Marketers, don’t miss out on the ‘perfect storm’ of esports

Marketers, don’t miss out on the ‘perfect storm’ of esports 578 318 C-Suite Network
Above: Team Dignitas in a tournament

The $700 million global competitive gaming industry is one of the largest yet most underutilized marketing channels in the digital marketing space. In an era of growing skepticism toward traditional methods of advertising, esports offers a new and lucrative gateway for marketers to reach over 385 million people globally. In fact, even more than the hard-to-reach male population, esports is growing popular among women and the generation after millennials, Generation Z — the latter commands $44 billion in spending power, and is projected to become 40 percent of all American consumers by 2020.

You’d think that investing marketing dollars in a broad, digitally savvy, highly engaged audience like the esports fanbase would be a no-brainer. Surprisingly, only $280 million was spent on esports advertising last year, making up just a small fraction of the digital advertising market, which is projected to reach $130 billion by the end of the decade. Considering the opportunity for growth and obvious benefits esports has to offer, it’s strange that marketers are only just beginning to take notice of this new channel.

The esports industry hasn’t fully taken off just yet — but it is rife with opportunity. Because the esports audience is so digitally active on multiple devices, marketers can finally know how to effectively reach this widening yet notoriously elusive fanbase by understanding those audience across devices for more relevant messaging. However, there’s a narrow, and somewhat providential window for marketers to slide in before the space becomes too crowded and shuts all stragglers out permanently. The perfect storm of audience reach, targeting, measurement, and all-digital, esports has created an entirely new channel unlike any other currently in the market, and marketers need to tap into its enormous potential before it’s too late.

Converging sports and esports to reach all demographics

It isn’t just marketers who’ve been eyeing the esports industry. Traditional sports organizations are increasingly taking notice of, and entering into, the esports space. This year, the NBA announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive Software to create the first competitive esports league in order to capture the video gaming community, while organizations like ESPN and NBC have made efforts to become a part of the young but rapidly growing industry. Just last month, the New York Yankees also announced that they were venturing into esports via a partnership with Vision Esports.

While traditional sports businesses try to grow their audiences by encouraging cross-over from traditional sports channels…