Everyone is going to tell you that the most important component of a successful esports sponsorship is to “be authentic.”
Yes, authenticity is important! And, I promise that is the last time I will mention that word in this post.
Here are three other things (that aren’t the “A” word) to think about when considering inserting your brand into esports.
1.) Learn more about the gaming landscape
You might not be an expert at the whole “esports” or “gaming” thing (I get it, I was the same way not too long ago). And that’s ok, the best time to start learning something new is right now.
First and foremost, all gamers are not alike. There are gamers who prefer PC, console, mobile, tabletop, or arcade. There are gamers who prefer FPS, RTS, MOBA, or even card games. Some gamers watch games they play and some watch games they don’t play. Not all videogames are violent.
Take some time to learn about the landscape. You won’t become an expert overnight… but the good news is, you don’t need to be an expert to successfully activate your brand in esports.
Go ahead, see for yourself - install Steam and play DOTA2. Then go play Hearthstone. You will get what I mean. Learning the market and the nuances of the gamers and games will only help connect with the community.
2.) Think outside of the box.
Brands that can both be creative and add value end up winning. At first glance, you might find that your brand doesn’t make sense in this space.
Dig deeper, think outside of the box.
Recently, we partnered with Leesa Mattress at DreamHack Atlanta. Leesa Mattress at a gaming festival!? How does that make sense?
Since DreamHack is a 24 hour festival, some of our attendees sleep on-site. Leesa came in as a new partner this year and provided mattresses and blankets for premium sleeping hall ticket holders. After the event, the mattresses were donated to a local charity.
The results were fantastic. One of our LAN attendees who purchased a premium sleeping ticket put it best,
“I have never slept better and I only had 4 hours of sleep.” (yes that is a real quote).
Even gamers need to sleep!
3.) Stop thinking about it, try something
Esports aren’t going anywhere but up, and the time to get involved is now. Get in on the ground floor and be the first mover in your industry. Look at Monster Energy for example. Monster is our biggest non-endemic partner. Because they were one of the first movers to align to non-traditional and extreme sports, they are now a household name in the industry.
This was a guest post by Sara Lieser of Dreamhack North America. Thank you to Sara for sharing her thoughts with us!