The Future of Esports Sponsorship Predictions for 2023 and 2024

Esports has been on the rise in recent years, with viewership and participation numbers steadily increasing. As a result, the industry has attracted a significant amount of investment from sponsors looking to tap into this growing market. In fact, according to research by Newzoo, esports sponsorships are expected to reach $1.14 billion by 2020. But what does the future hold for esports sponsorship? In this article, we will take a closer look at the current state of esports sponsorship and make predictions for what we can expect in the years to come.

Overview of Esports Sponsorship

Before diving into the predictions for 2023 and 2024, let’s first take a look at the current state of esports sponsorship. Esports sponsorship typically involves brands partnering with teams, players, or events to reach a targeted audience of esports fans. This can take various forms, such as logo placement on team jerseys, product endorsements by players, or brand activations at tournaments.

One of the biggest draws for sponsors in esports is the highly engaged and loyal audience. Unlike traditional sports, esports fans are more likely to be tech-savvy and digitally active, making them an attractive demographic for brands to target. In addition, esports offers a global reach, with tournaments and events being broadcasted worldwide, allowing sponsors to reach a diverse audience.

Currently, the most popular types of sponsors in esports include technology companies, energy drinks, and financial institutions. However, as the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see a wider range of brands entering the space and investing in esports sponsorship.

Predictions for 2023 and 2024

The Rise of Non-Endemic Brands

As mentioned earlier, the current top sponsors in esports tend to be technology companies, energy drinks, and financial institutions. However, in the next few years, we can expect to see a wider variety of brands entering the space. Non-endemic brands, which are those not traditionally associated with gaming or esports, will start to see the potential in this market and invest in sponsorship deals.

Some non-endemic brands have already made their way into esports, such as Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and Mercedes-Benz. These brands understand the value of reaching a highly engaged audience and have successfully integrated themselves into the industry. In 2023 and 2024, we can expect to see more non-endemic brands making their presence known in esports, including fashion, beauty, and consumer goods companies.

Fashion Brands in Esports

Fashion and esports may seem like an unlikely pair, but we have already seen some collaborations between the two industries. For example, Louis Vuitton partnered with the League of Legends World Championship in 2019, designing in-game skins and a limited-edition collection. This partnership is just the beginning of what we can expect to see from fashion brands in the world of esports.

With the rise of influencer marketing, fashion brands have been looking for ways to reach a younger, digitally active audience. Esports provides the perfect platform for these brands to showcase their products and reach their target market. We can expect to see more fashion brands partnering with teams and players, creating custom jerseys, and sponsoring tournaments and events.

Beauty Brands in Esports

Similar to fashion brands, beauty brands are also looking to reach a younger audience and have been turning to influencers to promote their products. Esports offers a unique opportunity for beauty brands to reach a predominantly male audience, which is not typically targeted by traditional beauty advertising.

We have already seen some collaborations between beauty brands and esports teams, such as K-Swiss partnering with Immortals Gaming Club, who also own OpTic Gaming, MIBR, and LA Valiant. In the coming years, we can expect to see more beauty brands entering the world of esports and partnering with teams and players.

Consumer Goods Brands in Esports

Consumer goods brands, such as food and beverage companies, will also see the potential in sponsoring esports. As mentioned earlier, energy drink companies have been some of the top sponsors in the industry, but we can expect to see other consumer goods brands making their way into the space.

For example, snack companies could sponsor tournaments and events, providing food and drinks for attendees and viewers. We may also see fast-food chains partnering with teams or players, similar to how traditional sports teams have sponsorship deals with these types of brands.

Increased Investment in Women’s Esports

Another prediction for 2023 and 2024 is the increased investment in women’s esports. Currently, there is a significant gender gap in the industry, with female players and teams receiving less recognition and support compared to their male counterparts.

However, this is slowly starting to change as more organizations and sponsors recognize the potential in women’s esports. For instance, in 2018, Intel became a sponsor for the Overwatch League’s Dallas Fuel, who has a mixed-gender roster. Other companies, such as HyperX and Secretlab, have also sponsored all-female teams, such as Dignitas’ all-female CS:GO team.

In the next few years, we can expect to see more investment in women’s teams and tournaments, creating more opportunities for female players and increasing the visibility of women in esports. This also presents an opportunity for brands to tap into an underserved market and show their support for diversity and inclusion in the industry.

Regional Sponsorships

Esports is a global phenomenon, and while it has a strong presence in Europe, North America, and Asia, there are still untapped markets in other regions. In the coming years, we can expect to see more regional sponsorships, with brands targeting specific countries or regions.

This can be seen already with the rise of Chinese sponsorships in esports. Companies like Tencent and Alibaba have invested heavily in both Western and Asian teams, as well as streaming platforms. In addition, we may see more regional tournaments and events being sponsored by local brands, creating a more diverse and global sponsorship landscape in esports.

Increased Use of Technology in Sponsorship Activations

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more innovative and interactive sponsor activations in esports. Currently, sponsors often have booths at events where attendees can try out products, participate in games, or receive freebies. However, in 2023 and 2024, we can expect to see even more creative and immersive experiences for fans.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies could play a significant role in future sponsor activations. For example, a gaming peripheral company could use VR to allow fans to experience their products in-game, giving them a taste of what it’s like to be a professional player. We may also see sponsors using AR technology to create interactive advertisements during live streams or at events.

Another exciting possibility is the use of AI in sponsor activations. With the advancement of artificial intelligence, we may see virtual brand ambassadors interacting with fans and promoting products in a more personalized and engaging way.

Emphasis on Sustainable Sponsorship

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on sustainability and social responsibility in all industries. Esports is no exception, and we can expect to see a larger emphasis on sustainable sponsorship in the coming years.

Currently, some companies have already started implementing eco-friendly initiatives in esports, such as using biodegradable packaging for pro-gamer chairs. In 2023 and 2024, we can expect to see more brands prioritizing sustainability in their sponsorship deals, from environmentally friendly products to eco-conscious event planning.

This shift towards sustainable sponsorship will not only benefit the environment but also appeal to the growing number of socially conscious consumers, especially among the younger generations.

Conclusion

The world of esports is constantly evolving, and with its rapid growth, we can expect to see significant developments in sponsorship over the coming years. From non-endemic brands entering the space to increased investment in women’s esports and the use of technology in sponsor activations, the future of esports sponsorship looks bright.

As more companies recognize the value and potential of esports, we can expect to see a more diverse and global sponsorship landscape. It’s an exciting time for the industry, and we can’t wait to see how it will continue to evolve and grow in 2023 and 2024.

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