The fantasy sports genre is the category most in news in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020). The fantasy sports platforms are spending through the nose to make their presence felt and to ride the IPL 2020 bandwagon. Dream11 the IPL title sponsors are reportedly investing almost 500Cr in the IPL 2020. The competition though is driving their numbers through different strategy.
MyTeam11 along with Dream11 is one of the biggest fantasy platforms in the country and is all geared up for IPL 2020. Contrary to the competition MyTeam11’s vision is to gun for profitability with a superior user experience for the fantasy players. InsideSport caught up with Founder of MyTeam11 Vinit Godara for an exclusive chat on how they are leveraging IPL 2020 and their overall vision for MyTeam11.
InsideSport : How has Covid-19 affected fantasy sports? Since fantasy is directly related to LIVE sports, what has been the impact on it?
Vinit Godara: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India, all sporting activities took a hit. Fantasy sports is completely dependent on live games and much like everyone in the industry, MyTeam 11 was also not untouched from it.
In that period, we tried of blending new capabilities to the platform which has been in the mix and sort of accelerating the platform. We were able to launch MyteamRummy and MyTeam11 Quiz. Both the properties have been performing really well and they helped us gain a lot of footing and we didn’t lose that many users.
We also made a promise to ourselves that we will not fire or let go off any employees due to the pandemic distress. Since May we were back in the fray and we had sponsored the Taipei T10 league and the European Cricket Championship that helped us get back on feet.
InsideSport : So IPL 2020 can give the required traction to the industry?
Vinit Godara: With the CPL 2020, we have seen that the user responses are back to the same level as they were before the pandemic. Right now, we are past the COVID phase and from a business point of view we are anticipating further growth. Now with the IPL coming, we can expect an uphill climb.
InsideSport: “India ki Apni Fantasy App”- What is the driving force behind this idea?
Vinit Godara: MyTeam11 takes a lot of pride in being a bootstrapped organization and that was the ethos that we wanted to convey through the campaign. Our aim has been to enter the Tier 2 Tier 3 market. “India ki Apni Fantasy App” campaign is being launched to drive that vision of ours. We also have 5-6 new brand ambassadors to promote the platform.
Now with IPL back on TV, we hope that the combination of our marketing strategies and push by our ambassadors which are targeted for that specific market, we will be able to create a much stronger presence in these targeted markets.
InsideSport : Are any brand ambassador or sponsorships next in the pipeline?
Vinit Godara: We have a strong presence with our current ambassadors and there isn’t anyone next in the pipeline yet. As for sponsorships, we are currently invested with IPL for the next two months, but if there comes across a good opportunity we would surely not want to miss out on it.
InsideSport: Every day we hear new fantasy companies cropping up from every nook and corner- is this sustainable?
Vinit Godara: The business definitely requires a lot of innovation to be on top of the leader board. That’s how MyTeam11 has worked and been invested in. The industry has also matured compared to the last couple of years and we have seen a lot of users coming to the application, fully knowing what fantasy sport is.
Definitely, for a smaller player or a new player, the challenge is going to be there, but if the focus is on the innovation and customer-experience it is anybody’s ball game at this point in time.
InsideSport : Dream11 has been raising funds, does MyTeam11 also have the same roadmap?
Vinit Godara: We have been focused from Day 1 that we want to promote My Team 11 as a bootstrap company and that’s why our focus has been on garnering profitability and not just acquiring users left and right. We wanted to ensure we create a brand which while focusing on customer experience has a longterm vision of bringing in profitability as well. We have been very strategic and diligent in the things that we sponsor and areas where we invest money in terms of marketing. Thus far we have seen great proofs our labour and we want to continue the same way.
So far we have not taken any external funding to help the business side of things and still, we have been able to establish a mark in the fantasy industry.
InsideSport: SportsTiger- Is it an independent business unit or created to promote MyTeam11? What is the vision behind it?
Vinit Godara: We have seen cricket is a predominant force, so the idea of SportsTiger is to have a vision to promote all the other sports as well. It’s the overall promotion of sports that we are targeting with ST including sports that have No Fantasy happening.
OTT will be a part of it as we keep getting more streaming rights, but the idea is to bring in as much original content as possible which we have been able to do with the “Off-the-field” series and we have also recently launched a series called “Cricket Talks”. The idea is creating a harmony of different sports and providing the users with all kinds of original content surrounding, that is the very idea behind ST.
InsideSport: I am sure you must be following IPL 2020 closely, who is your favourite IPL team and who can be MVP fantasy-wise?
Vinit Godara- Rajasthan Royals and Ben Stokes