Frontline Marketing

[a]list summit: ESports Lessons And Opportunities Observed

By | February 16, 2017 |

The fourteenth iteration of the [a]list summit kicked off Thursday at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles with some valuable advice for brands hoping to connect in meaningful ways with a young, engaged audience through competitive gaming.

Activision Blizzard’s recent partnership with Facebook is a prime example of how brands can gauge engagement through spending not money, but time. After all, it was recently reported that gamers spent more time playing Overwatch than the whole world spent on Facebook. Being able to stream this game across the most-popular social network is therefore beneficial to both parties.

“There’s some incredible time spent with your brand,” explained Chris Younger, Ayzenberg’s director of strategy, “and we’re not talking seconds here on a billboard, or an ad. We’re talking minutes [and] hours being spent within the category of competitive gaming.”

Steven Roberts, executive chairman of eSports at ESL, the largest eSports company in the world that is not a video game publisher, leads a production team that totals around 20,000 hours of live content across six studios around the world.

“Ensure that when you enter eSports with your brand, that it’s authentic, and it’s real and it’s something that the community embraces,” Roberts said.

Super League Gaming creates amateur eSports leagues around the country, bringing competitive gamers together across multiple genders and age groups. These non-professional players are what the company’s CEO and chairman Ann Hand calls “the base of the pyramid.”

Super League Gaming partners with movie theaters to transform otherwise empty venues into lively video game arenas.

Riot Games, whose world-leading title League of Legends is a wildly popular game for eSports competitions, partnered with the brand to bring communities together in entirely new ways.

“We can bring something that their community has been asking for,” Hand said about the partnership. “[The community has been] wanting that way, to physically, socially connect and deeply engage.”

There are tremendous opportunities for brands to engage with gamers both casual and hardcore.