Ireland’s rise to the top of the fantasy rankings

There are more Irish Fantasy Premier League Managers (FPL) – per capita – than any other country in the world, the Premier League has revealed to The Pitch.

The game of football strategy and statistics resumes tomorrow, ahead of Arsenal’s league opener at Crystal Palace, with up to 10 million teams from around the world expected to be registered, before the deadline for 6:30 p.m.

Ahead of the new season, the Premier League has shared data which demonstrates the drawing power of fantasy football in this country, with up to 300,000 Irish entrants set to take part.

Last season saw 9.1million teams register globally with 282,000 Irish entries, or one entrant for every 17 people, ahead of England one in 23 – England players made up the highest number of entrants with 2.4 million, followed by Egypt (817,000) and Nigeria with 426k.

Even in the ‘overall entries’ list, Irish players currently rank fifth – last season Ireland was boosted to fifth place by the American public – a country with 66 times the population.

Over the next few hours, the number of entrants for the FPL will increase and a Premier League spokesperson said: “Keep in mind that the numbers will rise sharply – but the percentage market share for each country will not won’t differ much.”

Currently, the Irish make up 3.14% of the total global audience, up slightly from the 3.09% who played last season.

By Tuesday this week, 158,000 Irish players had entered the competition, with that number expected to top 282,000 by tea time tomorrow.

FPL’s growth globally has increased by 350% in the decade since its launch in 2012/13, growing from 2.6 million to over 9.1 million last year.

The game, for those who don’t know, is loosely based on a virtual football management strategy, where you choose a team of Premier League players, within a certain budget and score points based on the performance/points of each player.

Unsurprisingly, given the interest in English football in Asia and Africa, the FPL is even more popular outside of Europe with just two European nations in last season’s top 10 – Ireland and England. England.

Norway look to be the next European country to break into the top 10 (11th by number of participants last season), mainly thanks to the renewed interest that Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester City will encourage.

The most popular player with entrants so far has been Gabriel Jesus with 71% of FPL entries picking Arsenal’s new striker (thanks to an encouraging £8m price tag), followed by Mo Salah (owned at 59%) and Trent Alexander-Arnold with 57%.

The Premier League places no marketing value on the FPL, but with such high engagement, growing interest and media coverage, the competition is an invaluable tool to inspire fans to become more involved with the brand, especially young fans.

The overall prize for the player who beats up to 10 million other entrants is relatively modest – a seven-night holiday in the UK and VIP hospitality at two Premier League games, plus a Hublot watch, a computer or smartphone, headphones, a jacket and a goody bag.

There are now individual manager of the week awards throughout the season, and a key motivating factor for fans is that there is no cost to download the app or enter the contest.

But the real motivation is glory, winning a league of millions, which was won by US resident Jamie Piggott last season and Galwegian Michael Coone in 2021.

Play Fantasy Premier League at The Irish Examiner mini-league code is w3l8h4

€11.2m wagered at Galway Races and remarkable increase for Tote

THE Galway Races suffered a 9.6% drop in attendance – to 116,720 this year – compared to the previous ‘normal’ times festival in Ballybrit in 2019.

However, The Pitch learned that while money wagered with bookies on the racetrack course was down 10%, there was a 7.6% increase in guaranteed cash at the Tote.

In total, bookies saw €6.1m staked (compared to €6.7m in 2019), while Tote (off-course and on-course) saw its figures climb to €5.086m. euros, compared to 4.179 million euros three years ago.

The bookmakers’ footfall and betting figures were directly in line with the recent report from Horse Racing Ireland, ahead of Galway, which showed identical declines for the first six months of the year – for the same period the Tote was down 12 .8%.

Despite a drop in attendance, Galway Races CEO Michael Moloney believes the numbers were still strong and non-betting spending for the food and drink sector will be “somewhat in line with the increase in the Tote”.

“What we’ve done this year is improve the customer experience and customer journey, through the introduction of new areas and new bars,” Moloney explained.

The resurgence of Tote follows a major overhaul of the betting pool which now features new “matched SPs” which guarantee bettors the industry starting price, if lower than the Tote SP, providing more value to bettors. clients.

The area is controversial with onsite bookmakers who say the tote enjoys an unfair advantage thanks to the positioning of the stores and the administration of the betting pool by HRI.

Final counts: how Kerry-Galway rated the audience

THE All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Galway was the most-watched show on Irish TV this year – but was only ninth among the deciders watched since 2010.

A total of 872,000 viewers watched the game on RTÉ, while another 131,000 tuned in to watch the game on RTÉ Player, giving the national broadcaster a total television and digital viewership of 1,003,000.

The final TV figure represents the number of people who watched the VOSDAL match – Viewing on the same day as the live broadcast – 862,000 – and within seven days (+ 10,000).

In purely television terms, this year’s final was the seventh most popular match in the past 10 years – which is due to a number of key ingredients missing for 2022’s showpiece.

For starters, the game was well outside its September comfort zone, instead arriving in July where TV engagement is lower, and without the two most-watched teams since 2010 – Dublin or Mayo.

The peak viewership, while not as critical to advertisers as the average figure, is the number of people who tuned in just before the final whistle – in this case July 24 at 5:03 p.m. – just when added time was added.

What Flutter’s ‘flatter organization’ means in job losses

A TOTAL of 400 jobs are now at risk at Flutter Ent., The Pitch can reveal.

Last week the company announced that it would restructure its UK&I business, which “may result in a small number of job losses” across its SkyBet, Paddy Power and Betfair brands.

Of a total workforce of 6,600 in Britain and Ireland, 400 positions are being considered for termination, with many employees currently in these positions to be moved to new or alternative roles.

It is likely that 200 redundancies could result as part of the restructuring, which was postponed following the acquisition of SkyBet in 2020.

Flutter has not yet reported the actual number of job losses and will await the completion of the employee consultation phase, which began last week and ends in September.

Following the purchase of SkyBet, 3,000 staff now work online across the group and another 3,600 in retail and central corporate functions.

However, the current move will not affect the already affected Paddy Power betting shops – which will see the closure of 5.6%, or 17 of its 300 retail units in the coming months.

The areas impacted by the internal Flutter move will be brand investment, marketing, technology, onboarding, and organizational structure (staff).

About Florence L. Silvia

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