Pop Culture Brand Partnership News And Insights

We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.

eSports Brand Partnerships Offer High Engagement Marketing

Posted by AJ Henry on March 22, 2018 at 9:31 AM

The Next Goldmine For Brand Marketing

Who would’ve thought that video games would be the next goldmine for brands? When we think of video games, the image we get in our head is a teenage boy or girl locked up in their room staring at a screen for hours on end, only leaving to use the restroom or to come downstairs for dinner.

Sure, that stereotype still exists but nowadays, but it’s so much bigger than that. Video games are the culprit of one of today’s most exciting industries -- eSports. Over the past few years, eSports has officially cemented itself as a worldwide big money form of entertainment full of opportunities for brands. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores the exciting new opportunities that exist with eSports brand partnerships.


eSports new opportunity for brands


Major Media Partners

You know it’s getting real when one of the world’s largest sports media conglomerates, ESPN, is involved. According to ESPN, e-sport related events boast an audience that rivals that of the Super Bowl, which this last year reached over 111 million people making it the fastest growing sport, let alone form of entertainment in the world. It’s estimated that eSports has a global audience of roughly 148 million people. That’s the kind of number that will make a brand’s eyes glisten with glee.

Even better, the industry is just getting started and is nowhere near as big as it’s going to be. Which means the potential is tremendous for brand marketers who get involved at this earlier stage, and the opportunity for incredible growth presents awesome opportunities for brands to reap the benefits to come.  

How Product Placement &  Co-Promotional Marketing Works


Why eSports Are So Attractive For Brands

So, what is it about eSports that makes this industry so attractive for brands. Well, let’s start with its growth potential. eSports as a business is expected to cross $1.5 billion by 2020. That growth makes it one of the fastest growing industries in the world, growing at a faster rate than any other show business. For a brand, that opportunity for growth is incredibly attractive. It presents the opportunity to find a niche in the industry and make it your own for years to come. There are only a handful of industries that come around that provide brands this type of opportunity.

Secondly, eSports is a sport that encourages a lot of dialogue and social interaction. It’s a sport that encompasses a level of passion that isn’t always found in other sports. eSport fans are fully invested in the lifestyle. In other sports, people will go to a game and sometimes never even pay attention to what’s happening in the game. eSports on the other hand embodies an audience that is highly engaged and passionate about all that is happening in the match. This level of fan engagement and excitement is a goldmine opportunity for brands to create highly engaging content that will live with the consumer for more than just the duration of the game. The brands that learn to embody this level of passion in their advertising will be the ones that succeed.

New Call-to-action


Authenticity Required Or Don't Bother To Play

eSports is the digital sport for the digital generation. Because its follower base is so highly engaged and passionate, this makes them equally as privy to inauthentic advertisements. Remember, video games, its culture and the community that comes with it has been around far longer than any brand’s interest in the industry. So, if consumers all of a sudden start to see your logo popping up in inauthentic ways, they’ll be sure to look down upon your brand.

Sure, being “first to market” can have its benefits but when done inauthentically, it can absolutely end up hurting your brand. Think about it from the consumer’s perspective...if for your whole life, you’ve been into something that the rest of the country and big business never cared about, or in some cases, even talked down upon, then all of a sudden they found out that it generates a lot of money and are now trying to get involved, you probably wouldn’t think too highly of that brand either. This what we commonly refer to as opportunists, or gold diggers. 

how your product placement program works


Steps You Need To Take

Instead, be patient and diligent. Learn about the industry.

Learn about where your consumers spend most of their time around eSports.

  • Live eSports events
  • Online blogs around eSports
  • Stores that engage with eSports fans

Remember, authenticity is the key when connecting with this consumer base. Solicited ads and “logo slaps” will do nothing good for your brand.

Try to bring your brand into the conversations that fans are already having without overloading them with marketing spam. As a brand marketer, you have a bit of homework to do before making any moves in the industry. But trust us, it will pay off big in the long run. 

product placement infographic - free download


The Takeaway

Yes. It’s time to finally apologize to all of those whom we mildly shunned because of their video game obsession. Brand marketers, if you have a child that loves being cooped up in the room for hours on end controlling a fictitious character, don’t scold him or her any longer. That same child could very well go on to earn a six or seven figure salary higher than any of the highest earning positions available... all before the age of 16.

eSports is big business and every year, continues to birth new young millionaires. With that said, the amount of money and passion in this sport presents an excellent opportunity for companies to get their brand in front of millions of highly engaged consumers. As a brand marketer, start thinking about how you can incorporate your brand into this world. Do your research to really learn about the consumer and industry. Diligence and authenticity is going to win this race.

And check out some of our other agency blogs that talk about best marketing practices for product placement and brand integration partnerships:

If you are unsure of where to start in the world of e-sports, feel free to contact us! Although e-sports is fairly new terrain for marketers, here at Hollywood Branded, we have a great understanding of how to to help brands effectively advertise in this space. Happy gaming!

 

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide

 

Topics: Product Placement & Branded Content