In the last few years we have been hearing about eSports more and more. This new online phenomenon sees teams or individuals competing against each other online in different video games, like: Fortnite, League Of Legends, Dota 2, etc.
ESports has managed the difficult task of growing from a business model into a movement that generates more than 963 million euros worldwide, especially in the US and South Korea. That said, Spain is not far behind and has already become a European eSports superpower. Some of the most famous eSports organizations in Spain are LVP and ESL.
eSports viewers are typically male 21-35 year old centennials or millennials who work full time. They usually watch eSports on the computer, using platforms like Twitch and Youtube, while using Twitter to make comments.
The Role of Brands and Marketing
With the growth of eSports and its audiences, brands are now trying to get involved and interact with them. This trend started with just electronics companies, but now we can see companies like Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Movistar also jumping on the bandwagon, a clear indicator that this trend is not going away any time soon. In this article we are going to share some of our favourite tips for those wanting to incorporate eSports into their marketing strategy:
Collaborating with influencers is always a safe bet as long as their values coincide with our brand. By using influencers we are able to access our target audience more directly.
An example of an eSports influencer who attracts a lot of viewers would be Ibai Llanos (aka: IbaiLlanos): from the eSports team G2 Esports. As a broadcaster and content creator, he has managed to attract millions of followers on different social media platforms and has managed to create eSports tournaments in which both players and celebrities can participate. In March 2020 he organized a FIFA 20 tournament in association with La Liga Santander football players to raise money for the fight against Covid19, as a result they raised €200,000.
In the image on the left we can see the commentators who participated and on the right the soccer players of each team that participated.
Another of the most renowned influencers in the world of eSports is Manuel Fernández (Aka: lolitofdez): he specialises in games made by Epic Games like Fortnite. In 2019 he created the Diamantes Brutos tournament between 50 influencers and 50 pro players for a Epic Games’ Battle Royale with a prize of €25,000. It got more than 750,000 viewers and the tournament was a success.
Sponsoring a team or player that shares the same brand values as you is always a good option, since at all times your product or brand will be present and viewers will be able to see that you support their favorite players. In addition, it is the main money maker of this sector. In 2019, team sponsorhips made up a worldwide revenue of $456.7 million.
Taking advantage of this relatively untapped market may seem easy but there are some things to consider first. On the one hand, we have the sponsorships of endemic brands, i.e. brands associated with the electronic world like keyboard and computer companies etc with the best known being: Orange, Movistar, Vodafone, Riot Games, Razer, Logitech and IBM.
On the other hand, we have other brands like: Coca Cola, Red Bull, Citibank, Pirelli, Benetton, Zara or American Express.
With such a wide range of brands getting involved in eSports, what exactly can be sponsored? Well the truth is, anything from players, teams to tournaments, leagues or streamers can be sponsored. Here are some examples:
Movistar: sponsors one of the most powerful teams on the eSports scene, the Movistar Riders. Movistar has also created a specific and unique TV channel for eSports, Movistar eSports, and has established a partnership with ESL, one of the main eSports companies in the world.
Redbull: is one of the main sponsors of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and Ninja, a streamer who has managed to surpass sports stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lebron James in popularity. Redbull has used a number of different strategies to increase Ninja’s popularity, for example using his face on its soft drink cans:
Take a chance on eSports
This industry is constantly growing, therefore, you can help players grow to become stars and become renowned.
Advertising on Twitch and Youtube
An IAB study has revealed that 2 out of 3 viewers are interested in the ads (videos) that appear on streaming platforms where e-sports are broadcast.
Therefore, broadcasting an ad on one of these platforms is a safe bet to reach the millennial and centennial audience. That said, make sure that your ad is not too aggressive and doesn’t interrupt the livestream. Your ad should also be entertaining, with content that interests users and that fits the profile of your target audience.
The main platforms for this type of advertising are Youtube and Twitch. You can advertise through live events with ads, banners or other more creative ways. Here are some other examples.
The client, i.e. our brand, publishes a “bounty” along with the necessary information about your program. Influencers who browse and discover your bounty can decide if your brand matches their type of content.
Set the content you want to promote in the center of the homepage.
Keep the ads on the right side of your profile while users explore your content, this way they can always see your brand. It is also advisable to include your ad on game or channel directory pages.
Finally, here are some tips to better understand and approach the target audience of eSports:
Forget the Stereotypes
The typical eSports player or spectator is not a typical teenager locked up at home in front of the computer screen eating junk food without interacting with the outside world. We must leave this image behind and see that these audiences are very varied.
Create market niches
It’s not possible to launch a campaign that encompasses all types of eSports viewers so we must appeal to several niche markets.
It doesn’t matter if your brand is chupa-chups or vintage clothing, if you study the market well and find a way of appealing to the users you can take advantage of this niche within this broad market. The trick is to study your audience, understand how they work and study the other brands that collaborate with them.