Talk the Talk: Connecting with eSports FanseSports, Thought Leadership
Alexa Parker // Account Manager, esports
The esports buzz is upon us, and it’s only getting louder. There are currently over 300 million avid and casual esport fans worldwide, a number that is expected to double by 20201. With 600+ sponsorship agreements since the start of 2016 and more non-endemic brands entering the space, it is important for brand marketers to know who they are talking to and how to connect with the esports audience.
As non-endemic brands continue to enter the esports space, the key to success is to be authentic to the esport fan and community. Make sure someone on the team knows the space and is eager to keep learning.
Pro tip: Octagon recently launched the first ever esports Passion Drivers® study uncovering why fans are passionate about esports, complete with 9 Passion Drivers and 4 Fan Typologies.
If your brand wants to be welcomed into the space here are a few tips to consider when speaking to esports fans:
1. Esports fans are enthusiastic and passionate about the game first and foremost.
Know the Game – Learn as much as you can by watching online, attending events, following the standings during the season, and keeping up to date on what is happening in the industry and within the space.
2 Esports fans thrive off of the community.
Follow Key Players – Don’t expect everything to come from the league channels; follow the players, the teams, the executives, the casters, etc. Look into how the key players are speaking to their following. Get to know your audience on a personal level. Stalk away!
3. Esports fans can smell a fake from miles away.
Be Involved and Vocal – When considering options for your brand, come up with ways that go beyond media value and ROI. Think about unique opportunities that benefit the league and player communities and in turn will reach your brand goals: How can we better the league for the teams and players? What content will the fans enjoy consuming? What behind the scenes info can we provide? How do we organically link ourselves to this game, team or player? What is being done with traditional stick and ball sports that we could re-create for esports?
4. Esports fans are active – they will engage with the good and the bad.
Ask for Guidance – Find and ask the experts, sit down with the top players, league ops team and see what they see as added value, what content they would recommend, what premiums make sense at certain events.
Esports is a broad category covering a number of different game titles, across a variety of content platforms. It’s critical that brands do their research and determine which partners and message they are going to bring to this quickly growing fanbase.
Sources: 1: NewZoo