Esports is getting attention from all over the world because it is a growing business that is on track to become the second most popular sport after soccer. But more specifically, esports has caught the attention of brands and companies, which sponsor events, teams, and players. This makes up 40% of the industry’s revenue stream. You might be wondering why companies are putting so much money into this business.
Companies sponsor esports because it is growing quickly, its fans are highly educated and young, and it gives brands a lot of freedom. Companies that sell chairs, computer accessories, insurance, and even cars can sponsor esports events because of the people who watch them.
There are 7 main reasons why esports are a great way to get sponsored:
- Esports viewership is huge and is continuing to grow rapidly
- Esports general audience (millennials) cover 34% of the overall population
- Esports audience make for good potential customers and even employees
- Esports can both represent a niche and a wide demographic
- Esports offers flexible marketing opportunities
- Esports creates multiple parallel markets
- Players are influential characters to sponsor
In this article, I’ll talk more about why companies sponsor esports. If you are ready to know the reason why companies sponsor esports events, let’s go!
Why Does Esports Provide A Good Sponsorship Opportunity From Companies?
Esports Is Very Popular!
Today, more and more people are watching Esports, and it is quickly becoming a part of North American culture. In 2018, there were 395 million unique viewers of esports. In the next two years, 100 million more people watched, bringing the total number of viewers to 495 million by 2020.
By 2023, this number is expected to reach 646 million. The growth in viewers is due to both occasional viewers and Esports fans, but most of the change is due to an increase in occasional viewers. When we look at the growth of occasional viewers, we can see that the number of occasional viewers has gone from 222 million in 2018 to an expected 351 million in 2023. That’s an increase of 129 million (36.7%) occasional viewers. Compared to that, the number of people who like Esports has gone from 173 million to 295 million. 122 million more people watched.
Companies have the chance to get their name in front of millions of people.
Easy To Watch
Fans can watch Esports on many free platforms around the world. People from all over the world can watch for free on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and many other sites. Because there is no paywall, people who have never seen Esports before can try it out right away.
All of the big platforms for watching Esports have a chat feature that lets people talk to each other and cheer for their favorite teams live. Even though this isn’t exactly the same as being in the stadium, it’s as close as possible.
Fun To Watch
Esports has become a very exciting form of entertainment because it has good production teams, experienced commentators, and rivalries between teams.
With more and more people watching esports, the chance for parallel economies comes up. Some examples of parallel economies that exist because of esports are as follows:
- Educational content
- Esports Videos on Demand (VOD)
- Esports match wagers
- Esports schools
As competitive gaming grows in popularity, more and more gamers are interested in becoming professional gamers. This makes it possible for people to make educational content.
Every month, hundreds of esports-related guides are uploaded in video format. Popular channels that teach people about video games, like Pro Guides, get more than 10 million views per month across all of their channels.
People also use more websites and services that offer written guides. This means that companies can choose where they want their ads to go based on the content.
Esports Videos On Demand And Highlights (VOD)
As an esports fan, one of the best things is that you can watch all the games for free whenever you want. This makes it possible for a lot of people to watch YouTube channels and Twitch accounts after the event is over. This means that all sponsored images and ads are seen by more people, giving the sponsor more value.
In esports, match bets are becoming more and more popular. This gives big platforms for betting on sports a chance to grow into a new industry. Most importantly, MyBookie was the first major sports betting website to let people bet on esports.
Along with esports, education and teaching about video games are also growing industries. Personal coaching and boot camps are becoming more popular, and a lot of big companies are starting to offer them.
As they add esports teams, many post-secondary schools have also started to offer scholarships.
By marketing to the education sector of the industry, brands can reach students and people who like esports.
Esports Makes For The Right Audience
Most people who play Esports are 26 years old, have a high level of education, and know a lot about technology. Branding to this group can mean getting loyal customers in the future, but it can also mean promoting the brand as a possible place to work.
When looking for a job today, people look at a company’s mission or character to decide which one to work for. If a business can tell its audience what it wants to do, it may do well in the future.
There are also many different types of people who like different esports. According to an article on McKinsey, here is a breakdown of who plays the most popular esports today and where they come from.
Esports Offers Flexibility In Sponsorship Opportunities
There is no doubt that sponsoring a live event works. Companies have a lot of options when it comes to esports. For example, companies that sponsor esports teams are not limited in where they can put their brand logo on the jerseys like they are in traditional sports like soccer or football.
There are a lot of chances for brand names to be heard at each event that a company sponsors. In League of Legends, phrases like “BudLight Ace” or “RedBull Baron Buff Power Play” are said over and over again during the broadcast.
Sponsors who give more money get a 30-second spot like the StateFarm Help of the Week. These segments have been shown to work, which is why companies keep sponsoring them.
Esports players get a platform and can get personal sponsors who will advertise on their social media accounts.
Why Would Companies Sponsor Players?
Traditional sports have been sponsored by companies for a long time. The same logic can be used to explain why they would invest in esports athletes. The Sponsorship Collective says that brands back athletes because:
- The player can help the brand look better in their fans’ eyes.
- The player can sell more by getting more attention from new fans and other athletes.
- The player can be a way for potential customers to test the product and see that it works as it should.
- By linking their face and personality to the brand, the player can add a personal touch.
For years, big companies have seen the benefits of partnering with traditional sports events, players, and teams. In recent years, the brand has also done well by sponsoring esports events. This is because the industry is growing, it has an effect on other industries, and it is flexible in terms of demographics and where ads are placed.