November 2018: Esports and advertising go hand in hand. It has been widely reported that more than 80% of esports global revenue was attributed to a combination of sponsorships and advertising with pro gamers pushing the various releases to the next level. Just like with all other professional sports, the usual sponsorship strategies include product placement, logo display, and event or team co branding. More than half of 2016 sponsorships were secured by endemic brands, which are IT companies whose products are known to be essential to gaming.
It has considered incredibly difficult for non-endemic brands to break into the gaming space with major brands like Dr.Pepper, Doritos and Red Bull leading the way. The truth is that the market needs to open up to non-endemic brands to appeal to larger audiences in order to grow. The catalyst for this expansion is linked to influencer marketing.
Streaming platforms open doors to smaller companies and non-gaming related brands as live streamers are inherently more entertainment-driven than pro players. As the content diversifies, the audiences will, too. As with other platforms, brands can leverage this popularity in the form of giveaways, promotional codes and logo displays.
At the intersection between gaming and social media exists a demographic that was previously difficult to reach. Esports has all the variables necessary for successful influencer marketing: its own social networks, international audiences, analytics, and now influencers. As technology progresses and investments grow, esports is projected to become just as popular as traditional sports. It’s no longer a question whether advertisers should be paying attention to this market but rather how to get involved.