Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Steve Urbanski.

Committee Co-Chair

Bob Britten

Committee Member

Kelly Crowley

Committee Member

Gonzalo Bravo


Fantasy sports (FS) have become a mass phenomenon; it has been estimated that close to thirty million people play some form of fantasy sports, creating a multi-billion dollar market whose popularity and visibility have grown exponentially since its inception. This research examined the rise in popularity of FS with the Diffusion of Innovations theory used as a framework. A content analysis was conducted to gain insight on FS and various topics linked with the games, including social dynamics, gambling associations, and gender issues. Two coders examined fantasy content taken from issues of ESPN magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Sporting News from all of 1999, 2000, 2001, as well as March (start of baseball season), August (start of football season), and October (start of basketball season/only month when all three leagues are active) of 2007, 2008, and 2009. The study found a major increase in FS content in all three magazines examined, both in quantity and length of articles. There was also an increase in the number of players mentioned per article, with additional findings, discussions, limitations, and suggestions for future research included.