In part one of our mini-series we talked about the rise and rise of esports and outlined five areas you should take into consideration when thinking about an esports sponsorship. The first of these is accessibility.
Accessibility and awareness are assets that truly set esports apart from its real-world counterparts when it comes to partnerships. From well-known ambassadors to international media coverage, esports affords sponsorship opportunities like few other platforms.
Anyone with a computer, console or smartphone can immerse themselves in online gaming. Barriers to entry are enticingly low for participants, while audiences are able to follow competitions from an array of platforms – on and offline.
The recent Fortnite World Cup saw a staggering 40 million people try their luck at getting to the prestigious final event, attracted by an overall prize pool of $30m. An estimated 2.3m viewers concurrently tuned into the event on YouTube and Twitch.
One of the biggest names at the event was Tyler “Ninja” Blevins who competed in two tournaments and served as a colour commentator for much of the event. His switch from streaming on Twitch to Microsoft’s Mixer platform made headline news around the world and he’s also appeared on the cover of ESPN’s magazine and was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show: a level of attention rare in the gaming world – at least for now!
Having such all-encompassing, globally accessible sponsorship opportunities is arguably rare for brands and this is where esports has the potential to thrive. Major sporting events, like tennis at Wimbledon, motor racing at Silverstone or sailing in and around the world yacht race, just can’t offer what esports can.
They all have relatively high barriers to entry: high ticket prices for participants, hard-to-obtain equipment and training requirements, geographically limiting locations, to name just a few.
This makes esports a golden opportunity for many brands, especially those who get in early.
In the next article we will look at number two in our list of considerations when it comes to becoming involved in esports. How it engages hard-to-reach, young audiences.