The Power of Sponsorships in Esports: Globalizing the Future of Competitive Gaming

I do not think there is any better topic in the context of competitive gaming than identifying esports as one of the most rapidly growing trends. Roblox – what used to be a pastime that only a few knew about – has turned into a global sensation with millions of spectators, large-scale championships, and millions in prize money akin to those in professional sports. Behind this explosive growth lies a powerful engine: influential sponsorships. All sorts of businesses: from obvious giants like Burger King and Dale to the technology companies, pump their resources into esports and this mutually beneficial partnership transforms the outlook on both gaming and marketing. 

Esports Sponsorship: A Literature Review

ESports sponsorships have grown significantly over the last decade in terms of both typology and scale. He further noted that for the first time, ‘‘the scene was filled with gaming-oriented brands such as those of hardware manufacturers and energy drinks. ’’These early adopters understood the maturity of the market and the ability to target an audience that was interested in what the app offered. These included Razer which started sponsoring teams, tournaments, and players who in return provided financial backing and validation for the scene emerging from the growth phase into the more sustainable maturity phase with organizations such as Intel and Red Bull Discussed earlier. 

Yet, it changed with time owing to the growing popularity of esports attracting a wider viewership of audiences, and was picked up by mainstream brands eventually. Today, it is quite possible to come across such sponsors as Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, and the like, which are not affiliated with any particular sports branch or type of sport. Such companies not only provide much-needed capital and developmental resources often associated with mainstream marketing, but also add even greater credibility to esports as an entertainment sector.

The benefits of these sponsorships can be understood when relating to the following accounts

Brands require exposure to their target market while esports needs financial support to enhance their product and innovation. From the sponsor’s perspective, the major advantage is the ability to reach a highly involved and sometimes difficult-to-reach audience. Esports fans are slightly younger, have a higher technological literacy, and are heavy users of social media – all of which are great for marketers. Brands should see success since by affiliating with these different events or successful teams, their visibility increases, as well as their credibility amongst customers.

At the same time, esports organizations and events get indispensable financial backing with the help of sponsorships. This funding is necessary to meet business expenses including, players’ remunerations, transport, and general event expenses. Also, a sponsorship can influence the quality of the content published, resulting in more sophisticated broadcasts, better facilities, and greater production of the programs. This, in turn, brings more viewers and thus the value of sponsorships goes up, so it means that it creates a cycle that goes up concerning an increasing viewership. 


Case Studies: Strategies for Efficient Sponsorship in Esports 

There are some spectacular examples of amazing sponsorships that have marked the development of esports. There is a peculiar case of LV and Riot Games’ collaboration on the event of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. This effort entailed the development of an exclusive trophy stand and skins for the game characters, which brought the concept of fashion and electronic games to life and received huge publicity. 


The second successful example of sponsorship can be considered Intel being the permanent partner and sponsor of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) series. Since its creation in 2006, IEM has become one of the best-known tournament circuits with the help of Intel’s support. In addition to donating funds, the tech giant gives technological support which includes, marketing technological hardware and top-notch production equipment to improve the tournament. 


This article focuses on the topic of The Future of Esports Sponsorships. 

With the growth of esports in the coming future, the aspect of sponsorships will usually remain vibrant and see a bright future. One of the trends is establishing brands as game components and thereby in the game process. To mention a few, in-game advertisements and branded content are gaining popularity, which provides sponsors with different ways to communicate with the audience within the framework of the game an individual prefers. 

Also, the increase in followership of mobile gaming sponsorship is creating new opportunities in sponsorship. At the same time, thanks to the availability of smartphones globally, mobile esports is reaching, for instance, populations where ‘regular’ PC and console gaming might not be very popular. Many brands when they realize this fact can seamlessly harness the immense market that springs from it, mainly being unexplored. 


However, diversity and inclusion are shifting gears within esports hence giving sponsors potential chances to fund programs that push for gender balance. Make the brand’s social agenda match up with its consumer profile and preferred causes, and the brand would improve its image and appeal to more diverse consumers. 


Conclusion: Sponsorships and Esports; perfect couples and perfect partnerships 

Esports and sponsorships have shown that they complement each other since the growth of both is dependent on the other. The role of sponsorships is going to grow even more important as the industry progresses, thus having a positive impact on innovation, increasing the quality of production, and moving the community of competitive gaming forward. From a brand’s perspective, having a passionate and ever-growing worldwide user base is an incomparable bait making esports sponsorships a long-term bet on entertainment’s tomorrow. 


Thus, those having noticed and accepted the challenges of esports sponsorships will be at the crest of the latest cultural phenomenon, which in turn, is an amalgam of gaming and branding.