Time to Level Up: The benefits of esports sponsorship
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The world we live in is evolving, and that is more apparent in the way we consume entertainment content.
Platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are already starting to feel dated and aren’t quite in line with how Gen Z gets their content fix.
Esports is nothing new, but with it being free-to-air on Twitch, a chat feature to get involved in as well as active engagement through aspects like in-game drops and competitions, you can understand why the younger generation tune in.
Get in front of Gen Z
Sponsors can reach a young target group that they can’t really reach elsewhere thanks to esports. Traditional sports is expensive to watch, attend and advertise in, whereas esports provides a more direct and engaging method to reach the intended audience.
This generation is mobile first rather than computer or TV, and may just tune in for five to 20 minutes when they know a particular team or player is playing. The lesser the barriers to entry the more engaged they will be.
Multiple sponsorship opportunities
There is more variation in advertising in esports – from the various areas on the players shirts – front, sleeve, collarbone and even on the back – to a range of segments in the broadcast or even particular actions of the game. With the majority of Gen Z using ad blocker online, these ad placements is one of the few ways brands can reach them.
This range of opportunities also gives brands the chance to level up their relationship with the rights holders, and really commit to the esports space. A brand like KitKat has found great success in tournaments like the LEC (League of Legends EMEA Championship, starting with sponsoring the game breaks in 2020, before branching out to perform digital campaigns and activities and becoming an official main partner of the LEC. In 2021, KitKat became the official main partner for the LEC Finals with its own commercial.
In comparison to a sport like football where a game last 90 minutes, esports streams go on for a lot longer. For example the LEC Summer Season last year ran for three months, with 15 matches running each weekend.
The airtime for the tournament came in at over 143 hours, with the total hours watched by fans racking up to over 30 million. The only similarity to football is the ad boards by the pitch, which are in view the vast majority of the time, but for Gen Z, likely watching on mobile, having something more visible is more valuable.
Even if companies get involved in esports to test the waters and assess the response, esports is a beneficial environment for this. Brands want to evolve their strategies, and it might be esports currently, but many are seeing that a stepping stone to Web3 and the metaverse.
We’ve seen many brand perform activations in metaverse-type platforms like Fortnite and Roblox, but it’s still in its teething phase. Esports provides a more proven platform with multiple avenues in for brands to test out what is effective – and if you can pick the right game, this can lead to in-game activations, similar to the metaverse.
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Benefits of Esports Sponsorships
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