Esports sponsorship – Are mainstream sports playing?

February 27, 2018


The intense loyal fan base, the millennial target audience and an expected market worth of $1.5billion by 2020, means eSports is one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

There are even reports that they could be a medal event at the 2024 Olympics. So, there’s no wonder so many brands are starting to stand up and take note of eSports.  

To many people, it might sound strange - people logging in to watch people play video games, however, this type of traction cannot be ignored. The rise (and rise) has opened up extremely lucrative opportunities for brands. Apple, Orange and Samsung, have all (probably unsurprisingly) been getting in on the action. These opportunities haven’t just been isolated to technology firms either, Coca-Cola, for example, have their own Twitter channel dedicated to just eSports. Whilst everyone from Formula 1, to Redbull, to Nissan and Mountain Dew has also been getting in on the action.

It’s very clear eSports has disrupted the market in a significant way. Venues are selling out across the globe, so it’s unsurprising that main stream sports teams had begun to worry and wonder how they could compete.

However, many main stream sports team have actually decided to not view them as a competitor, but rather, use it as a vehicle to leverage their own brand. Teams such as Manchester City and West Ham United have both entered the world of eSports with open arms.

So, what’s the reason for this? 

eSports provides mainstream sports teams the opportunity to do something very rare. It offers them the opportunity to cross over into other markets. With main stream sports, for example, you wouldn’t ever see a team crossing over into a different field of sport. Take the New York Giants, you would never see them crossing over into Tennis for example. It is just unheard of. However, eSports provides a way for main stream sports teams to do just that. It gives sports teams the opportunity to take on new areas and expand their brand to a wider audience. What does a wider audience mean? More fans! And what do more fans mean? More money!

It’ll be interesting to see how eSports continues over the next few years. eSports is most certainly here to stay and if the predictions are anything to go by, we could be cheering on eSports players for gold at the next Olympics. Let’s watch this space!

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