eSports is growing rapidly at this moment and with all this attention surrounding eSports it didn’t take long before brands got involved. Red bull, Nissan, Intel and even, Coca Cola are already investing in the world of eSports. Why are all these big brands all of a sudden investing in eSports and what are the opportunities for brands like this? When you have finished this article you will find out that things aren’t that different compared to traditional sports.
eSports prize pots are worth millions of dollars. The venues where these games are being held are large and complex. Star players earn big salaries on teams owned by organizations. Tens of thousands of fans gather at arenas to watch gamers compete live and then we haven’t even mentioned the millions viewers that tune in live online. In 2016 eSports revenue has experienced a 43% rise in just one year, making it a total of $463 million. With a business as big as this, brands are eager to jump in and join.
There are many reasons why brands want to get involved with eSports and there also many ways that brands can get involved with eSports. In this article we will shine a light on some possibilities and tell you which companies are already doing this and how.
Let E-athletes sell your product.
E-athletes are the new stars of today. They have a huge following and fans are interested in every aspect in their life. Next to that it is important to speak the same language as your target audience, if you find this difficult then why not let the player speak for you? Send them your products and let them make a review about your product.
Sponsor a team.
eSports Teams usually come in two varieties. There are “eSports Works Teams”, and what we call “eSports Agency Teams.” eSports Works Teams are teams which are financed and run by product companies, such as the Samsung Galaxy Pro-Game Team — the previous League of Legends world champions. You may have seen this model a lot already if you’re a fan of football (soccer), rugby or motor sports, where companies such as Volkswagen, IBM, Samsung, Toyota, and Airbus have all had Works Teams at one point or another.
Let’s have a look at Agency Teams. Agency Teams function as a small eSports marketing tool for your company. Brands who sponsor Agency Teams get logo presence on the team jersey (broadcast visibility), team website presence, visible on team social media, and extra visibility through publications when the team performs well. These agency-style teams typically offer additional services such as branded content creation and offer their players influencer-status for reviews and testimonials for their sponsor’s products and offerings.
Sponsor an event.
Event sponsorship is one of the most visible and effective ways to make a name in the eSports scene. Top companies like Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, and LG are already sponsoring events and with that bringing major events to eSports fans, and fans are thanking them by becoming loyal to the brands. eSports event sponsorship is a comparatively low-cost alternative to traditional sporting event sponsorship especially when compared to traditional sports.
These were just a few tips that you can already try out with your brand. However, remember eSports marketing is more about brand/consumer relationship building and generating engagement by providing value to the community than direct revenue generation. The key is keeping your communication and efforts authentic so that your brand is seen as a valuable member of the world of eSports. If you do that, you’re sure to be rewarded with engagement, brand awareness, and loyalty.