In print on demand, profits flow from passions.
When a niche audience cares deeply about something — anything — it’s worth the time of MBA and KDP creators to produce products catering to this niche audience.
Helping matters significantly is when the niche audience is massive but still mostly overlooked by KDP and MBA sellers.
Case in point: fantasy sports.
I’ll spare you a protracted lecture on why this niche is so important and, instead, share this excerpt from Forbes:
“Fantasy sports in the U.S. continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down. The U.S. fantasy sports industry has grown from an estimated 32 million players in the US + Canada in 2010 to 59.3 million in 2017. And the industry grew in the U.S. from 42 million in 2015 to 45.9 million in 2019 (all stats according to TheFSGA.org).“
Although this multi-billion-dollar industry is typically associated with football, the reality is that this profitable and popular niche also includes (just to name a few):
- Fantasy Basketball
- Fantasy Baseball
- Fantasy Golf
- Fantasy Hockey
- Fantasy Race Car Driving
- Fantasy MMA
- Fantasy Soccer
- Fantasy College Football
- Fantasy College Basketball
- Fantasy Tennis
Most fantasy sports are staggeringly under-represented on Merch By Amazon. Virtually any clever sports-related phrase or theme (for players, coaches, or fans) can be modified or molded to suit fantasy sports enthusiasts, delivering a unique design or message to an audience that is absolutely ravenous for more fantasy sports-related products and apparel.
Similarly, fantasy sports books — for tracking events, games, players, trades, scores, etc. — are popular gifts in Q4. Yet judging by how few original works continue to enter the market, most KDPers are overlooking this opportunity, too.
Fortunately, even though we can’t reference professional teams, athletes, or leagues in our designs or listings, most consumers in this space seem content with apparel and novelty products that merely reference the act of engaging in fantasy sports to an obsessive degree.
For Merchers and KDPers yet to explore fantasy sports, not only do you have the upcoming benefit of Q4, you also have added momentum in the fact that fantasy sports are currently surging in the absence of cancelled professional sports across the globe. Fantasy sports are, for millions of people, replacing the void left by suspended professional and collegiate sporting events.
Earlier this year, I brought up the subject of another growth industry that more Merchers and KDPers should look into — something most are still yet to do!
As I’ve often said, being ahead of POD trends is the single greatest and most profitable position to find yourself in. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to do — that is, if you don’t have patience.
POD and patience represent a beautiful combination that veteran entrepreneurs not only understand but embrace.
Looking at today’s top selling tshirts/designs in POD is of limited value. These stats are lagging indicators. They provide a snapshot of a marketplace that has taken shape over many previous days or weeks. By the time you jump in to piggyback, the market will likely already be shifting beneath the surface toward new niches.
This is why I love looking into growth industries — businesses, hobbies, markets, foods, and just about anything that is predicted to see growth in the coming year or years. I’m perfectly willing to produce designs that could ultimately sit idle for 6-12 months before catching up to market projections. I just want to be first or among the first to set up shop — not just to succeed early, but to fail early so I’ll be done making mistakes in these growth niches when crunch time comes.
One such market that is getting talked about more and more today is the eSports industry.
As of 2020, the global eSports market is already valued at over one billion dollars.
The numbers here don’t lie. In the next few years, the eSports industry will achieve growth placing its total valuation many multiples ahead of where it has stood in recent years.
“Esports tshirt” returns fewer than 300 results on Amazon.com right now. Somehow I get the feeling that this niche is being ignored by the vast majority of Merchers who have made thousands of video game tees while overlooking one of the fastest growing niches in the entire gaming world.
Fantasy sports and eSports may have been around for a while, but they could very well be the next big things in MBA and KDP.