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Major brands dive into esports to the right youth market: Nielsen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – snack food companies manufacturers, a wide range of brands are trying to reach one of the hottest demographic groups around: esports fans.

FILE PHOTO: Esports – ESL One – Dota 2 Grand Arena, Birmingham, Birmingham, Uk – May 26, 2018 General view as fans watch on Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

These brands find their footing with 39 percent of the brand exposure in esports’ competitive video game broadcasting coming from non-gaming related businesses in 2018, Nielsen said in a report on Wednesday.

“Across all forms of entertainment, their greatest passion is video games,” Nicole Pike, Managing Director of Nielsen Esports, said of lovers of professional video gaming.

Such companies are the so-called ‘non-endemic’ because they are not as naturally aligned with esports if that manufacture gaming computers, consoles, chairs and other stuff, for example.

The list of non-native brands in the sector and contains all of State Farm, Disney, Spotify, Toyota, Mastercard, Cheez-It, Hershey, Chipotle, Sephora , Wendy’s and Head & shoulders, and is getting longer and longer.

Viewership of esports – as fans watching in person or online as a professional video game players compete – extensive.

The majority of the fans are usually between 18 and 35 years of age, referred to in the Nielsen report of esports sponsor Doritos as “emerging adults.”

They have more disposable income than other sports fans, and many cut the cord on traditional media.

In fact, 61 percent of esports viewers on Twitch, one of the most important platform for watching esports streams, not watch television on a weekly basis, according to Nielsen, making traditional forms of marketing a challenge.

Reach through esports seems to work, since 90 percent of the Twitch of the esports viewers can be the name of at least one non-endemic sponsor, Nielsen found.

Brands seen as genuinely interested in the space that is better off than the people who just slap their logo on a sweater, advertising and esports experts say.

PepsiCo’s Doritos, for example, sponsored a “Doritos Bowl” hosted by Twitch for a Call of Duty battle royale tournament between the best streamers.

Fans watched almost 550,000 combined hours of that tournament, Nielsen said.

If 20th Century Fox wanted to promote the digital release of the film “Deadpool 2 Super Duper Cut,” it turned out to be the gaming-advertising and talent agency Vein.

Vein together with top Fortnite influencer DrLupo and also new custom-designed Deadpool “emotes” – in essence, an emoji-characters – that viewers use in Twitch chat windows.

An influx of non-endemic brands also increases the credibility of the developing esports ecoystem, says Chad De Luca, head of gaming and esports at Publicis Sport & Entertainment.

“It is a sign of approval of a blue-chip company,” he said.

Reporting by Hilary Russ, editing by G Crosse

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