Advertiser investment in e-sports and gaming is set to rise massively across APAC, according to new research, as top-level marketers wake up to the opportunities these channels offer.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), in conjunction with global consumer insights agency 2CV, carried out qualitative and quantitative research with more than 100 senior marketer members from 23 industry sectors across the region for the report, Gaming Demystified: Unlocking brand growth opportunities in video gaming.

This revealed that while a third (32%) of respondents have already invested in video gaming or e-sports in the last 12 months, more than three quarters (78%) expect to invest in the near future.

And not only are more marketers intending to put money into this area, they are increasing the amounts placed there: the survey found that senior marketers anticipate a 50% year-on-year growth in investments to e-sports marketing channels.

Among those brands which have been investing, the focus has largely been on advertising on gaming platforms or within games themselves and investments in e-sports; but 15% had also invested in content creators as a way into this world.

Over the next 12 months, there is expected to be growth in all areas of investment, in particular around advertising on gaming websites/platforms and advertising at gaming events.

Senior marketers appear to be slow to react to events on the ground, as APAC leads the world in online gaming consumption: watching e-sports tournaments, for example, is three times more popular in the region than in North America.

South Korea has played a pivotal role in the sector’s development, while strong engagement in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Thailand has boosted popularity in the region.

“Marketers understand the scale of the opportunity that gaming represents but the issue is lack of knowledge and simply knowing where to start,” said James Redden, Managing Director/APAC at 2CV.

“Spend is rising fast but it would grow even faster when that knowledge gap has been filled, giving brands the confidence they need to start talking more boldly about gaming and e-sports within their organisations,” he added.

Sourced from WFA; additional content by WARC staff