New Achievement Unlocked: Esports Marketing Rookie

Last week one of our team members, Greg Chi, attended an esports conference showcasing marketing opportunities that are available in the growing esports industry. Below is his write-up on the event.

As an avid video game player, this industry has a special place in my heart and is an area that I would like to learn more about professionally.

The concept of esports marketing is foreign to many and most people have little or no knowledge of how big the industry has gotten and what marketing opportunities exist. If you walked into this conference with no knowledge or perspective it is the same as the first time you play any RPG game when you start with only a wooden sword and shield. You kind of have to figure it out as you play the game. As an aside, I was always told when I was younger that videogames were bad and now people are monetizing this industry which is quite exciting. As the son of a semi-pro gamer, I wish my dad pushed me to play more video games rather than doing my math homework as I might have become a professional gamer today.

Here are some highlights from the conference:

  • Companies such as Blizzard, 100 Thieves and many more were present to talk about the phenomenon esports has become in the last couple of years.
    • My main mission of the day was to learn more about esports marketing, but I was also on a side mission on behalf of my dad to squeeze information out of Blizzard about the update for Diablo 4.  More on that later.
  • There are currently 7,500 college teams for esports and scholarships are also awarded.
    • The largest collegiate esport league is CSL.
    • Esports at the college level has an annual social impression of 15MM and that number alone shows how influential the industry has become.  
  • Twitch has a larger audience than HBO, Spotify and Netflix combined!
    • Twitch is a platform that has been very popular among esports and video game enthusiasts with most content living on the site being video game live streams.
    • Twitch is a great place for brands to align with their target audience’s favorite games.

With the rise in popularity of esports there are many marketing opportunities that brands can benefit from whether it’s sponsoring a team/league or supporting streamers with video ads/integrations and on-site opportunities at events. New esports teams are forming as we speak, therefore sponsorships of burgeoning talent could be affordable. In the NFL we have big names such as Tom Brady, in esports we have Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja. Ninja is one of the best and most well-known gamers in the world right now. It’s reported that Ninja makes $500,000 a month just live streaming his gameplay so he no longer competes professionally because he makes more as a streamer. There are many following his footsteps, creating more advertising opportunities for brands with the high reach of these videos.  

There are a growing number of Esports tournaments and conferences throughout the year and as the industry continues to grow so does the audience. This is making huge marketing opportunities available to brands.  At the end of the day, my side mission failed, but it’s all about completing the main quest which was learning the amount of opportunities that are available for brands to take advantage of.

This event has broadened my horizons and provided valuable knowledge about the business perspective of esports marketing and I’m proud to say to myself  “a new achievement has been unlocked”.

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