The eSports market is a hotbed for marketers who want to present products and brands to a young target group. But only a few companies, mostly in the IT sector, recognized this rising market and became early adopters. Here are five reasons why you should start to advertise in esports.
1. eSports provides convincing figures
Due to variations within it, esports shows a lot of interesting key performance indicators. For now, the most impressive stats are delivered by League of Legends, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game which counts 67 million registered players worldwide and a daily activity of 27 million. At its peak, the amount of concurrent players hovers around 7.5 million.
|League of Legends||67.000.000|
|World of Tanks||60.000.000|
|Call of Duty||40.000.000|
|Defense of the Ancients 2||26.000.000|
|Team Fortress 2||20.000.000|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||5.400.000|
Even regarding attendance figures, League of Legends is the primary measure of all things when it comes to esports. The 2014 League of Legends World Championships in Singapore, Taipei, Busan and Seoul were watched by 27 million unique viewers. The finals were watched by 11.2 million peak concurrent viewers.
|World Championship||2013||League of Legends||32.000.000|
|ESL One Cologne||2015||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||27.000.000|
|World Championship||2014||League of Legends||27.000.000|
|The International||2014||Defense of the Ancients 2||20.000.000|
|ESL One Katowitz||2015||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||8.780.000|
|World Championship||2012||League of Legends||8.282.000|
|ESL championship spring 2015||2015||multiple||1.055.840|
|The International||2012||Defense of the Ancients 2||567.000|
2. eSports has wide-coverage influencers
Like traditional sports, eSports has its stars. Players, hosts, and shoutcasters can all have large and loyal fanbases. These personalities can be influencers and multipliers for your brand. They have fanpages and strong social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Top 20 reach 5.8 million fans just via Facebook.
One of the most popular eSports characters is Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodriguez. He has about 600,000 followers on Facebook and has founded his own brand. By his own account, he earns about $600,000-$700,000 a year, mainly with merchandise products. He is media-savvy and close to his fans, which allowed him to become popular enough to afford an esports-dedicated residence in the center of Madrid.
Rodriguez is not the only player who attracts widespread media attention though. Earlier this year, Red Bull announced the first League of Legends pro-player among their athletes, and EIZO, for example, sells one of their products in a campaign featuring former Fnatic pro gamer Patrik ‘cArn’ Sättermon. Esports athletes give brand testimonials more and more often.
3. Global players enter the market
Some of the big corporations have already entered the market and have claimed their spot. Just a few examples are Coca Cola, Beats by Dr. Dre, Red Bull, Björn Borg, McDonalds, Dr. Pepper, and HTC.
While Coca-Cola is focusing on the League of Legends Championship Series, other brands like Red Bull run their own tournaments and events, namely, the Red Bull Battle Grounds and the Red Bull Wings Academy.
One of the most engaged and newest companies to esports is High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC), who announced sponsorships with three popular esports clubs from North America earlier this year.
4. eSports is filling stadiums
While most of the day to day esports takes place online, there has been an increase in events hosted in stadiums and other large venues. Major events like the ESL One Series can attract a live audience of 10.000 and more on a regular basis.
The most exciting event so far has been the League of Legends World Championship Finals in 2014. Taking place in South Korea, the finals attracted about 40,000 people to the Sangam Stadium in Seoul. This year, the League of Legends World Championship will take place in Europe. The grand final will take place at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena in Berlin, Germany. Other dazzling venues for esports include The Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York City.
5. eSports is an emerging market
The esports industry is growing rapidly. Three years ago, 58 million esports enthusiasts were counted—in 2014, that same count almost hit 90 million. The market research company Newzoo estimates this number to grow up to 145 million within the next two years.
In addition, almost 40% of esports fans don’t even play the game that they watch. This is a clear signal that competitive gaming is advancing as a spectators sport. Worldwide, there are more than 200 million fans enjoying esports content.
eSports revenue growth is another impressive indicator. With $130 million in 2012, $194 million in 2014 and estimated $465 million in 2017 the revenue expands as one of the fastest in the digital games market.
Get the latest news and stories regarding marketing, sponsoring, advertising and investments in eSports.