Esport is a term used to describe competitive video gaming, particularly between professionals. It’s quickly becoming one of the biggest entertainment platforms in the world, with top players and teams making lucrative careers out of packing arenas and selling merchandise.
Large global tournaments have been able to sell out stadiums for years. The industry has grown from a niche pastime into an entertainment giant with viewership numbers that can rival even the most popular traditional sports leagues. In 2018, the League of Legends World Championship peaked at 360 million viewers, making it the most-watched esports tournament in history. Other top tournaments have reached viewership numbers of around 100 million.
Talking about the revenue generated by Esport:
Esport is a massive entertainment platform, and revenues generated by the industry are increasing every year. In 2018, revenue was estimated to be at $1 billion, but that’s expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. The esport market is expected to be worth $1.65 billion by 2020 and $3.02 billion in 2021, even according to Newzoo’s Global Esport Market Report.
It all sounds amazing, but the esports industry isn’t perfect. One of the main concerns for both players and viewers is that it can be difficult to know what brands sponsor tournaments, teams, and even individual gamers. Even few of the companies have taken advantage of this lack of transparency by utilizing influencer marketing techniques to support players and teams without actually sponsoring them.
Esports: Influence Marketing Tactics:-
Influencer marketing is a technique that can be used to promote brands and products by using popular, influential members of social media communities. It’s common for gamers and other influencers to use streaming platforms such as Twitch to promote their channels, sometimes even earning revenue from the number of people who view the content.
This can be a particular problem in esport, where popular influencers can make large sums of money based on what number of viewers they have. Some companies take advantage by paying for unregulated promotional content without real support to the players involved.
Even some evidence suggests that players themselves could be indirectly involved in influencer marketing scams intentionally. For example, a professional player named Amadeu Carvalho was recently fined and disqualified from the competition after posting a link to a website containing affiliate links on his Twitter account without disclosing that the company was also paying him.
Some people involved with esport have also been accused of fixing matches to earn money from unregulated gambling platforms. In 2016, a match-fixing scandal involving esports team iBuyPower resulted in a lifetime ban from Valve Corporation. A year later, competitive gamer Trevor Martin was banned from all future Valve sponsored events after he and his teammates were seen discussing potential bets on their streams following a suspicious win.
While the unregulated nature of esport makes it difficult to know how many people are involved in gambling and promoting brands without sponsorship, a €1 million ($1.25 million) fine imposed on Team Kinguin last year suggests that the problem may be more widespread than originally thought.
The Esport Integrity Coalition (ESIC) was established to protect esport from corruption and ensure that players compete on a level playing field. The company publishes a list of professional players, coaches, and tournament organizers who have been caught cheating or breaking other rules to keep the industry as clean as possible.
Top companies sponsoring Esport:-
Over the past four years, companies like Audi and Mercedes-Benz have begun sponsoring top esport teams or tournaments to target an audience that falls into the key demographics of their brands. Some of the most popular teams in esport compete for multi-million dollar prize pools at some of the largest tournaments in the world, such as League of Legends and Dota 2. Sponsorships can be worth hundreds of thousands, or even millions, per year.
Naturally, it’s no surprise that major consumer brands are flocking to this platform. And that’s not just in terms of advertising or sponsorship either. Many companies have taken a more direct approach, creating their esport teams to compete in tournaments and spread the reach of their brand names even further…