E-sports is a new rising category that brands should be paying attention to as brands enter into 2019 spotting for new trends. This is an area of tremendous growth as esports become the experience that transforms. According to Newzoo, a provider of esports market data, 22% of male millennials in the U.S. watch competitive esports which is very close to the stats of football, hockey, and baseball. Newzoo also noted that the revenue jumped from $493 million in 2016 to $655 million in 2017, and total revenue exceeded $900 million in 2018.
Price Waterhouse Coopers reported that the average view duration for an esports broadcast is 84 minutes. While ad agency GMR reported, 43% of surveyed esports viewers indicated that they always appreciate when brands reach out through the gaming world -- and another 42% indicated that they usually appreciate brand marketing through gaming channels.
Still not convinced that e-sports will be a strong category to watch for? Well, recently Mastercard became the first global sponsor for the League of Legends global events inking a three-year sponsorship deal.
Riot Games which is the company that is behind League of Legends created an e-sports stadium in South Korea. The complex includes a 500-seat stadium, a fan meeting zone, a 24-hour PC bang (the South Korean term for internet cafe) and a hall of fame featuring jerseys and 3D-printed miniatures of accomplished League of Legends pros.
The Gaming Stadium hunkered into the market by building the first of its kind stadium in Canada with seating for 250 spectators, 40 gaming stations, casual gaming area open to players, a broadcast facility with a full suite of options, and, food and beverages.
Colleges are even getting in on this trend. Full Sail University is said to be building a $6 million esports arena. The 11,200-square-feet stadium will be known as, “The Fortress,” housing s 500 spectator space, full with the newest technology and space for players to prepare for tournaments. This will be the largest e-sports stadium to be ever built on a college campus.
The e-sporting phenomenon is not only geared towards the US audience but Spain has also jumped onto the ship. The Real Madrid, Bernabéu Stadium announced that it too will be building out a stadium when completed is projected to generate $176.4 million in additional revenue.