eSports – The opportunity for brands to engage new audiences
Since 2007, the world has watched the gaming industry progress from a sizeable $35 billion industry to an undisputable juggernaut that raked in nearly four times more than last year; more than $137.9 billion.
Projections estimate that the spend of gamers will continue to grow at a similar rate, as much as $230 billion on video games in the next three years. With the foreseen advances in gaming technology, it is conceivable why the already robust video gaming landscape continues to thrive.
This sizeable audience is a huge business opportunity for brands that are prepared to look into alternative methods of advertising.
Now enter the most popular live-streaming platform for gaming content right now, Twitch. The Amazon-owned streaming platform gives gamers the opportunity to live stream game sessions, create content, attract an audience, and ultimately, build an interactive community.
In 2018, over 1 million users were on Twitch at any given moment to watch content broadcasted by the platform’s 3.4 million monthly streamers.
Thanks to these staggering numbers, Twitch presents a mostly untapped, affluent demographic ready to be reached by your business. Some big-spending brands are already taking advantage of the massive eSports opportunity through influencer marketing.
Two years ago, P&G brand Gillette made a bold move by hiring an eSports star, Enrique Cedeño, as their ambassador. A spot previously reserved for world-class sportsmen such as Lionel Messi and Roger Federer.
Not stopping there, Gillette sponsored eSports organisation Team SoloMid. TSM players compete in eight different games and through their own Twitch channel, they stream this gaming content to their viewers.
Gillette offered products to the audience through a link embedded on channels of their streamers. This is already a prime spot for product placement, but they gave it an extra twist – with each product bought, a viewer could earn more ‘Bits’; the digital currency of Twitch used for paying for other gamers’ content.
When a tournament is streamed live on a social media platform, a brand’s logo can be displayed throughout the game or have their ads played between matches.
Coca-Cola then went on to take this one step further! As a sponsor of football games for over 100 years, it comes as no surprise that in August 2018, they launched eCOPA Coca-Cola – global EA SPORTS FIFA tournament, extending their support into the virtual world of football.
The goal was a collective football experience to compete against the best in the world, and their business operandi being means to create significant “…connections with our consumers around their passions… Football is part of Coke’s DNA – part of how we connect with people,” said their Senior Entertainment Marketing Manager, Alban Dechelotte.
While on a large scale, this is a prime example of how brands can leverage this online eSports community to not only promote their product, but engage a ripe audience in a way that appeals to them and will have a long-lasting, positive impact on their impression of the brand.
If you’re looking to test the potential of this new medium for your business, the easiest way to get started is by visiting https://twitchadvertising.tv/. Here businesses are able to understand the various advertising inventory that can be purchased. While the current platform is yet to move to a self-service model that businesses have come to expect with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, we believe that we don’t have long to wait!