December 2018, Johannesburg: Next to video content influencer marketing is the next big thing in marketing that combines word of mouth and marketing into a neat brand promotion bundle. When you add esports to the mix you witness a phenomena. Influencer recommendations are what all the big brands are after, all of them fighting for the right celebrity or public figure to push their product and brand. Countless industries the world over are actively embracing the concept, including the esports arena.
With huge social media followings, multi million dollar endorsements, crazy prizes and payouts, and large scale international audiences, influencer marketing has come a long way since the queen of influencers took the internet and reality tv to the next level, Paris Hilton. Kim Kardashian was PA to Paris Hilton, making it easy to see how pioneered the way to what we now recognise as influencer marketing, what game developers see as an avenue for promoting a game, and what aligned brands recognise as marketing opportunities.
The esports industry grossed close on 500 million dollars in 2017, and it has shown continued growth in 2018 at over 40%. The industry is set to become a billion dollar market by 2020. The esports arena boasts an audience of over 300 million, including the viewership of streaming sites the likes of Amazon Twitch, which has surpassed previously popular news sources such as CNN. Studies conducted in 2017 have shown that there were more unique viewers watching gaming content than the viewerships attained by HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined.
Competitive gaming is disrupting entertainment as we know it. Not too long from now you will be able to bet on matches in Vegas and possibly even cheer for your country’s esports team at the olympics, we might even witness a time where colleges offer scholarships to esports competitors. the sky's the limit and the gaming industry certainly is going places. As a marketer, it would be crazy not to embrace it and align their brands with games that compliment their offering.
Riverine is a Johannesburg based studio working on 3D console games, immersive VR, and AR experiences. Get in touch with us to setup a consultation in 2019 for discussing possible marketing opportunities inside of upcoming games and software currently in development.