Fantasy sports platform Dream11on Friday was unveiled as the official fantasy game in India for LaLiga, Spain’s premier football league. The company, set up by Manchester United fans and 2019 Fortune India 40 Under 40 listers Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008, became India’s first gaming unicorn in April.
Through this five-season partnership deal, till the end of the 2023-24 season, football fans in India will get an opportunity to engage with the league and showcase their knowledge by creating their own virtual teams. Dream11’s 70 million-plus users will also be able to compete with each other.
LaLiga is one of the most popular football leagues in the world and features some of Europe’s best football clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid FC, Atlético de Madrid, Valencia CF, and many more. It features players such as 2019 Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, FIFA World Cup 2018 winner Antoine Griezmann, and Eden Hazard, among others.
“We are thrilled to announce our first ever regional partner in the Indian subcontinent, Dream11,” LaLiga India managing director Jose Antonio Cachaza said in a statement. “As the best football league in the world, we have built expertise in using innovative technology to increase engagement with our fans across the globe. In India, fantasy sports have massive popularity and our association with the country’s biggest fantasy sports platform will help us widen our reach and introduce many heroes of the league beyond Messi, Suarez, Benzema and more who already have a special place in our fans’ hearts.”
Dream11 is already the official fantasy game partner of The Board of Control for Cricket in India, VIVO Indian Premier League, International Council of Cricket, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Hero Indian Super League, National Basketball Association (NBA), and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), among others.
“Our association with LaLiga will help us deliver comprehensive and best in class fantasy sports experience to Indian football fans. Spanish football is all about skills and understanding strategies, which is central to creating a winning team on Dream11. We are certain that the thrilling matches of the league will keep the Indian football fans clued in,” Dream11 co-founder and CEO Jain said.
India is one of the fastest-growing markets for fantasy sports, and its growth in the country has resulted in an increase in the overall consumption of sports. A recent Nielsen-IFSG report suggests that 37% of fantasy sports players consume more than 6-8 hours of real-life sports content per week to stay abreast with knowledge on players and match conditions turning passive sports viewers into active participants of a match, while 62% of respondents watch different types of leagues, even when their team/country is not playing.
On Thursday, LaLiga appointed cricketer Rohit Sharma as its brand ambassador in India. Reports said that he was the first non-footballer in the league’s 90-year history to endorse the brand.