A Systematic Review of Motivations for Fantasy Sport Participation


  • Ryan Martin East Carolina University
  • Kurtis Kozel East Carolina University
  • Kerry Sewell East Carolina University
  • Jeffrey Coghill East Carolina University
  • Joseph Lee East Carolina University


fantasy sports; motivations; systematic review; entertainment; competition


Any sport can be played from a fantasy sports perspective and fantasy sports participation is increasing. The purpose of this study is to identify reported motivations for fantasy sport participation to inform future research.  Using a systematic review methodology, we developed asearch strategy, searched nine academic databases in July 2017 and utilized dual independent coding for inclusion. This process identified 21 articles that reported one or more motivations for participating in fantasy sports.  For those studies, we report information on the purpose, sample, methods, and motivation-related results.The four motivations reported most often were entertainment, competition, social interaction/camaraderie, and enjoyment/arousal.  Other often reported motivations include sports knowledge utilization, love of sports, surveillance (learn about sports), escape, rewards/prizes, vicarious involvement as a manager/general manager, and achievement/self-esteem.  Rewards/prizes were not necessarily a strong motivation for participating in season-long fantasy sports leagues. Thus, gambling (with entry fees) on season-long fantasy leagues does not appear to be a primary factor for participation.  Because the studies in the review primarily examined motivations for participation in season-long fantasy sports leagues, future research examining motivations for daily fantasy sports (DFS) participation is warranted.


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