While last week Beats by Dr. Dre announced a partnership with South Korean gaming club ‘CJ Entus’, High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) released a statement concerning large-scale marketing engagement in eSports.
As annunciated via twitter at the end of 2014 by Jeff Gordon (CEO of HTC), the Taiwanese company announced partnerships with three popular esports-organizations, which caused a big surprise.
HTC’s 2015 roadmap will be our best ever–with some huge surprises that will blow you away. 😉
— Jeff Gordon (@urbanstrata) 31. Dezember 2014
Commenting on the official press statement, CEO Cher Wang stated: “eSports has seen significant growth in the past few years and we see synergy between people who are passionate about this sport and our own customer base. It was an easy decision for us to sponsor these talented teams and individuals.”
Top-level sponsoring partners for HTC
The choice of partners shows that the team of HTC did some research. Team Liquid (TL), Cloud9 (C9) and Team SoloMid (TSM) are successful organizations, all of which are playing in the American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Last season, Team SoloMid and Cloud9 came in first and second place respectively, while Team Liquid came in fourth.
Team SoloMid and Team Liquid have only recently begun to create their own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams in order to strengthen their gaming portfolio. However, these teams are highly successful and at the same time quite expensive. According to dailydot.com, players for Team SoloMid receive a fixed salary of $3.000, making them the most well-payed CS:GO-players in the world.
High range of influence due to athletic success
The success of the eSports organizations can also be seen in their figures. With 390.000 facebook-likes each and an impressive number of twitter followers, the clubs are among the most popular eSports-clubs in the world.
Additionally, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid are having huge numbers of unique visitors on their webpages. While Cloud9 solely posts about internal matters and counts 650.000 unique visitors on their site, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid create community webpages and guides for popular games like League of Legends and StarCraft 2. This brings their monthly figure of viewers to 7 million for Team SoloMid and 4.5 million unique visitors for Team Liquid.
Apart from these numbers, the organizations create content on YouTube as well as twitch.tv. Team SoloMid’s YouTube channel counts around 68 million views, making their channel the most popular of the three, while 26 million people tune into Team Liquid’s channel on a monthly basis. Cloud9 comes in third place with a little over one million views. Furthermore, every player of every club has an active twitch.tv channel, where more than 6 million unique viewers root for their favourite player, cheer them on and communicate with them.
Content marketing via series of videos
Following an official statement announcing the partnership between his organization and HTC, Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet stated that thanks to the cooperation, they would be able to create new content which was not possible before. A part of that content will be a series of videos starring players of Team SoloMid, Team Liquid and Cloud9.
HTC-products for the gaming market?
Announcing the partnership between HTC and the eSports-organizations however poses the question if we will be seeing HTC-products which focus on the gaming market.
Up until now, HTC’s product range did not offer any direct connection to video gaming. However, according to the online-magazine The Verge, we might be expecting a HTC product which relates to the recent marketing developments in eSports.
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