In the next 12 months, brand marketers will be able to track the same data on Activision Blizzard esports viewer engagement as they can for traditional sports events, thanks to a partnership between the game publishing giant and Nielsen announced on Monday.
“As esports continues to mature and reach its potential as a stand-alone business, we’re determined to lead the way and develop best practices for brands and advertisers,” said Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
Nielsen will begin tracking brand exposure, performance benchmarks and viewer sentiment on several Activision Blizzard esports events this year, using its existing research methodology. The partnership will begin with Overwatch’s three esports tournaments, Overwatch League, World Cup and Contenders and Call of Duty World League, with unspecified plans to expand to other titles in 2019.
“Esports is booming and there’s huge market potential,” said Nicole Pike, managing director and head of Nielsen Esports. “We’re thrilled to be working closely with Activision Blizzard, who has taken initiative in leading the market forward.”
These measurements will support the brand’s attempts to use traditional sports strategies for its esports efforts, including opening an arena devoted entirely to competitive gaming back in October of last year.
“We’re thinking a lot about how to incorporate sponsorships and brands within the broadcasts in different ways,” Adam Rosen, senior business operations manager at Blizzard Esports told AListDaily. “Brand integrations on our esports shows will mostly consist of content integrations like you see on traditional sports shows.”
With Nielsen data backing up its ratings and viewership figures, Activision Blizzard will find it less of an uphill battle to rope in sponsors, and it’s doubtful that brands will complain about having more data available.