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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

Esports: The Next Frontier of Immersive Brand Marketing

Did you know that, on average, more people are watching Esports events than the NBA or Major Baseball League? And when you look at the picture, it makes sense: fast-paced action, millions in prize money, the pop culture hype, the excitement and drama of competition, the variety of teams and athletes. Today, Esports is a booming industry ripe with opportunities for smart and strategic brands to leverage.

The article will explore Esports, their appeal, and how brands can leverage the trend to gain a competitive advantage in this growing space.

What is Esports?

The term "esports" defines a specific subset of online gaming with a focus on competition between human players in a video game with predetermined rules. The games test player's perception and mental abilities rather than their physical prowess like more traditional sports.

The criteria for an event to classify as an Esport:

  • Competition: To qualify as an Esport, it needs to be an organised, competitive, head-to-head game with a clear winner and loser.

  • Broadcast: The event needs to be broadcast to a wide audience, typically live on Twitch or a TV channel

  • Jackpot: There needs to be a sizable prize pool up for grabs for the winner.

With an industry worth of approximately $1.1 billion and ab 26.6 monthly esports viewers in 2021, esports is quickly becoming a staple of pop culture. And brands have taken notice!

Initially, only brands in adjacent industries partook in Esport marketing. However, Due to its growing popularity and influence, more varied brands have started to invest in the industry. Most notably are luxury brands that are now investing their money to reach new audiences.

Why Invest in Esports?

So, why would a brand want to consider investing in competitive gaming?

Well, there are two very key reasons:

1) Esports has a very dedicated and engaged audience. Esports has a young, diverse, and tech-savvy audience that invests hundreds of hours both watching and playing their favourite games. They not only watch the streams but also actively engage online with the pro gamers and community at large, learning from each other and developing real relationships. This makes esports a very interactive environment. Brands that can leverage and add value to the community will be embraced by it.

2) Advertising costs are still relatively low. As esports is still in its beginning stages, many big-name competitors have not yet entered the market, opening opportunities for smaller brands to come in and display ads and other marketing material at a lower cost.

So, how do you take advantage?

3 Esports Marketing Strategies to Consider

So, you know understand why. esports is a great marketing opportunity for brands, now you need to know how to use that to your advantage. This section will outline three actionable steps brands can take to promote their business in the Esports market.

1) In-Game Advertising

In-game advertising is the practice of presenting advertising into the virtual environment of a video game, which has proven to be an effective way of capturing a user's attention and separating a brand from its consumers. Which strong connection to entertaining content increases the customer's acceptance of the ad; it increases the likelihood of brand recall and the opportunity for a brand to create a strong emotional connection with the customer.

It also offers an array of display options. For example, brands can display ads on virtual billboards and sidelines in games such as FIFA, NBA, Madden and the PGA Tour which are all part of the Esports virtual world.

2) Influencer Marketing

Pro gamers who compete in the largest tournaments tend to gather large followings online that can be monetised. One of the reasons this would work so well in a gaming context is because, compared to other industries, gaming influencers are more engaged with their audiences. The pro gamers spend hours talking to their audiences during streaming sessions, building authentic connections and trust.

So by partnering with an influencer and getting them to endorse your brand, it's more likely that message will land on receptive ears, increasing brand awareness and purchase intent.

3) Sponsor an Esports Team

In practice, this means financially taking responsibility for some of the teams' expenses in exchange for publicity. This could be in the form of having your logo on the team's jersey or having exclusive product deals with the team.

As you can see in the shirt above, and BMW are both sponsoring the London Fnatic team because their logos are on the uniform.

This is a popular strategy in sports marketing because it drives brand awareness. Will the person who sees the shirt automatically go and open a crypto wallet on the trading platform? Probably not, but you're keeping your brand fresh in the minds of the people who do purchase those services and that's why this strategy is potent.


So, now you have a good comeback for the next time someone tells you that you spend "too much time gaming". Tell them that you're training to be the next recruit in a pro team, aiming for a major jackpot in a billion-dollar industry that will surely take the world by storm.

You're welcome!


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