What are eSports?Electronic sports also know as eSports are organized multi-player video game competitions that involve strategy, fighting, battle arenas or first person shooters. The participants within these competitions are typically loyal professional players that play individually or as a team. The winner at the end of the competition gets a big prize and it's gaining huge momentum in the past few years.
Why Should you invest?
Even if you are still confused what exactly this whole thing is about, you should still give this bountiful industry some serious consideration. Listed out below are 4 very real, valuable reasons that will convince you that your next and biggest investment in marketing opportunities is in eSports.
In 2015, a report from Superdata valued the global eSports industry at $612 million. $143 million of that comes from North America and the majority ($374 million) comes from the Asia. The North American sponsors alone valued at $111 million. Those numbers have already risen in 2016 and will likely continue to grow.
It is an extensive industry, to say the least. But it has a relatively untapped marketing opportunity for brands to showcase their products and gain a group of active, youthful, loyal and targeted customers.
Opportunity for growth
This industry has a marketing opportunity for brands that has the ability to go global. From the previous stat, it is clear the largest market within this industry is not in U.S. In South Korea, esports also enjoys an intense and passionate following supported by sold out stadiums. For example, the 2014 League of Legends Championship completely filled a Seoul’s 40,000-seat stadium.
It is, also, estimated that the worldwide market could grow to $1.8 billion by 2020, which makes it an easy case for marketers to expand their strategy and tap into this market.
If the younger generations continue to spread awareness and cultivate more players and fans, we can expect the eSports market to rise globally soon. Which means more targeted audiences for your products and your brand.
Access to untapped markets
In the first reason it is obvious that this market is on the rise and has already expanded past expectation. But it is a recently established industry, which people are either unaware of or skeptical of. This hesitation and lack of understanding is your brand’s business opportunity. You can beat out your competitors and establish yourself a loyal fan base.
In 2015, Red Bull had invested over $587 million into this market with investments in events, team sponsorships, broadcast shows, creative content and even training facilities. Along with Coca Cola, the drink brands seem to be increasingly aware of the potential this industry can hold with the understanding of the absolute necessity to access the millennial market through multiple channels with focused, quality content and ingenuity.
Access to a thriving community
Gamers, professional or novice, are considered a devoted breed. They purchase, recommend and defend the products they use every day. The participants within these games share the willingness to learn, which is good for you. These gamers are willing to discover new products, learn how they work, what the brand is like and then pay those products’ high prices.
They are also a young community made up of mostly millenials, which has been argued to be the hardest demographic to sell to. But also because they are young and loyal, you are guaranteed to have an excited, passionate customer for years to come.
How are brands using it today?
Activision Blizzard utilized the Votion bracketing platform for their 2016 Call of Duty League eSports tournament. The tournament offered the largest prize pool in Call of Duty Championship history at $2,000,000 and involved 32 competitive teams from around the world. The campaign was sponsored by GameStop.
Activision Blizzard asked fans to predict who the champions would be, beginning with smaller group brackets, walking through match ups that were set up in advance. The winners of match ups were advanced based on actual outcomes from the tournament and automatically updated by Votion. Fans were ranked against their fellow fans by the accuracy of their predictions.
In the end, the results for Activision Blizzard passed even the highest expectations. 60% of the over 30,0000 fans registered for the campaign completed their prediction brackets. Fans had viewed 1.1 billions minutes of content across the span of 100 million views, and that was before the campaign had even begun! This gave Activision Blizzard massive recognition, increased brand understanding and further promoted brand loyalty within this industry.
eSports is an existing active industry that has already proven just how lucrative it can be for it’s participants, sponsors, and other persons associated with it. It has shown that it has the potential to grow and expand, maybe even take over the world! With the industry’s young participants and fans, its untapped resources and it’s overwhelmingly fun and exciting nature; marketers need to look to eSports as their next big marketing break.
To see more about how tapping into this industry can further your brand’s marketing goals check out our blog here!