We have already talked about how your company could work together with eSports to market your brand. However, the eSports teams should also market themselves. Today we will focus on eSports and merchandising. Why are eSport teams making use of merchandising and is it succesful within the eSport industry?
Merchandise is a way of generating money for eSports teams and the organisations behind them. It actually goes the same way as with traditional sports: fans want to wear a t-shirt or jersey of their favorite eSports team or eAthlete to show that they support this team. Money is generated by selling the merchandise to these fans. It is an advertisement for the team, but also for the advertising brands that are promoting themselves on, for instance, the t-shirts they sell. The industry is still growing, as well as the demand, therefore the supply of merchandise is getting bigger and bigger.
According to an article written by Fortune, the current global eSport economy is $748.8 million, driven by sponsorships and advertising, which generate $578.6 million (78%) of revenues. eSports betting industries account for $55.8 million (7%) and $53.8 million (7%) in prize pools. Amateur and microtournaments generate $27.7 million (4%), followed by $17 million (2%) in merchandise and $15.9 million (2%) in ticket sales.
As you can see merchandise only counts for 2%. This can be explained by the fact that the eSport industry is still in the growth phase of the “product” life cycle. It does show there is revenue potential in merchandising sales and there is an ability to sell team branded eSports merchandise. This will also support the growth of fan bases of the teams. However, for the market to mature, more brand partnership opportunities are needed. So, it is actually highly connected to the brands/companies (maybe your company) that want to invest in the industry.
Not only eSport teams and organisers sell merchandising, it is also sold by publishers at their own organized live events.
Once more, we enhance on the brand partnership aspect of eSports, as you can see it is all connected to each other. We have already discussed it in multiple articles, however, this is an option to promote your company as well. Some example brands that promoted themselves through eSports t-shirt sponsoring are: Vodafone, Volkswagen, Razer and SanDisk.
— eRa Alex (@eRa_Azuhl) October 4, 2017
Besides making advertisement beautiful messages are spread as well. An example that portrays this well is the above ERA t-shirt with the Pink Ribbon logo on it. With this jersey they are trying to make awareness around breast cancer.
Buying eSport merchandise
ESL shop is a company that sells eSport merchandise. Besides clothes, they also sell sport bags, mouse pads and collectibles. You can easily select the eSport team you are interested in and enjoy yourselves in the world of eSports merchandise.
As you can see there are enough reasons to create merchandise and invest in it. The demand is still growing and therefore we expect that it will be beneficial for your business to invest in, for instance, t-shirt sponsoring.
Do you think eSport shirt sponsoring is a good investment?
— NextGenSports (@NGSblog) October 5, 2017