Introduction

There’s a new type of sport that has become extremely popular. E-sports is a form of sporting competition using video games.

Although the increasing popularity of competitive video gaming might seem mystifying to some, revenue is growing rapidly and the number of eyeballs watching these tournaments is increasing in huge numbers across the globe. E-sports is no longer ‘emerging’ - it has arrived and has started to command the attention of some of the world’s biggest brands.

The rate at which e-sports is growing is impressive:

  • In the US in 2018, revenues shot up 38% to hit $905 million
  • By 2021, global e-sports revenues will rocket to $1.65 billion, $1.4 billion of which will come directly from brand investment

There are two key factors at play in driving this surge; the first is the fans. E-sports fans typically fall into the coveted 18-35 demographic; significantly younger than traditional sports viewers. Second is the digital nature of e-sports, which makes the value of sponsorship more directly and accurately measurable. This kind of capability is becoming increasingly important for the sports sponsorship industry, as organisations look to put a price on digital media engagement, and sponsors look for more reassurance that the rights they are buying add genuine value to their brands.