Here’s six facts you may not know about the burgeoning esports market

  • On average, people spend 106 minutes per day on Twitch watching other people play video games.
  • 2017 will see the esports economy grow to $696million – a year-on-year growth of 41.3%
  • Brands are expected to spend $517million during 2017, broken down into $155 million on advertising, $266million on sponsorship, and a further $95million on media rights.
  • Brand investment will double by 2020, pushing the total market to $1.5billion.
  • Consumer spending on esports tickets and merchandise will amount to $64 million by the end of 2017.
  • Another $116 million is being invested by game publishers into the esports industry through partnership deals.
    *Newzoo’s 2017 Global Esports Market Report

“If you’re interested in sports marketing and you want to reach the highest number of people, buy a spot during the Super Bowl half-time. But if you want to reach affluent millennials, there’s no better  place to be than esports currently,” says Nathan Lindberg, director of global esports sponsorship at Twitch.

Judging by market analysis carried out Newzoo, Lindberg may have a point.

This year, brands are expected to spend $517million within the esports landscape, broken down into $155million on advertising, $266million on sponsorship, and a further $95 million on media rights. By 2020, the report predicts that brand investment will have doubled, valuing the esports market at $1.5billion.

Lindberg was speaking to Louise Johnson, managing director EMEA of Fuse, from the Entertainment in Focus stage at Cannes Lions. They were joined on stage by Aubrey McClure, head of partnerships and promotions at Activision and Victor Goossens, co-CEO of Team Liquid, an esports team.

“Brands need to remember that this is a new market so we need to be able to work together in partnership and more importantly, learn together over longer time-periods,” Lindberg continues.

“Brand strategy within the esports space should be one of altruism. We need brands to help grow this market and if they get in at the beginning and invest for the long-term, they can help establish traditions and cultures that could last forever.”

McClure agrees with Lindberg’s assessment that brands need to see esports as a long-term partnership opportunity.

She says: “Gamers play our titles for up to three years so it’s important to keep the conversations going over much longer periods of time with live events, behind the scenes content, interviews, film etc. Brands are great storytellers but it has to be a true collaboration for it be successful.”

Lindberg concurs. “Brand storytelling is the cream on top that’s currently missing form esports. The opportunities are vast. Every four years at the Olympics, I’m made to care about the back-stories of athletes who have overcome adversity to play Curling for their country. That’s what esports needs – brands who come in and tell stories about the individual players, and their teams. Those stories are not there yet so there’s huge scope to help esports enter mainstream popularity by bringing these stories to the world’s attention.”