E-sports in Numbers:
The numbers the digital sports scene is already achieving are great predictors for the future! Influencermarketinghub.com has collected a handful of data on the subject:
- 1,790 million – that’s the revenue the global e-sports market reached in 2022,
- 400 million – almost that was the number of e-sports enthusiasts and occasional viewers in 2019,
- By 2024, there are projected to be more than 285 million frequent e-sports viewers and about 291.6 million occasional viewers worldwide.
- 21 million e-sports fans in the US alone, 83% are male (33% over half), 84% under 35.
- 38% of US males under the age of 25 are e-sports fans.
- 10% of e-sports fans spend more than 20 hours a week watching e-sports.
Being a professional gamer – being who?
The e-sports market is primarily very competent, but if you play better than others, especially in the most popular games (LoL, Counter Strike) – a really big career can be waiting for you! Games are becoming more and more popular every year, so we hope that soon the whole globe will witness a great e-sports revolution and more people will be able to build their careers in the industry.
World-class players, such as the legendary and still active Faker, already earn about $2 million a year (by esportsgrizzly.com). What’s more, more and more professional teams are joining the digital sports scene (e.g. PSG, Barcelona), which clearly indicates that it is being taken more and more seriously.
Not just a professional career! What else awaits professional players? There are many paths to choose from:
– professional player,
– e-sports event host,
– e-sports team coach,
– content creator,
– game marketing manager,
– administrator or referee,
– social media manager at a marketing agency,
– a production crew (e.g., in e-sports tournaments)
– or e-sports event manager.
How much money is there in e-sports?
Earnings depend on the path you choose – a career as a player or as an e-sports marketer planning marketing strategies or e-sports marketing campaigns.
As a player (by esportsgrizzly.com):
- you can earn around $4,000 – $5,000 per month or $50,000 – $60,000 per year as a professional player or part of a team of players,
- earn cash prizes in tournaments (up to $50,000 and more) as a solo player, as a member of an e-sports team, or as part of a team,
- earn money as a streamer (rates vary by format and platform of course, but the more popular streamers should not earn less than $1,000 per month).
Earnings vary depending on reach, fans, and the platform is chosen. For example, the Overwatch League (OWL) offers earnings between $50,000 and $5 million, depending on how well players perform and whether they are able to secure a larger share of the prize pool.
As a marketer you can earn by, among other things:
- increasing sales of promoted products;
- building brand awareness;
- increasing engagement or modifying brand identity.
Marketing is crucial for your e-sports brand because the competition in the market is really huge. However, the target audience is not limited to one geographic location and one platform, here there is a lot of freedom of action. E-sports competitions are slowly being adopted worldwide, which means that your e-sports brand can use marketing to increase sales even on a global scale.
Get to know the community you’re building.
The bottom line – gamers and e-sports fans don’t fall into one category, on the contrary, they are extremely numerous! It’s exactly like traditional sports, there are many competitors, different people like different things, there are many categories and subcategories, for example:
- PvP (Player vs. Player)
- FPS (First-Person Shooter)
- RTS (Real-Time Strategy)
- MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
- MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games)
In marketing, the most important thing is to find the right audience and reach them. By doing so, you will be able to guide your communication with the audience to be as effective as possible! Developed and clear communication also helps e-sports teams who can choose a brand that they identify with, which in turn translates to a much better chance of establishing a lasting relationship.
What about advertising in e-sports?
The potential of marketing in e-sports has been recognized on many platforms already by world-class brands. Advertising will help anyone find a larger audience and potential sponsors, no matter if they are a gamer or run an e-sports agency. There are so many ways! What you need to focus on is identifying the communication channels, first of all, it will be social media, but also different groups and forums. Influencers, with their reach, can also be helpful.
E-sports has opened a new market, thus opening the door for many brands and industries without clear advertising to appear in the digital world, especially since authenticity is extremely important for gamers. They will spot any false marketing very quickly. The best way to determine the type of communication with your target audience will be to deeply know their community. This will make it easier for you to establish a good rapport with them.
You will also find it useful to have data about the audience you want to attract, such as reports or articles. If you’ve already had your first campaigns in this industry, consider how you can improve your efforts to gain more audiences and fans.
The right channels are key!
Nearly 25% of the revenue that the global e-sports market generates is through sponsorships.
Of course, there are other ways to present your brand to the e-sports market, such as organizing contests to win various gadgets related to your brand. The next step could be sending packages with free merch to popular players or content creators. Once you gain more popularity, you can become a sponsor of one of the teams, this way is especially effective during tournaments or league games. The players can wear jerseys with your brand logo on them, which will have a significant impact on your recognition in the market.
The platforms where you will find your target community easiest are also the places where you should interact with them. Dynamic marketing is highly appreciated by gamers, and the internet, social media and streaming platforms, are the perfect places to practice it. The most important of the latter are Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
Influencers in the e-sports industry
The two most important types of influencers you’ll work with are streamers and members of your favorite e-sports teams. Working with them will definitely help your brand increase its reach, but also the reach of your campaigns or events. The important thing when choosing the influencer, you will work with is that they are active on your target communication channels and that their audience is also your audience.
A blog can be a useful tool in your marketing efforts. Still, you need to target your content to the right audience and it needs to be valuable because, with the current dynamics of the e-sports market, it is easy to bore your audience. To increase your chances of better reach, you can publish your posts on more well-known gaming or gaming marketing sites, for example. More popular sites also mean more people who are not as deeply familiar with the nomenclature of the industry. When publishing on one of these sites, it’s a good idea to let readers get to know our community better. Showing gratitude in the age of the Internet is really easy, by reacting, commenting or sharing, and gamers can be very grateful and devoted to their favorite creators.
Key principles of gaming marketing.
- Remember that this is a very interactive community, fans influence gamers and vice versa. Focus on both one group and the other.
- Get data about your target group and design and adjust your activities based on it. The e-sports community very closely follows the activities of their favorite professional players, and streamers, but also competitions, posts, and blogs. They are interested in various events, tournaments, and league games.
- Share a lot of content – your audience wants as much information as possible about what they are interested in. Trailers and previews are a great way to keep their attention. You need to bring your brand and your actual product into the virtual reality of e-sports fans.
- Be up to date! The dynamics of the gaming world require you to constantly update your knowledge not only about marketing but more importantly about the industry. It’s easy to lose the attention and loyalty of gamers if they see you as someone who doesn’t keep up with them.
Want to learn more about what we do or how you can be the one to create an effective and innovative marketing campaign? Get in touch with us!