Esports has become tremendously popular in recent years, pulling in large viewership numbers across a variety of titles. And esports has proven to have a reach beyond the gaming industry. It has changed the way sponsors reach its prized demographic as esports are increasingly visible across streams, television, and elsewhere. I will be talking about different companies that have been known to sponsor E-Sports teams.
When it comes to gaming, having good accessories is a top priority. A decent mouse, keyboard, headphones, and screen all help to increase performance. In order to increase brand exposure, many leading hardware producers chose to collaborate with esports teams and events. They will often put their logo on the equipment or gear, which is then used during live broadcasts.
Global broadcasters and online streaming platforms are a natural partner for esports given the broad audiences and the platforms’ digital nature. Companies like HBO and Netflix can further diversify their audience outreach by appealing directly to gamers.
Media hub and esports agency Gaming in Turkey has partnered with online esports tournament platform FACEIT, to launch a collegiate CS:GO league in Turkey. The partnership will formalize a collegiate CS:GO scene in Turkey that began flourishing in 2018. The first tournament to take place through the collaboration will be the Collegiate Esports League Turkey, which begins during the Fall study semester. Turkish universities can already create squads and student communities on FACEIT’s platform.
Popularity of E-Sports
The popularization of E-Sports has helped power the explosions in esports investment and revenue. Esports has hit this stratosphere in large part because of the social component of live streaming and gaming. Video gaming-specific streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming give fans a direct connection to the players and teams, while more mainstream socials have allowed those connections to flourish. Certain esports organizations, like FaZe Clan, are also moving aggressively into areas like merchandise, lending their brands more notoriety than if they had stuck to esports alone.
Online streaming services such as Twitch and YouTube have greatly helped bring E-Sports to viewers across the world. These online streaming services are the go-to method for watching gaming competitions.
In addition to online viewership, in-person spectatorship has also grown tremendously. Huge championship events are planned and held all across the world, with thousands of supporters cheering on their favorite pros from the stands. In 2016, the famous League of Legends World Championships was held in Los Angeles, CA in the same arena that professional basketball teams play (the Staples Centre). The event had a sell-out crowd and had over 43 million unique viewers. You also may be wondering what is l9, which in fact is a group created by RatIRL and Obsess.
How to get Sponsorship and what types there are
As you would assume, not all sponsorships are created equal. A big issue in the gaming market, especially on social media, is that the industry incorrectly uses the term “sponsorship” as a blanket term for all partnerships. This not only causes confusion in the gaming community but also prevents streamers and E-Sports teams from properly securing the correct level of sponsorship to fit their needs.
Affiliate Code is the most common type of gaming sponsorship. Unfortunately, it is also often misunderstood and mismanaged. It develops a three-way relationship between the consumer, the player receiving the sponsorship, and the brand. The agreement is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
Hybrid gaming sponsorships take things one step further because it has all the same components as an affiliate code deal, plus a few additional perks. Aside from discount codes for the team or influencer’s followers, the sponsor also provides an internal account, only to be used by the team or influencer for steep discounts on their products.
As the name suggests, pure gaming sponsorships are the most sought after by teams and influencers. When you obtain pure sponsorship, you get monthly benefits from the brand to promote their business. Because of this, you may get promoted by the brand in their native advertising campaigns, receive lump-sum payments, and have access to free products. In some cases, eSports teams and influencers may even enjoy additional benefits.