Advertising in eSports

In my last research post I talked about the reality of professional gamers and the exponential growth of viewership for these events. Now I’m looking into a bit more of how the rest of the world is reacting to this boom. It seems that the advertising world is really the first thing to fully invest in eSports. Players and teams get sponsored by companies and organizations where they are mutually benefiting from a partnership. The teams and players get money and free gear for the trade-off of wearing the companies name on their jersey, promoting their product in interviews or on their personal streams, etc.  Sponsorships are extremely important to players and teams, and are equally important to the tournaments themselves.

League of Legends is the game I am using as an example, as it is the most played game in the world, and the most viewed game in the world.  The developers at Riot Games have invested heavily into the competitive scene of the game, creating their own professional league, the League Championship Series (LCS for short), and hosting their own live broadcast of the games across multiple streaming platforms, garnering the attention of hundreds of thousands of people. You can see why advertisers would be interested in events like this, and eager to get their brand out there. Just like the NHL has partnerships with Pepsi and Discover Card, so too does the LCS now have partnerships with Coca-Cola and American Express. In this interview with Riot’s Vice President of eSports and Coke’s Head of Gaming, Coke’s Matt Wolf talks about how valuable advertising in the LCS is, and even goes on to talk about how it is more valuable than advertising during the Superbowl.

Now that I’ve gotten through some of the points and numbers that I already know of, I will start to look into any scholarly work with a focus on competitive gaming and its effects on the world.

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