Esports engages young, hard-to-reach audiences

In our previous two articles in this series we covered its rise and how accessibility is one of the areas that sets the industry apart. But one of the key selling points, perhaps overly emphasised, is how esports can help brands to engage with those increasingly hard to reach youth audiences.

Brands have long looked to the youth market for ways to develop both sales and brand loyalty, with sports and music the favoured destinations. But when it comes to traditional sports, the ability to reach young people has become a more pressing concern.

In the US for example, a major market for both conventional and esports, the average age of an Major League Baseball (MLB) fan is 57 years old, whilst in the National Football League (NFL) it’s 50 and National Hockey League, 49*.

This is not an issue for esports. Estimates suggest that over 70% of esports viewers are under 35. This does vary from title to title, for example Rocket League attracts a younger audience than that of League of Legends. But esports as a whole is providing a much needed way in for brands to talk to that age group.

Younger generations are becoming harder and harder to reach through traditional forms of marketing. They are digital savvy, block ads, don’t watch TV and often only give their attention and loyalty to their passion areas.

This is a big reason why non-endemic brands, ones not native to the gaming industry, have begun to invest heavily. Esports offers a rare opportunity to engage with them. If the brand fit is right and the activation executed well, sponsors will find this traditionally hard to reach audience more open to engaging with their brand than ever before.

In our next article we’ll be looking at the cost of entering into esports and how there are plenty of opportunities to make a mark. 

*source: Sports Business Journal