In recent years there has been an upward trend for American sports in terms of their popularity on UK shores.
American football, more specifically the NFL, has become much more prominent in UK culture. Back to 1985, Channel 4 picked up broadcast rights to show highlights from that season, including the Super Bowl. This caused a spike in the amount of people in the UK playing American football competitively, with an official league soon established and over 100 teams involved.
With growing interest in the sport, including annual London games and Sky Sports unrivalled coverage, a group of friends (including two Ealing locals) has launched the first and only NFL daily fantasy app exclusively for UK fans.
Gurmeet Sahni, Ankit Vohra and Mark Atkinson have developed Fantasy Gameday, an app which allows you to build a lineup of your favourite NFL stars, manage your budget, and watch your players score points in real-time.
We spoke to Gurmeet to get a bit more information about the app.
Tell us about Fantasy Gameday App....
FantasyGamedayApp is a daily Fantasy NFL app, just for fans in the UK. Unlike season-long fantasy football where you choose your players at the start of the season and stick with the same players, our concept is social game where each week you build lineups of your favourite NFL stars and get to watch them earn fantasy points while you watch live games. You’ve got to be 18 and over to play, as you enter games with cash payouts - the better you do, the more you win, with the top 20% of entrants winning cash prizes.
What drove you to launch it?
NFL fans in the UK have a real sense of community. We’re big NFL fans ourselves, and wanted to do more for people like us. Fantasy games around NFL are hugely popular, and a ton of fun. Our app really enhances how you watch the game, and we intend to bring more people to the sport.
Do you have to have an in-depth knowledge of NFL to Fantasy Gameday or can you be a bit of a novice on the subject?
We want to bring as many people to the sport as we can, so we’ve tried to make the game fun for beginners too. We’ve got features in the app that help you learn about the players you can pick in your lineup, and there's also everything you need to know simply a Google search away. We’ve already had some overall grand prize winners who only recently got into the NFL.
What do you love about the NFL and why do you think it's becoming more and more popular in the UK?
Well who doesn’t love a good underdog story? One of the coolest things about the sport is that the league is designed for talent parity. It feels like every year you have a new set of teams who can win the Superbowl, and every game has a last-second ending with incredible drama. As a fan, the thrill is unmatched. The Jaguars, London’s unofficial team, are a perfect example. Only a couple years ago were a walkover, and this year are one of the favourites to win it all.
The NFL have made huge investments to grow the game here, even helped finance the construction of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where they host a couple NFL games a year. Sky Sports have a dedicated channel to show games and NFL content during the season. Talksport, other radio and UK NFL podcasts are popping up all over, it’s really exciting for us to see the reception from the UK fanbase.
Will you be going to Wembley to watch the game in October?
We will have to play a game of rock, paper scissors to decide which one of us gets to go. Tickets for London games are incredibly hard to come by! Going to one of the most iconic sports stadium in the world, so close that I can see the Wembley arch from our window to watch the sport we love the most is very cool!
The NFL London games 2023 will begin with Atlanta Falcons v Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday 1st October 2023.