Betting companies have long been in the business of sponsoring traditional sports teams and events. A quick look at the shirts of clubs in European football leagues reveals no end of betting brand logos, and the same could soon happen to the biggest esports tournaments.
Betway have already emerged as one of the most eye-catching brands to have used such partner-ship deals. The betting site have enjoyed a healthy sponsorship deal with the Ninjas in Pyjamas Counter Strike team for the past few years, and they have also had their brand-name linked with the Brazilian CSGO organisation MIBR.
But Betway haven’t stopped their sponsorship efforts here. The betting site will be sponsoring the ESL Counter Strike tournaments throughout 2019, and they even recently landed an exclusive sponsorship with the PSG.LGD League of Legends team. This high-profile deal came at the cost of a six-figure sum, but it holds many benefits for Betway.
Not only is PSG one of the world’s most iconic sporting brands thanks to the success of the Paris Saint Germain football team, but LGD were one of the most successful esports organisations in China that has the world’s largest gaming community.
Such moves are just part of Betway’s promotional campaign for their esports betting platform. Alongside their promotional offers for new customers that are detailed here, many other esports bookmakers like Mr Green and EnergyBet have strong promotions that can be browsed at the Oddspedia site. As a result, Betway have worked hard to sponsor other promising European es-ports teams like Berlin International Gaming in order to bolster their exposure amongst the hardcore gaming audience.
It’s been interesting to see how many rival brands in the esports betting scene are joining the likes of Betway in their sponsorship activity. The esports betting site GGBet sponsored the likes of Fnatic as far back as 2016, and they recently stepped up their promotional activities by sponsoring the Dan-ish esports team North for a six-figure sum in 2018. In addition to this, GGBet have also sponsored high profile esports tournaments such as the CSGO Ice Challenge that was hosted in London earli-er this year.
The Rivalry betting site also found success in sponsoring an esports tournament in the form of the Rivalry CIS International, and Dafabet have previously forged partnership with famous esports teams like Fnatic.
All of these efforts have been made to boost their brand names amongst the growing number of esports fans. Reports have stated that the global esports audience will be more than 450 million in 2019, and making sure that their brand is recognised by the gaming fans is hugely important to bookmakers.
As a result, it is expected to become more commonplace to see betting companies’ logos displayed on esports teams shirts and in the promotional activity for the gaming tournaments themselves.
Although such promotional moves may be helpful for bringing new customers to the betting sites, there is already a good deal of controversy about how this will affect younger fans of esports. Many people have stated that such exposure to gambling firms could negatively impact the younger gen-erations who are amongst esports biggest customers.
For the moment, it looks like there is a growing trend towards deregulating online gambling in many countries such as the USA. As a result, we can expect to see the influence of bookmakers increas-ing in the esports realm.
For many fledgling esports teams the big-money sponsorship deals will have a positive impact in terms of funding the increasingly prohibitive costs of running a professional competitive gaming team. Plus the fact that esports betting was worth a reported $6.7 billion in 2018 shows that there is plenty of interest in this activity.
Although many people have raised suspicions about the negative impact of betting sponsorship deals in esports, it seems as though they are here to stay and we can expect to see many more big-money sponsorship deals between esports teams and betting sites emerging in the future.