Sky Sport Fantasy: Gamification meets Bundesliga-Konferenz

8 February 2024 – DFL license agreements provide DFL licensees with many opportunities to develop new, creative media products of their own based on Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 match broadcasts, enabling the DFL media partners to cater for the specific interests of various audiences. One current example is the Sky Sport Fantasy programme.

It is our aim to tell new stories on the Bundesliga again and again through both, narrated and visual content.

Alexander Mölders, Director Concepts & Performance at Sky Sport

Users of Fantasy Manager games can select football players from all the teams of their favourite league to form a virtual Fantasy team; for example, for Bundesliga Manager games, they can choose players from the squads of all current Bundesliga clubs to play virtual games against other users’ Fantasy teams. These games are based on player ratings or ‘points’ which result from the performance of the selected players in their real-world matches: each action on the pitch is awarded a certain number of points in real-time. The combined points of each gamer’s virtual squad add up to a total count.

New concept makes Fantasy games even more exciting

This season Sky came up with an innovative concept to gather the world of Fantasy football around the Saturday afternoon Bundesliga-Konferenz broadcast. On Matchdays 18 and 19, the DFL media partner’s Sky Sport Fantasy programme introduced their new editorial live concept developed for the Kickbase Manager app. In a separate, additional Sky broadcast of the Bundesliga-Konferenz, Kickbase Fantasy experts Jan-Niclas “Janni” Stoecklin and Jan “Bencz” Benczedi commented on the parallel live matches at the stadiums, appraising the action on the pitches and what it meant for the Fantasy gaming app. The special broadcast included pre- and post-match coverage as well as new interactive features enabling interested viewers to try out an entirely new conference experience within the context of their Fantasy game.

Focus on the individual player

The performance of the players in the stadiums and the resulting points for the Fantasy Manager game were highlighted in a variety of new data charts on-screen. Furthermore, during the broadcast members of the Fantasy community were able to interact in Sky Sport Fantasy challenges presented in the Kickbase app as well as through social media integrations.

“It is our aim to tell new stories on the Bundesliga again and again through both, narrated and visual content,” explains Alexander Mölders, Director Concepts & Performance at Sky Sport. “We know that many of our viewers are constantly checking the real-time points of their Fantasy leagues on their smartphones while watching the Sky conference. So we combined both elements for this new live TV production, and we are happy about the enthusiastic feedback we have received from Fantasy Manager users and Bundesliga fans for this innovative storytelling concept.”

Positive feedback, especially from younger fans

The DFL supported this pilot project by granting Sky the rights to edit the broadcast signal. As a DFL licensee, Kickbase enhanced the partnership for the innovative concept by contributing the appropriate licenses and its audience-specific expertise. “So-called Engagement Tools play a particularly important role in connection with the media rights tender procedure for German-speaking countries. These services enable our media partners to maximise the potential of their media rights. In this context, gamification elements directed at new audiences are a core aspect for the forthcoming media rights award period,” explains Dr Roman Schade, Head of Audiovisual Rights National at DFL. “We are therefore very excited about the successful implementation of Sky Sport Fantasy by two of our licensees, Sky and Kickbase, and about the enormously positive feedback we have received, especially from young football fans.”