A true societal domain, esport has an ever-growing public every year. In 2020, of the 4.54 billion Internet users, 2.60 billion will be playing video games, representing 57.27% of the world’s population. As for the total audience, it is estimated at 495 million in 2020, i.e. an annual growth rate of 11.7%, strongly influenced by the Youtube and Twitch platforms.
Numerous events testify to the international scope of esport. These include the Fornite World Cup, the International Dota 2 and the League of Legends championship. The latter has been held every year since 2011 and represents the most prestigious esport event in terms of spectators and popularity. The 2019 League of Legends Championship final was attended by 100 million spectators around the world.
The esport seduces all age groups. It is therefore not surprising that many brands are turning to this field to increase their visibility and influence. However, there is one age group that interests them more particularly, and that is the millennials. Through esport, they want to reach this more connected segment that is less sensitive to advertising and is less interested in traditional media such as television or radio. In the same way, they are directly addressing an audience of enthusiasts. Finally, because esport attracts a large audience, the cost per target is particularly interesting.
In the past, the main interested parties were the brands related to esport. Today, esport appeals to all kinds of brands. Among them are Redbull, Mercedes, Spotify, Walibi and Louis Vuitton.
Redbull, an energy drink brand, relies on values such as energy, strength and audacity, and designs collector cans featuring Fortnite’s star Ninja. For the League of Legends championship, Louis Vuitton launched the capsule collection Louis Vuitton x League of Legends inspired by the world of video games. Also, as music is an integral part of video games, Spotify tries the experience and announces its partnership with Riot Games for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.
Sponsorship of players or events, product placements, advertising space purchases are just a few examples of the many possibilities that benefit brands.
As the figures show, revenues generated by esport represented $1.096 billion in 2019. Leading the way were sponsorship ($456.7 million), media rights ($251.3 million) and advertising ($189.2 million). Next comes merchandising and ticket sales ($103.7 million) and finally the amount generated by publishers ($95.2 million). Revenues are expected to double by 2022.
The European esport Federation was created in February 2020 and is based in Brussels, the European capital. It represents more than 100 million players across 23 European countries and aims to develop a strong, healthy and sustainable vision of the esport scene.