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How Your Company Can Start Advertising in Esports

10
Jun

How Your Company Can Start Advertising in Esports

Monday, June 10, 2019

Image courtesy of Ashkon Esports.

Roughly 20 years ago, many people considered advertising in esports to be a risky investment. There was no certainty that advertisements would be seen by viewers, and people were unsure if the industry would amount to anything major.

Today, however, this industry is one that is continuously thriving, and that only means one thing: there are plenty of new opportunities for companies to get involved. For example, Boosted is a company that helps gamers find brands that work with their vision and style.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article. After reading, you’ll be ready to get your company involved in advertising.

  • Why Advertise in Esports?
  • Popular Brands Who Already Advertise Successfully in Esports
  • What to Know Before Getting Involved
  • Steps You Can Take to Make Sure Your Company Thrives


Why Advertise in Esports?

Between 2016 and 2017, there were 600+ sponsorship deals made across the esports world. This just shows how many opportunities there are for companies to get involved.

This graph titled "Esports Revenue is Leveling Up" shows how much revenue is made each year, as well as how much of that revenue is from brand investment.
Brand advertisements in esports make up roughly 77 percent of revenue. Image courtesy of Morning Consult.

Advertising in esports is often said to be no different than advertising in professional sports, which might relieve some of the anxieties that come with this unknown territory. Some people even predict that the esports industry will someday be as well-known as the athletic fields, so the time to get your company involved is now.


Popular Brands Who Already Advertise Successfully in Esports

While advertising in esports is still a developing field, there are quite a few companies who have already managed to get their foot in the door and start successfully advertising. Below are a couple of examples.


Arby’s

In 2016, the fast-food restaurant signed on to serve as the official food chain of ELeague. They released commercials that featured their food blowing up. One of the commercials focuses on Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket sandwiches. A camera pans across a row of sandwiches that begin to unexpectedly explode.

Another commercial shows the company’s famous curly fries sitting undisturbed in the center as the camera zooms out, leaving viewers wondering when they will explode. The chain’s spokesperson Ving Rhames narrates the commercials and uses gaming language to appeal to the audience.

These poor curly fries from Arby's have been blown up as part of an esports-related advertisement.
This screenshot from the video captures the fast food chain’s famous curly fries in the midst of an explosion. Image courtesy of iSpot.tv.

Red Bull

The popular energy drink company became involved with esports back in 2008. Since then, they have been an active participant in the esports world. They host esports events, sponsor players, and even have their own social media -- Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- dedicated to just esports.

What to Know Before Getting Involved

Before you begin advertising in the esports world, there are a few things you’ll want to know.

The most common approach of advertising has involved brands sponsoring individual players, but that is now changing. What’s to prevent brands from sponsoring whole teams or leagues? This is something you might want to take into consideration when deciding what you want to advertise.

Audience members often prefer endemic over non-endemic brands, meaning they like to see esports-related advertisements over outside brands. However, plenty of food, drink, and car companies -- like Arby’s, Red Bull, and Honda -- have had success advertising in this industry.

Snickers has been advertising in esports for years. This image shows a studio in which announcers are covering ELeague's pregame. Featured six times is "Snickers Pregame."
The popular candy bar Snickers has been successfully advertising in esports. Here, they are shown sponsoring ELeague’s pregame coverage. Image courtesy of Medium.

Most of the esports audience ranges from 18-34 years old, so advertisers often have to revamp their current strategies and find an approach that works best for this audience. However, the young age range means that brands who commit wholeheartedly from the very beginning will have great success; the audience can tell when brands aren’t fully invested and are only in it for a short-term profit, and they’ll reject them.

Like its audience, the industry itself is young, and brands often refer to it as a lawless land where anything can happen.


Steps You Can Take to Make Sure Your Company Thrives

With knowledge from the previous section in mind, you’re almost ready to start advertising. However, you might want to immerse yourself and your brand in the esports world before diving right in. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your company does well.

Get on Twitch

The largest streaming platform for esports recently announced that it will no longer offer “universal ad-free viewing,” even for Twitch Prime members. The rationale for this decision is that this will allow advertising to expand and become a bigger part of the esports world.

Spending some time on Twitch by watching a livestream or chatting with gamers can allow you to see how the industry works. Plus, this allows you to see how other brands advertise themselves and how the audience reacts to their advertisement strategies. You can even create your brand’s own Twitch account and interact with other players. Audience members spend an average of 100 minutes on Twitch per session, which allows for endless advertisement opportunities.

Get Connected

Like previously mentioned, players and audience members can easily tell when companies are not seriously invested in the industry. So, get involved and get connected. Find your niche and see which individual or team would be the best target for your brand. Talk to players and audience members who have extensive knowledge of the industry, and get to know them. If they know that you’ve done your homework and that you’re in it for the long run, they’ll probably reward you and help you out down the line.

Esports arenas are being constructed across the United States, which allows for even more chances to advertise. Companies can hand out goodie bags with promotional items or participate in live-event sponsorships. Plus, when it comes to live events, about 60% of esports fans expressed interest in attending.


Have questions? Talk to us, because advertising in esports is taking off. Jason Lake, the owner of CompLexity Gaming, states, “the question today isn’t ‘if’ my company should market in esports, but ‘when.’” So, if you’re wondering when you should start advertising, the answer is now.


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