Esports offer an unmatched sponsorship opportunity. As league and team structures develop, companies have a chance to take advantage of its steadily growing popularity. Becoming the primary sponsor of an esports team or player will allow your brand to garner a high level of exposure and return on investment (ROI) or return on opportunity (ROO).
Below are three levels of esports sponsorships. Which one is the best fit for your brand? Let’s look.
Sponsoring a team that integrates your logo on their jerseys will grant your brand access and exposure at multiple events. In addition to high visibility during competition, fans are likely to purchase jerseys for their favorite teams as the popularity of esports rises. When fans wear team jerseys out into the “real world,” brand exposure expands dramatically: to everywhere esports fans visit.
As esports continues to evolve, team sponsorships may begin to take a backseat towards league-driven branding rules. The English Premier League and NBA jersey sponsorships are prime examples of how leagues have embraced that form of marketing.
Also, additional branding opportunities may exist if that team has a merchandise store. The jersey sponsorship is the most visible and potentially provides the most exposure, but how about going beyond the uniform? Hats, jackets and merch of all sorts are options.
Putting the products of consumer brands right into the hands, heads, or seats of the players may still be the most popular sponsorship in esports.
This direct exposure can be seen by brands such as HyperX. HyperX-sponsored players use their headsets while using HyperX keyboards and mice. If you look at it from a stick and ball sport point of view, Michael Jordan’s shoes revolutionized the product placement industry. Gamer equipment can do the same for esports.
It doesn’t just stop at gaming equipment though. Everyone has watched a sporting event and seen the very bright green and orange coolers with the Gatorade logo sprawled across it. The same is being done currently in esports by Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew and Monster Energy. Nothing like pounding a Monster before your next match, right?
Streaming and social media are platforms that must not be overlooked while negotiating sponsorships. It’s just as important, if not more, to have exposure on the teams’ and players’ channels than it is to have the exposure during live events.
Streaming and social media have a more personal feel to the viewer, as if the players and teams authentically enjoy and use a product. Remember when LeBron James was questioned for promoting Kia, a brand many fans thought he would not use? Well, by sponsoring the social media of players, you can get instant gratification that a sponsorship is authentic to the player and not just driven by the check.
The popularity of esports is skyrocketing, and potential sponsors are smart to take the expanding opportunities seriously. Getting in early could mean great exposure for a fraction of the budget that traditional sports demand.
Ready to dive into the world of esports sponsorships, or just want to learn about the opportunities available? Contact us at CHARGE to help you get started.