E Sports: the great obsession of sports marketing

Marketing professionals do not have time to get bored, as new trends and opportunities in the sector are always emerging. The rise of eSports in sports marketing in recent times is a good example of this. But what exactly are these electronic sports and how can we use them to promote our brands? Let's find out!

What are eSports?

The eSports or e-sports are competitive tournaments between gamers. League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Clash Royale or Fortnite are some of the most popular.

As with traditional sports, these tournaments are broadcast live and have a large audience, attracted by its potential for entertainment. As of today, it is estimated that 300 million people worldwide follow eSports broadcasts. In 2017, the League of Legends World Final had 75 million viewers, that is, an audience greater than that of the NBA Finals.

Although we may think that video games have little to do with what we normally call "sport", experts consider that they are. Before the appearance of eSports, there were already sports with more mental than physical components, such as chess or poker. And what's more, high-level eSports players must take care of their physical form in order to maintain their performance levels and withstand stress. The inclusion of electronic sports within the Olympic Games has been debated, although at the moment it will not be done.

In 2018, IAB Spain carried out a study of e-sports in our country and concluded that we are in a market in consolidation and in which mobile devices are becoming increasingly important. In short, eSports are here for a while and sports marketing experts should take note.

 The eSports in sports marketing

Only in the United States, it is estimated that eSports will generate $ 200 million in advertising revenue during 2019. Unlike traditional sports, which are not owned by anyone, electronic sports are always born linked to a brand (the video game company), which is the one that organizes the tournaments and decides the rules. From there, the possibilities of exploitation in sports marketing are many:
  • Influencers marketing. Elite eSports players have large communities of followers, especially through platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, so they offer good options for collaboration with brands.
  • Events. The retransmissions of electronic sports tournaments gather millions of spectators, so it is a privileged environment to put your brand before the eyes of the world.
  • Merchandising. Many brands are already taking advantage of the opportunity to take merchandising and product lines based on eSports and thus connect with a young audience, as is the case with Kelloggs or Burger King.
Undoubtedly, as the eSports environment grows in recognition, we will see more and more collaborations between electronic sport and brands. The best is yet to come!