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The rise of E-sports: What’s the buzz?

Last week, word got out that Nike is preparing a sponsor deal for the Chinese League of Legends Pro Competition, involving a whopping 144 million US Dollar. Nike will be branding the whole league, taking care of clothing, accessoires, and shoes for all 16 teams. 

League of Legends, you ask? O, it’s nothing really. In 2017, the game only had 81 million people playing the game every single month!

In the Netherlands alone, in 2017, over 1,5 million people were involved with E-sports. Whether it’s following news about e-sports, visiting tournaments and events, or watching it online; E-sports are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, competing in viewer ratings with traditional sport broadcasts. Combine this with an expected turnover of ca. 10 million Euros for the Dutch market alone, and there you have proof: E-sports is Booming. 

So that’s great, but now what? What does this mean for your company, and how can you leverage this new phenomenon in your marketing strategy?

1. E-sports isn’t for everybody (yet). 

For now, a huge share of e-sports enthusiasts are Millennial males between the age of 18-44 years old. Focusing their attention mostly on shooters and sports games. However, expectations are that the number of female fans will grow in years to come, especially when it comes to more casual games (e.g. Candy Crush and the likes) 

So, if your primary target group isn’t there yet, be patient. Your brands’ time will come, for sure.

2. Specific platforms require specific content

The most prominent platforms used for e-sports and gaming broadcasting are streaming sites Twitch and YouTube. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, they had 2 billion hours of gaming streamed between them. Advertising on these platforms requires content that matches with the platforms’ nature, and the nature of its’ audience. 

That means; rich and compelling video content, immersing viewers into a branded and personalized world of their own.

3. Create desired behavior by using contextual marketing

Gaming can be a fun and rewarding experience, so make use of those feats in your marketing campaigns. Take the example of Sanquin, the Dutch blood bank. In their search for young blood donors, they collaborated with League of Legends creator Riot Games. 

Creating a special in game ‘skin’ for one of their characters, that only became available after a first blood donation, Sanquin realized 300 new donors in an otherwise hard to reach target group.


Dig Deeper

These three pointers are only the beginning. Engaging in the wonderful world of online advertising, be it in E-sports or another sector, is an endeavor not to take lightly.

Here at Blue Field Agency, we help you make the right marketing choices every step of the way. So that you always get the most out of every marketing Euro you spend, reaching the epicenter of your target group.

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