The Fantasy Premier League went mainstream not so long ago. The popularity of the Fantasy Premier League has been on the rise and it shows no signs of slowing down. During the 2019/2020 season, over seven million individuals from across the globe played FPL. Even though Fantasy Football League has gained amazing popularity over the last several years, the Fantasy Football concept has been around for many years.
In fact, the concept dates back to the early 1960s. More specifically, the very first Fantasy Football match was played almost six decades ago or in 1963. Fantasy Football was created by Will Winkenbach. At the time, Mr. Winkenbach worked for the Oakland Tribune as a sports reporter. He was also part-owner of the Oakland Raiders. In 1963, he founded the GOPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League) and this marked the beginning of Fantasy Football.
Back in the day, the very first Fantasy Football game was only available to affiliated members of the Oakland Raiders. Six years later, Andy Mousalimas of the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League made the game available to all visitors coming to his bar. Therefore, Andy Mousalimas is responsible for making Fantasy Football more available to the masses. Unfortunately, the decision to make the game public cost him his position at the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.
The Rise of Fantasy Football
Back in the day, Fantasy Football matches relied on the same format and rules in use today including afternoon deadlines on Friday, substitutions, and head-to-head matchups. By 1974, over two hundred players enjoyed Fantasy Football at Mr. Mousalimas’ bar. The popularity of the game increased massively in the 1980s. The game had over one million players in the late 1980s following the introduction of a magazine that covered only Fantasy Football. Thanks to the greater availability of PCs, Fantasy Football started transitioning from the old offline version to the modern online version.
In the early 1990s, Fantasy Football finally found its way to Europe. In 1990, the Italian Fantasy Football League was formed by Riccardo Albini. One year later, Andrew Wainstein introduced Fantasy Football in England by forming Fantasy League Ltd. Three years later, the game truly burst onto the scene in the United Kingdom following the introduction of the Fantasy Football League program. The program was hosted by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel.
There was a huge interest in Fantasy Football at the start of the 1993/1994 season even though all entries were handled via post offices and telephone lines. The very first Fantasy Football online version was launched in the United States in 1997. Yahoo launched its Fantasy Football game in 1999. One year later, England has its online Fantasy Football game. The Fantasy and Interactive Sports Online, the most popular forum for Fantasy Football fans, was established in March of 2000.
The official Fantasy Premier League went live in 2002 at the beginning of the 2002/2003 season. At the time, slightly under 76,000 teams participated. Seventeen players have won the FPL titles. In 2020, the Fantasy Premier League consists of over seven million teams and the FPL community has never been greater. Fantasy Football sports betting has been on the rise as well and if you are interested in learning more, make sure you check out https://www.bettingsider24.com/.
Fantasy Premier League – Jersey Sponsors
Today, the Fantasy Premier League is played by over eight million fans. According to this report by Statista, the Fantasy Football market reached an impressive value of over US$7.22 billion in 2019 in the United States only. With the rising popularity of FPL, the market’s value is expected to grow in the years to come. Needless to say, the most popular Fantasy Football game has many different sponsors including Maxeler Technologies, Digilent, Two Sigma, JumpTrading, Micron, Intel, and Xilinx.
When it comes to the major jersey suppliers for Fantasy Premier League teams, these are Adidas, Nike, Umbro, Kappa, Hummel, Puma, Castore, Joma, and Kelme. Adidas works with Arsenal, Leeds United, Leicester City, and Manchester United. This season, Nike supplies Bright and Hove Albion, Liverpool, and Tottenham, while Kappa supplies jerseys for Aston Villa. Umbo works with Burnley, Brentford, and West Ham United.
This season, Castore supplies Wolverhampton and Newcastle United while Puma works with Crystal Palace and Manchester City. Joam supplies Norwich City while Hummel supplies Southampton and Everton. Finally, this season Watford is supplied by Kelme. The major sponsors are Hyundai, AstroPay, Visit Rwanda, OB Sports, Snickers UK, Cazoo, Emirates, American Express, Etihad Airways, Fun88, Virgin Media, Kayak, Kohler, Betway, Nexen Tire, JD Sports, and Hollywoodbets.