3 Examples of eSports And Its Massive Global Marketing Reach


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The Endless Opportunities That Esports Can Create

eSports is a term you may be unfamiliar with, but if you are, you have likely heard someone saying “it's not a real sport” but in reality, eSports is one of the largest industries in media. People have recently gotten the chance to stay inside due to COVID-19 and because of that, video games have been a favorite activity for many. 

As the popularity of video games has grown, so has its consumers' passion for high octane competitive play. eSports has come to the forefront for many consumers and advertisers as the next big thing in media. With massive viewer numbers and large cash prizes, there is no reason for many not to get excited. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares 3 examples of eSports Events that reached consumers on a massive global scale, and how those viewers can influence brand marketing. 

3 Examples Of eSports And Its Massive Global Marketing Reach

What Is eSports?

eSports isn’t a very well-known word in the media industry because most people don’t even know what it is. eSports is essentially the highest level of competitive gaming for a wide variety of video games. Gamers play against each other at the highest level and compete for massive cash prizes (some even earn a yearly salary!). The way it works fundamentally is that gaming organizations contract players, coaches, and staff to compete on their respective games. Think of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Yankees purchasing and paying their players. While eSorts does include individual players, the most popular games and teams usually consist of teams competing against each other. To put eEports simply, it is the same in terms of structure as normal sports like football, basketball, and baseball but where a wide variety of video games are the playing field.

eSports Competitive Gaming Events Video Games

What Makes eSports Popular?

eSports have been gaining popularity because as the industry of gaming continues to evolve, so do the number of fans enjoying watching and playing games. For instance, I have been playing Call of Duty since I was 10 years old. When I began playing there was little to no competitive base and there weren’t that many fans. Fast forward to today where Call of Duty has 111 million players monthly on its game Warzone. This means that over 111 million players a month play the game and gain continued interest in its competitive aspect. Even if a fraction of those fans go to watch eSports events, the opportunity for brand and advertiser partnerships is extensive. 

The basic idea for eSports popularity is simple. If someone has a favorite game, they want to watch the highest level of competition for that game in order to gain entertainment and to improve as a player. eSports has progressed in popularity due to the method of conveying their product as well. Everyone knows sites like Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook are extremely popular and these are the sites that many eSports are viewed through. The goal is to make access to watching eSports as seamless as possible while also being on major platforms that could entice new viewers to get immersed in the experience. So with massive player bases already, new fans of games are joining in on the industry allowing it to grow even more. Let's look at some examples of popular eSports across the globe. 

eSports Gaming Event Fan Popularity

Fortnite World Cup Championship

Sorry to some of you, we’re still talking about Fortnite. It may be one of the most talked-about games to some people’s annoyance, but it’s talked about for a reason. Since its popular release in 2017, it has become one of the biggest games ever. It captured the hearts of children and adults alike and because of its massive reach across the world, it was able to host a competitive Fortnite World Cup Event in 2019. Pre-tournament qualifiers were held to narrow down the competition and through these live-streamed qualifiers, the game grew even more. In New York City the Fortnite World Cup Championship was held where it reached a peak of 2.3 million viewers.

Players from across the world battled for a total prize pool of $30 million with a 16-year-old nicknamed  “Bugha” taking home the $3 million first-place prize. At the time it was the most-watched gaming event worldwide, excluding those held in China. A game like Fortnite, which was never meant to be highly competitive, grew into one of the biggest games ever and an extremely large eSport. The branding exposure that a game as big as Fortnite provides is endless as seen in collaborations with people like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande.

Call of Duty X Games

For many who don’t call eSports a real sport, this was one of the defining moments that argued against that opinion. In 2015 Call of Duty partnered with X Games to host a Call of Duty event at the venue where the popular sports competition was taking place. This was a groundbreaking event because it bridged the gap between conventional sports and the growing eSports industry. Players competed for the coveted X Games medals that athletes in motocross, skateboarding, and BMX would earn. It was the first eSports event ever broadcasted on national television and for many, was the start of a new era in terms of eSports popularity. It was recognized as one of the best events in Call of Duty history for its entertainment as well as its proof that eSports was going in a positive direction. 

eSports Teams Victory Celebration in Video Games

Call of Duty by proxy was sponsored by usual X Games brands like Monster Energy, Jeep, Wendy's, and more. This was the beginning of major spotlight brands partnering with Call of Duty. Currently the eSport partners with brands like Playstation, Mountain Dew, and until recently, T-Mobile. As the industry grows there are great opportunities to sponsor events and partner directly with teams.New call-to-action

Dota 2 International

The game Dota 2 is a massively popular game in China and still a popular game for many in the United States. In 2019 it held its yearly International event which had the largest prize pool for any eSports event ever. It had a prize pool of $34 million which would convince even the biggest non-gamers you know to possibly get invested in eSports.

The reason for this massive prize pool was that Dota implemented a way for players to donate in order for in-game rewards. Then a partial amount of the donations went to increasing the prize pool for players. This was a relatively new idea as most companies would just put the money back into their own pockets. The positive reaction from the community allowed for even more growth in the sport and encouraged more casual players to get interested in the competitive aspect of the game.

The branding and advertising space in games like Dota are optimal because there are different team and event sponsors, as well as general brand partnerships. For instance, teams have been sponsored by popular clothing brand Kappa and even Tinder. Yes, that is correct, a gaming team has been sponsored by Tinder! This is another example of how diverse brands can partner in eSports industries through a variety of methods. 

Video Games Large Crowd and High Entertainment

eSports Can Help Brands Market Their Products

Video games are becoming more popular to the average person and more people are beginning to get interesting in eSports. With more money being pumped into the industry and more fans flocking for entertainment, it is in a perfect spot to grow. There will always be the next video game that becomes popular and with it, the potential for a new eSport to be born. Who knows in 10 years you might be seeing people playing a video game on your favorite TV station!

Brands should be aware that eSports are a great way to target a certain market or partner with specific industries. There is a wide range of opportunities through eSports organizations, teams, or even popular individual players. The fans are very dedicated and loyal so they are an ideal group for brands to focus on when attempting to enter into eSports.

Learn More About The Gaming World And Its Branding Opportunities

Gaming is becoming a staple in the media industry and has allowed for many lucrative sponsorship and partnership deals to be made. Check out these blogs to learn more about gaming and how it can be used in marketing and branding!

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