The industry of virtual sports has already surpassed its expected market growth by million and is likely to reach over $1 billion in 2017. This makes 2017 the year of eSports for marketers and advertisers alike, as it presents one of the biggest digital marketing opportunities to date.
As we all look to the future marketers need to find new creative opportunities, new communities to target and new industries to become have an active part in. This might just be year and the industry to do it in and here is why:
The Numbers Speak For Themselves
The number of gamers within the world is estimated to raise to over 1 billion in the next year. This doesn’t even factor in the number of these virtual sport followers and fans, which is estimated to rise to 145 million in 2017. A number of those fans don’t even play the games themselves!
The global revenue from this market is sitting at $892 million, but again is estimated to surpass the $1 billion mark by the end of 2017. League of Legends is the number one virtual sport title in the world raising $737 million in revenue and 96 monthly average users just within a 5-month time span in 2016.
With numbers like that it almost seems like a no-brainer for marketers to invest themselves into this growing industry as sponsors or with advertisements.
A Growing Spectator Sport
40% of all virtual sport viewers, globally, don’t play any of the highly ranked virtual sport franchises. Viewership rates of these professional played games greatly outweighs the that of active participants and are continuing to rise, estimating to reach over 303 million by 2019.
These stats lead investors, advertisers, players and participants within the industry to understand that this sport is gradually becoming a spectator sport like tennis or basketball.
This also presents an opportunity for advertisers within this industry to reach out to more viewers and targeted audiences not directly involved with the tournaments. Allowing them to further their reach in the niche industry.
Playing An Active Role
Taking the lunge into this industry within the next year allows marketing and advertising teams to be a part of something that is bigger than their brand or themselves. By becoming sponsors or simply having interactive advertisements within tournaments allows them to not only showcase their brand or increase brand loyalty but also be a fundamental component of the establishment of these tournaments and their participating teams.
Advertising and sponsorship accounts for the majority of that current market worth of $892 million with 74%. Soon this gaming world will likely become reliant on advertisers and sponsors in the very near future with numbers like that. This gives marketers and advertisers a very good business opportunity and the chance to really take on something globally and recognizably great!
The Right Community
This industry maintains a loyal, upper class community that is permeable across the globe. Advertisers can access this community through interactive brackets and MatchUp’s providing them with the right, targeted audience for their brand and their products.
30% of American virtual sport participants and enthusiasts are considered to be in the high-income bracket, making them the ideal demographic for certain products and brands.
With native advertising that involves a similar level of interactivity as the games that these men and women love so dearly, marketers and advertisers can create a brand new, specified consumer base.
It clear from the numbers, insights and estimations from 2016 that 2017 will clearly hold the marketing opportunity of a life time within the eSports industry. The only question that remains is how long will it take you and your brand to get on board?
Want to see more about how interactive content and investing in eSports can benefit you? Check out our eSports page or fill out the form below for a free demo!