Spotlight on Esports
There is a hot spectator sport making news this year and itis on its way to becoming a billion dollar industry. It has professional competitors, millions of fans, enviable viewership, millions of dollars in championship prizes and regularly sells out arenas. It is more watched than the World Series and the NCAA Final Four. We are not talking about the NFL—we are talking about electronic sports, also known as esports.
Esports (defined as competitive online video gaming)
has not only become a cultural phenomenon, but also offers opportunities for brands to reach a unique community of fans.
Like many popular sports, a tremendous business ecosystem has been built around esports (a subset of gaming). Game publishers, hardware manufacturers, formal leagues, tournaments, connected play and streaming platforms serve a growing customer and viewership base of millions. Analysts believe the total worldwide market for esports will surpass $700 million in 2016, while viewership –at 214 million today –will cross 303 million by 2019.
From its roots in geek culture to its increasing mainstream popularity, gamers and esports fans participate in a strong community that despises inauthenticity and is quick to reject a relationship with brands that do not deliver a clear value. This offers both opportunity and challenges for advertisers to connect with esports’ young, tech-savvy and mostly male audience, a demographic that is increasingly avoiding brand messaging on many platforms. Establishing relationships with major league sports have proven to be an effective channel through which to attain reach and build equity, and esports is no differentwith its vast and scalable universe of opportunity.
This Spotlight On Esports explores the rapidly evolving world of gaming and esports, including how the landscape is primed for growth, a deep dive into the esports audience and considerations for how brands can get some gameplay!
To continue reading, download Spotlight on Esports
(pdf, 2 Mb).