The Future is Bright for Esports, According to the EAB

By Charlene Weisler

Esports competitive global gaming  is currently a multi-billion dollar industry with, as CNN reported, the potential to turn “casual gamers into serious stars who can sometimes rake in seven-figure earnings and massive brand endorsements.” The distribution channels of streaming services and live events have made it the next frontier for marketers who see it as an opportunity to advertise in fresh inventory and reach Millennial males. Notably, while not all games are esports, all esports are games and their burgeoning popularity is quickly making them a major player in the overall sports market.

The EAB (Esports Advertising Bureau) commissioned Magid to analyze the profile and proclivities of the esports fan based on fusing and averaging the data of EAB members’ audience studies. It was recently presented at the Secret Society meeting. Chris Pizzurro, Head of Sales and Marketing, Canoe Ventures who is on the EAB Advisory Board, presented the findings:

  • A majority (54%) of all U.S. consumers have heard of esports which translates into 48 million people.
  • The majority of esports fans are age 18-34 (58%), while 14% are 13-17 and 28% are 35+.
  • esports fans skew male (71%), have a household income of $75k+ (49%), a college degree (60%) and are married (65%).
  • Compared to sports fans in general, esports fans are heavier users of media.

For Pizzurro, one of the challenges with esports measurement is that there is, “no central measurement. If a brand does a sponsorship deal with a media company and it includes broadcast, digital, social and arena, the measurement will come from each platform. So the media company, agency, or brands needs to put it all together.”

But the opportunities for advertisers, according to Pizzurro, are vast, from sponsoring a league or players to placements on distribution platforms. When asked, “Where do you see esports in the media ecosystem three years from now?” he is optimistic, “It will be much more mature,” he stated, “We have seen just in the last year much more business discipline from major media companies entering the space. We will see an increase in media spending from advertisers as the business execution lead time moves from months to weeks.”

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