Brand Names Begin Sponsoring ESports
By: Marianna Mabanag
With the recent increase in popularity of ESports over the last year and a half, there are no signs of stopping any time soon. This new form of entertainment hasn’t failed to pass any milestone since their big break. Just recently, big name brands have begun to invest and sponsor ESports. With the huge audience that these sports attract, it’s no surprise that huge companies are starting to dip into this industry.
Last week, it was announced that three huge brands have decided to sponsor a reality ESports television show in Brazil. Coca-Cola, Trident, and Subway officially launched a sponsorship with the Ultimate Legends Training (ULT), promising that their own branding would be shown throughout the entire season. During the first season in 2018, ULT reached 2.4 million views across the five episodes that aired. Overall, 624k hours were watched.
These aren’t the only big named companies that are getting involved with the world of ESports. Back in 2006, Redbull first started their involvement in this industry by investing $578 million dollars. In 2016, Comcast Xfinity decided to sponsor and open up a brand new arena built for ESports teams to practice and play in. Honda finally decided to join in on the fun and invested $50 billion dollars and hosted a competition in Thailand. It’s surprising to see so many big named companies investing large amounts of money aside from professional sports.
With the huge popularity of ESports and the outstanding amount of viewers, it’s no surprise that this industry generates so much revenue. The fanbase is made up of fluid fans that are willing to spend money in a way that they can to support the influencers that they love so much. Because of this, there is so much money in the business of ESports that hasn’t been seen before in any sports fandom. Companies can only profit off of partnering and sponsoring teams in this field.
What will this mean for the future of ESports? Due to the exponential growth, it’s becoming more of a normalized activity in the world. With the growth of ESports and their fandoms, companies will always look for ways to stick their brand on a stream or influencer. Will this eventually lead to seeing our everyday brands using influencers for Nascar style marketing?