eSports and Gamification - why you need to know about them
A $613m industry, it’s worth putting it on your agenda by Sophie Morris
I suspect that few brands out there will think that gamification is for them. It appeals to a specific group of businesses but actually it can create engagement in current customers and be a great source of acquiring new ones. And as a $613m industry, it’s worth putting it on your agenda.
Let’s look at a couple of quick examples. Nissan conducted research that showed them their GTR car was the most popular choice for players of an online racing game. So, they created an engagement campaign targeting these gamers.
Anyone involved in sponsoring sports, should also look at their role in sports games. You only have to look at Major League Gaming – who have 9 million users worldwide playing their games – to know that you need to take notice.
It’s easy to assume that people are just playing games and there is no room for brands. That’s right if you are going to be disruptive and play your adverts when they want to be playing games, but if you make your brand part of the game then the gamers embrace your brand.
It can lead to much deeper level of engagement than sponsoring live sport. Think of it as the difference between a ‘lean back experience’ watching football on TV and a ‘lean forward’ experience of playing it yourself online.
Gamers have a huge amount of media consumption time and it can allow you to become a ‘hero brand’ by being part of something they love and dedicate a large amount of time to.
It can educate people about a game and increase fans who then buy merchandise and attend a live game.
This is especially true for multi sport games. People learn the rules by playing themselves online, they grow an interest for the game, get to know the teams and the players and then have a desire to watch the game, become fans and followers and buy merchandise.
This is another route for brands to consider. If you’re sponsoring a live sport, are you also sponsoring the game? So your brand appears on screen as it does in the live stadium.
There is still a lot of work to be done in this area, but it is one not to be overlooked. There is a huge potential to target your audience in a more immersive way.
On esports specifically this is an area you might want to look at to reach your audience because of all the previous reasons, and because of its growth. Heads of BT, ITV and BBC have all said they expect it to be on broadcast channels soon. There is already a global audience of over 134million people attending events and watching other people gaming online with a market value this year of 613m dollars! With sponsorship in America alone totalling 111m dollars according to Super Data Research.
Twitch – the leading gaming community has 100m monthly users who spend an average for over 100 minutes a day on the site. It was bought by Amazon in 2015 for 970m dollars which is 585m pounds.
This is big business and growing fast. Every company should consider if it can get involved. There’s even talk of eSports being recognised as an Olympic sport, as the Korean Olympic Committee granted it 2nd tier status but that drew negative feedback from gamers themselves who appreciate it as a competition but not a physical sport, so I should think we are a little way off from that.
So look at this developing market, look at the sponsorship opportunities it has and if the audience falls within your target market you should really look at this as an effective marketing channel to engage with these high media consumers.
Strategic Marketing & Sponsorship Consultant, Millharbour Marketing
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