Fantasy sports are offering established fans and newcomers a way to engage with women's sports.
Just Women's Sports' Pick and Play collaboration with Facebook puts bragging rights on the line.
Insider spoke to JWS CEO Haley Rosen about how the game helps grow women's sports fandom.
For stakeholders in women's pro sports, getting casual fans to tune in has long been the key challenge. But now they're getting some help from a perhaps unlikely source: fantasy sports.
Just Women's Sports has teamed up with Facebook to develop a free mobile Pick and Play game devoted exclusively to women's sporting events. Players can test their knowledge of the women's sports landscape by answering five questions about upcoming matchups and competitions each week.
"We launched this in partnership with Facebook with the aim of creating an interactive game that helped fans engage with both JWS and their favorite leagues and teams," Just Women's Sports founder and CEO Haley Rosen told Insider. "Interactive games, whether fantasy football or daily predictor games, are a staple on the men's side, but that infrastructure still needs to be built out on the women's."
"We saw this as a great opportunity to make the leap into interactive content," she added.
Participants earn five points for each question answered correctly, and if they get all five questions right, they'll rocket up the leaderboard by doubling their overall score for the week. At the end of the month, Just Women's Sports and Facebook crown a winner.
"We've had nearly 100,000 people play, which is a great start and a number we're proud of," Rosen said. "We didn't set any expectations around numbers because it's our first foray into this kind of venture."
But beyond those numbers, Rosen and company hope that fantasy games will help drive interest in women's sports. She says that the JWS newsletter and Facebook page have already both received an uptick in engagement seemingly as a result of the pick and play game.
The more folks have a vested interest in what goes on in the WNBA, National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), and other women's sports events through playing the game, the more likely they are to keep up with what happens as the competition gets underway.
As Rosen sees it, "to attract die-hard fans you first need casual fans, and to bring in casual fans, you have to lean into opportunities that allow fans to engage with different leagues and teams even if they have limited or no prior knowledge." Just Women's Sports' Pick and Play game does exactly that.
"We've seen fans share the game among their friends, and we obviously want to encourage and make possible even more of that behavior," Rosen said. "Friendly rivalry and competition is one of the things people love most about sports, so we look to amplify that wherever we can.
"It's been awesome to see fans engage with all kinds of content," she added. "We want to make it easy and fun to be a fan of these leagues, and games like this are a great way to do that."
Facebook users with iOS or Android devices can find the Just Women's Sports' Pick and Play game under the Fantasy Games section of their Facebook app.
Read the original article on Insider