Esports has grown beyond recognition, starting as a hobby in South Korea and various gaming expos, and transitioning to an activity that rivals mainstream sports. For a while, there has been a very stiff competition between sports and esports, at least on a community level. Yet, for savvy and skilled executives, both verticals have presented an immense opportunity to move forward.
Now, an esports marketing agency such as Adrun will tell you that esports and sports have a lot of overlap and they are inherently joint. That is true, and if this statement would have sounded funny in the early 2000s, in the year 2020, sponsorships and deals between gaming teams and mainstream athletes and sports teams are a reality.
In fact, there have been entire leagues that have embraced esports and have seen the importance of video gaming as a way to new markets, as well as replenishing viewership numbers and even recruiting actual athletes.
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The English Premier League (EPL), the Spanish LaLiga, the Danish SuperLiga and American mainstream sporting organizations, such as the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Basketball Association (NBA) have all invested in esports.
The NBA even runs the so-called NBA 2K League and treats video gamers as actual athletes, offering annual salaries and bonuses based on the results.
Great Opportunities in Esports Marketing for Sports Teams
One of the most successful franchises to have made a noticeable dent in esports as a sports team is Paris Saint-Germain. The French soccer powerhouse has been able to secure multiple titles in Dota 2 thanks to its merger with LGD, a Chinese Dota 2 esports team.
The success of the team has allowed PSG to permeate China, one of the world’s largest video gaming markets and where some of the most talented esports players are based. Manchester City in the EPL has also launched a virtual team, and so have many other professional sports organizations.
Clearly, the prize pools aren’t foremost in the minds of such organizations, but they are all interested in establishing their names among esports fans. As a leading esports marketing agency, Adrun can confirm that building a positive name takes time, but once a non-endemic company succeeds, the benefits are enormous.
While most esports fans don’t necessarily watch competitive sports, they do appreciate the fact that sports teams are landing money to esports players and helping boost the footprint of competitive video gaming.
In other words, in the minds of millions of people around the world, the PSG brand is trusted, respected and definitely an initiative that esports enthusiasts would support.
According to Adrun, sports are at their very beginning of endorsing esports. So far, it’s all done for marketing purposes only. However, as things progress, a bigger focus will be placed on success.
Sports team which manage to build a community and respected brand around themselves are in for a very lucrative future that has only just started, Adrun’s experts have concluded.