The eSports industry is thriving, not only because there are organizations that have been organizing tournaments, teams that have been spawning squads for different eSports disciplines but also because the influx of money has increased that has enabled the aforementioned to happen in the first place! Sponsors have had a significant role to play in the growth of the eSports industry. In fact, without their presence, it would be hard to imagine the eSports industry being as successful as it is today.
Their goal remains the same – sponsor a tournament i.e. make money. These sponsors are none other than upcoming as well as reputed brands that gain recognition by being in the public eye at major gaming events which consequently increases sales or catapults more traffic towards their websites. This traffic is full of potential buyers and the conversion rates can be high depending on a number of factors. This is why organizations and brands spend thousands of dollars to make their websites user friendly, rich in content and attractive to the end user all at the same time.
Not enough to convince you? Well, let’s assume you’re a brand and you’re curious to know what’s in it for you. You wish to be involved with the eSports industry but don’t know how. Read on as you’ll find answers to all your questions.
Why Sponsor a Tournament?
Right now eSports (computer game tournaments) have lot of tournaments with sponsors for many good games that have the competitive potential in them. As a brand, the opportunity to sponsor tournaments for these games has the following advantages:
Extremely high player base for many games into the millions such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, StarCraft 2
Very niche demographic and a chance to swim with the sharks
PC games have a long lifetime. Games such as Counter Strike and StarCraft are 10 years old and still have a large player base. The news of their presence at a tournament in itself a big crowd puller
100% of the audience has: a graphics card, processor, mouse, monitor, speakers etc. Stuff that is required for gaming is therefore big with this crowd. Your booth at a major event is an incredible opportunity to market and sell products
Incredible amount of re-playability. Often, games are recorded by players by using the in-game recorders. Replays of live tournaments are repeated and commentated giving you viewers for months after the event
It’s a largely untapped market. The gaming community in the world excluding Korea has very little competition for hosting tournaments, so a little goes a long way
Gamers want to make money playing games. They will become your marketing arm because their word takes precedence over anyone’s. An excellent example of what this community can do for you is Husky in the following video (00:24) where he mentions a sponsor and encourages his hundreds of thousands of subscribers:
Five things to consider before sponsoring a tournament:
- How many people will be watching?
- Where is my logo to be displayed and how many times/when will they mention the company?
- Will there be replays of this tournament and will my logo / mention be included in the replays?
- Is the audience one large demographic with many similarities or many different demographics with little or nothing in common?
- Will the audience be interested in my product/information?
There are many types of tournaments you can sponsor such as: darts, snowboarding, swimming, dancing, singing etc. A lot of these tournaments however have many people already competing over them. It is rare that a major sporting event occurs and there is a lack of sponsors for it. A crowded place is definitely not the one for you to begin with. This brings us to the next topic – Choosing a game!
Choosing a Game
This is why this website your reading right now exists. It is to provide gamers and sponsors a way to see what games exist. What games are hosting tournaments right now and to what extent? The rankings for these games are provided here: eSport Rankings
The Game Rankings page ranks games based on gamer profitability and from it you can deduce the following:
- What games are the most popular including number of searches and news articles?
- Number of tournaments and the frequency of the tournaments
- Easy access for a sponsor to see what are the top competitive games out right now
- Existing hosts/sponsors of tournaments can be checked out and you can see what keywords work best and how much traffic they receive
- How much do the tournaments for a game actually pay?
- How much exposure did the tournament have and from who and where?
PGT has all the information you need to determine the most cost effective way for your company to tap into a market largely untapped in the most economically efficient way with minimum effort. I hope you see the potential of the gaming community because it can put you on the map.
IGN put it in the best way possible when describing their success of the first IPL (IGN Pro League). Success in this case meant that they made so much money from the first IPL, they were able to afford a $50,000 prize pool for their professional gaming league’s second edition:
The eSports division of IGN Entertainment is excited to announce IGN Pro League 2, offering an expanded player pool and a USD $50,000 prize pool! This comes following the success of the first IPL, an invitational tournament that exemplified the quality of IPL players and demonstrated high production value. The goal of the IGN eSports division is to provide a professional, polished viewing experience to fans of eSports, while supporting the development of eSports globally through a sustainable tournament system that rewards its players. IPL 2 will be the first full-fledged StarCraft II tournament for IGN Entertainment; the aim is to repeat success and grow out eSports at IGN and beyond.” (Source: IGN)
IPL5 has recently concluded which featured $300,000 in prize money split among 3 games – StarCraft II, League of Legends and Shootmania. IPL6 has been announced already for the March 28th, 2013 weekend.
If you’re a brand that’s looking for a massive reach advantage over your competitors, now is the time to act. The aforementioned examples have introduced you to the scope and reach of the eSports industry. It’s beautiful, big and profitable. We at PGT believe we can help you see the big picture and keep you updated about what’s hot and what’s not via our eSports rankings. Happy sponsoring!