You may be wondering what exactly eSports has to do with events. In a nutshell, eSports, is competitive video gaming that’s broadcast to a live audience. Before you start calling it a fad and say that it’s just for nerds, it’s not. In fact, recent reports valued eSports market at more than $612 million with a strong and growing audience of 134 million. It’s a well-established concept that’s taking the world by storm, offering a unique opportunity for marketers in many different sectors, including events. Additionally, eSports marketing offers a chance to target millennials, in their world, on their terms.
There’s a lot to be learned from brands, like Coca Cola, Red Bull, Nissan and Intel, that are jumping on board this new market and the way this audience behaves. Here’s what event marketers can learn from eSports marketing:
Online gaming events attract large audiences.
Some of these eSports events are attracting extremely large audiences. We’re talking millions of people. It’s astonishing to think that championships for the bigger eSports titles can get bigger audiences than live sports games.
100,000 people watched Intel’s Extreme Masters gaming tournament that was hosted in Poland, and the event had more than 3.2 million social media engagements. Twitch.tv, the number one eSports streaming site, gets nearly as much peak internet traffic as Google, Netflix and Apple.
Twitch.tv users watch an average of 421.6 minutes per month, about 44% more than those who watch YouTube. It’s definitely worth targeting some of these events and coming up with creative ways to capitalise on this growing trend.
A strong sense of community empowers targeting possibilities.
There’s a very strong sense of community with this audience, and they are far more receptive to brands than you might think. Research has shown that these people are happy to support a brand that backs their favourite players.
Perhaps that’s why Nissan sponsored the North American League of Legends players on Team Curse. Professional eSports players often have bigger social following than their real world counterparts do. This audience thinks differently; therefore, you can approach them in new and exciting ways.
Fans value brands who are authentically immersed in the community.
You can’t just throw money at standard advertising campaigns when it comes to eSports fans. They expect brands to find ways to get immersed in what’s going on, and become a part of the community.
They value authentic brands who weave their way into the eSports culture. Event marketers can learn from this and aim to reach their audience in new ways. They can also appreciate that by creating a strong sense of community, they’ll earn great publicity in return.
Millennials need to be reached in a different way.
Millennials can’t be targeted and reached out to in the same way as other audiences and generations. This quote from Joost van Dreunen, CEO and co-founder of SuperData Research, says it all: “It has become increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach this tech-savvy, affluent demographic via traditional marketing channels.”
eSports marketing opens our eyes to this reality because traditional marketing methods just won’t work on this generation. If you want to successfully reach millennials, then you need learn more about eSports and other new marketing platforms so that you can effectively reach out to your audience on their terms, in their environment.