With the increasing integration of video games into culture, global investors, brands, media and consumers are taking notice of the growing popularity of this field. One of Molecule Group’s core competencies is content transformation and marketing in high-tech areas, including gaming and esports. In the following article, we will take a closer look at the opportunities to enter this market, based on our knowledge and experience.
Gaming has become a discernible part of many cultures. The rise of streaming platforms such as Twitch or YouTube Gaming, which allow fans to communicate directly with creators, has contributed to this. Anyone can watch or broadcast their favourite games to a wide audience of interested parties. The streaming trend, along with numerous gameplays and tutorials, continues to grow with a huge number of influencers. In the world of gaming, influencer can be divided by the content published, whether by title or form. This division provides an incredible opportunity for investors to focus on their chosen target group.
The main forms of advertising on professional gaming broadcasts are advertising blocks, product placement and sponsorship. However, the most popular form is the placement of logos on the screen, along with competitions and giveaways organised by the sponsor. In case of Twitch, in addition to the possibility of placing a logo on the broadcast overlay, it is also possible to place any number of graphics below the screen in a special panel. Thanks to this solution, advertising is visible to users even if the streamer is offline.
We are noticing an increasing marketing awareness of influencers from the mid-range of popularity. In the very early days of gaming, it was rare for gaming creators to take care of their image and diversify their social media platforms. Today’s they have many different types of communication channels at their disposal such as Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. Each of these platforms, due to their differing characteristics, allow for differentiated publications with appropriate content marketing and product placement.Companies that want to position their products often work with influencers during their advertising campaigns. Thanks to a large number of followers, appropriate targeting and viral potential companies are happy to enter into short-term or long-term partnerships with them.The role of the influencer during an ongoing advertising campaign is to fulfil tasks set by the sponsor. This could be the publication of a photo or story with the product, a mention of an ongoing competition or event, or special promotional messages. Thanks to the modern tools of social media platforms, sponsors can clearly analyse the results of advertising campaigns and make necessary adjustments at a later stage.
The development of gaming, and in particular the popularity of titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, Apex Legends or Hearthstone has opened the door to a natural transformation towards professionalisation. Over time, numerous tournaments were created, and with them professional organisations and esports teams. Nowadays, it is no surprise that the way esports organisations are run is no different to a professional sports team. This also applies to the area of marketing and advertising.From the perspective of a professional esports organisation, investors, along with sponsors, are a key way of raising money. As in traditional sports, teams are keen to partner with various companies such as Adidas, Nike, AMD, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Monster Energy and RedBull.There are many services offered by esports organisations, but the most common and most important for a sponsor is to have the company’s logo on the official jerseys. Players wear them during every possible activity, such as official league broadcasts watched by crowds of fans from all over the world or professional photo shoots carried out for marketing purposes
Esports teams also run numerous marketing campaigns on their social media. During the campaign, the organisation focuses on achieving the sponsor’s objectives, whether it is promoting a product, brand, image or increasing activity with a new bigger number of followers. Another popular form of advertising is running special competitions and campaigns on the team’s social media, where fans can win sponsored products with the signatures of their favourite players. In addition, we are increasingly seeing situations where a company is interested in obtaining title sponsorship or putting its name in the team name.In conclusion, cooperation with professional esports organisations offers many marketing opportunities. It all depends on what the sponsor’s goals are.
Mercedes-Benz, Spotify, MasterCard, State Farm, Bose, AXE. Most of these brands need no introduction to anyone, as they are well known around the world. Would you be surprised if these turned out to be the brands that sponsored the world championship of League of Legends, the most popular computer game in the world?
Another form of entry into the gaming industry is organisation or support of professional or semi-professional events based on competition. The industry has even seen competitions between universities, schools, organisations, streamers or influencers. By organising their own competitions, the organiser is free to publish marketing content with the possibility of using the participants’ images. Esports have at its disposal numerous tools for creating their own tournaments and inviting selected players to them. With such a tool, it is easy to supervise games and not put a financial burden on the event budget. An additional option is the possibility to broadcast games with professional commentary. By investing in interesting commentators and influencers, companies gain from the popularity of the event and thus open the door wide for other sponsors, gaining a favourable financial turnover.
Another possibility is P2E (play-to-earn) games. We will use one of the popular Axie Infinity games as an example. In order to participate in the game, we need to purchase at least 3 creatures that are linked to crypto currency. The game consists of a turn-based battle between two players. Each player fields 3 creatures and, using cards, decides on their actions. The one who defeats the opponent’s creatures wins. Thanks to victories, we receive potions, which can then be sold on the market. At any time, we can sell or buy new creatures.
More and more companies are thinking about creating their own game based on the cryptocurrency and blockchain system. It is worth highlighting the fact that there are items and characters available on the market for games that do not yet exist. In this way, producers secure funding for the production of the game, while players, on the other hand, can purchase suitable items at lower prices.
The pandemic period froze this market for a while, but as it turned out the community is still interested in these types of events. Gaming fairs are unique events that bring together the gaming community, which visits such events in large number and with great enthusiasm.At the fair, exhibitors promote their games and products, hold competitions, meet fans or organise gaming tournaments. Such events are the ideal place to make a name for yourself in the world of gaming and to showcase yourself to a wide range of interested people.