How to Break Through as a Professional Gamer
Some Tips on What You Can Do to Further Your Esports Career
Image courtesy of Overwatch League.
Sponsorships are a wonderful way for esports players to build their identity and gain attention. However, if you’re new to the esports industry, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran who just never learned about this, you may be wondering how to get sponsorships from streaming. Don’t worry; we have you covered! In this article, we’ll talk about:
Let’s start off basic, as you might want to know a sponsorship actually is. Usually, a sponsorship is some form of agreement between the streamer and the brand. Sponsorship contributed almost $360 million to the worldwide esports revenue in 2018. By 2021, sponsorship in North America alone is expected to be $162 million, which will make up a majority of the revenue.
Not all sponsorships are the same; some people might have a banner that can be seen during streaming, or others might wear clothing or accessories that sport a brand’s logo. The latter being featured somewhere in the stream is the most common route of sponsorship. However, you can work with your sponsor to decide how to promote content in a way that most benefits your stream.
If you’re sponsored by a brand, a company, a team, or another player, you’ll be paid to advertise their products or services on your stream. For example, Michael Grzesiek, “Shroud,” partnered with Postmates. A frequent user of the food delivery service, the gamer will give fans and followers surprises during streams.
You might be apprehensive about being sponsored; perhaps you worry that your viewers might not want to see advertisements while watching your stream. You can rest easy -- 80 percent of Twitch users support brands sponsoring a gamer or team, and 82 percent believe that sponsorships are beneficial to the gaming industry.
Have you ever heard the saying, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”? If you’re someone who streams themselves playing video games full-time, chances are you’d appreciate being paid for it.
That’s exactly the point of being sponsored. Being sponsored by a brand is a way to make money, and who doesn’t love that? Simply by advertising a brand’s product or service while you stream, you could make money.
There are other benefits to having a sponsored stream, too, ones that you may not necessarily realize at first. For example, if you have a well-known brand doing your sponsoring, you, in turn, will gain credibility and professionalism, all because you’re associated with a brand’s name.
As mentioned before, advertising doesn’t bother your viewers, and now you know that it is a way for you to make money; what more could you want?
You might be thinking, “I don’t have a lot of followers, so I’m never going to get sponsored by a brand.” That’s not the case at all. Keep reading to see what steps to take in order to get sponsored.
The first step is a crucial one. You want your stream looks as clean, professional, and unique as possible. You might not think anyone cares about the look of your page, but they do.
Imagine this: a potential sponsor learns about you and has thoughts about sponsoring you. If they come across your stream and see a messy page with poorly-designed graphics, they might change their minds completely.
First impressions matter, so you want your channel to look as good as possible. It’s a good idea to have:
The possibilities of brands who could sponsor you are endless. While you might want to be sponsored by an endemic brand, don’t limit your options. Plenty of non-endemic brands, such as food and drink and car companies, are available and willing to sponsor you, too.
So, what do you do? You can start by making a list of brands you know sponsor other players, like Coca-Cola and KFC. Also, go through Twitch or YouTube and make note of what brands come up. Again, though, don’t limit your list to major corporations; there are plenty of smaller brands that are trying to get their foot in the door.
Before you reach out and get involved, do your research. Make sure that the brand is trustworthy. You don’t want to get involved with the wrong people.
Your next task is to find the person with whom you need to get in contact. A word of advice: don’t use the company’s generic contact form. The person who responds to those messages might not be the person you want to talk to.
Instead, use social media, LinkedIn, or the company’s website to find the right person. Search for keywords in a person’s title, such as “talent seeker” or “marketing director,” as those are the people who will probably be able to help you.
Once you find someone who you believe is in charge of sponsorship deals, reach out and get noticed. Don’t send your proposal right away. Instead, give a brief introduction of yourself and try to build a connection with this person.
This process doesn’t always happen overnight; sometimes, it can take weeks for someone to reply. Don’t get discouraged! However, if you feel like you’ll never receive a response, you can always repeat this step with another person.
Once the person you contacted replied -- and you’re sure it’s the person in charge of looking over proposals -- now it’s time to send your proposal. When composing your email, the main point is to emphasize what the brand would gain from sponsoring you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you write your proposal:
If you don’t get a sponsorship deal from the person you contacted, don’t fret. Consult your list of brands from step two and go through steps three and four again.
However, if you did get a response -- and a good one, for that matter -- now it’s time to negotiate the terms of your conract. This step will be different for everyone, as contracts differ among brands. You might be super excited and want to get this sponsorship in place as soon as possible, but don’t rush into things. Take the time you need to negotiate the terms, whether it be how much you make or how long the sponsorship will last.
The final step is to sign the contract. Like mentioned in step five, don’t rush into things. Make sure there aren’t any questionable clauses in there. This is where an esports agent might come in handy; they help you identify those questionable areas and make sure you aren’t cheated or taken advantage of.
The most important part is making sure that you don’t give up rights to your channel/stream. Those are all yours, and no one else’s. Not even the sponsor’s. Once you’ve looked over the contract and you know everything’s perfect, you’re ready to sign.
If you’ve followed all of the above steps and you’ve signed your contract, congratulations! You’re now getting sponsored for streaming. If you have questions on how to get a gaming sponsorship, contact one of our professionals. They can get you in contact with some great companies, like Spotify and Dropbox, and, most importantly, help you find sponsorships.
Some Tips on What You Can Do to Further Your Esports Career
How the Pro Gaming Industry Benefits from Star Investments