in place, however, serving up personalized experiences is a cinch. Volt Active Data, for example, can deliver personalized content with sub-10 millisecond latency. It’s an easy way to ensure user expectations are met every time they log into your app.

Looking to crack a home run in the fantasy sports market? It starts with your data platform

If you’re thinking about making a splash in the fantasy sports ecosystem, you couldn’t pick a better time. The industry is in the midst of massive growth, and that growth seems like it will persist for quite some time.

To win the fantasy sports battle, you need applications that are highly performant, highly scalable, highly reliable, and highly secure. And the easiest way to make that happen is by doing your due diligence and building on top of the best data platform from the outset. Of course, we’re biased, but we believe that Volt Active Data is the ideal data platform for fantasy sports. Learn more about how Volt supports fantasy sports platforms here.

Biplab Banerjee