Esports has rapidly grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry, with millions of fans and followers around the world. With its massive following, it’s no surprise that many companies are jumping on board to sponsor esports teams and events. But who are these official sponsors of esports? In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the companies backing the industry and what they stand to gain from their investments. From tech giants to energy drinks, we’ll explore the diverse range of sponsors and what they bring to the table. So, let’s dive in and find out who’s supporting the esports industry and why.
The Rise of Esports Sponsorships
The Growing Popularity of Esports
The esports industry has seen a remarkable growth in recent years, with the number of enthusiasts and participants increasing exponentially. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including the widespread adoption of technology, the rise of online gaming, and the increasing popularity of competitive gaming.
- The rapid growth of the esports industry
The esports industry has experienced a phenomenal growth rate, with the global esports market expected to reach $1.08 billion in 2023. This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of esports among the younger generation, who are drawn to the excitement and competitiveness of the sport. The growth of the industry has also been fueled by the increasing availability of high-speed internet and the widespread adoption of mobile devices, which have made it easier for people to access and participate in esports.
- The increasing viewership and revenue generated by esports events
Esports events have also seen a significant increase in viewership and revenue over the past few years. According to a report by Newzoo, the global esports audience reached 495 million in 2020, with the majority of viewers coming from Asia. The increasing popularity of esports has also led to a rise in the number of esports tournaments and events, which have attracted significant sponsorship deals from major brands. The growing viewership and revenue generated by esports events have made them an attractive proposition for companies looking to reach a younger and more tech-savvy audience.
The Importance of Sponsorships for Esports Organizations
- The role of sponsorships in funding esports teams and events
- Sponsorships play a crucial role in funding esports teams and events. These sponsorships can come in the form of financial support, equipment, or marketing services. In return, sponsors receive exposure to the esports audience, which is a valuable demographic for many companies.
- The benefits of having high-profile sponsors for the industry’s credibility and exposure
- High-profile sponsors can greatly benefit the esports industry by lending credibility to the sport and increasing exposure to a wider audience. Sponsors can also provide valuable resources, such as technology and expertise, to help teams and organizations improve their performance and reach.
In conclusion, sponsorships are essential for the growth and success of esports organizations. They provide funding and resources, as well as increase exposure and credibility for the industry as a whole. As the esports industry continues to grow, it is likely that we will see more and more companies investing in sponsorships and partnerships with esports teams and organizations.
Major Players in Esports Sponsorships
Traditional Sports Brands
- Nike, a well-known American multinational corporation, has been a prominent figure in the world of sports for decades.
- They have expanded their reach into the esports industry by sponsoring various esports teams and events, including the League of Legends World Championship and the Overwatch League.
- In addition to providing financial support, Nike also offers its expertise in marketing and branding to help elevate the profile of the teams and events it sponsors.
- Adidas, another established sports brand, has also made a significant impact in the esports industry.
- They have partnered with a number of esports organizations, such as Team Vitality and Fnatic, to provide them with exclusive footwear and apparel.
- Adidas has also created its own esports-focused brand, called Adidas Gaming, which offers a range of gaming-inspired products.
- Red Bull
- Red Bull, a popular energy drink brand, has been a long-time supporter of the esports industry.
- They have sponsored numerous esports teams and events, including the Red Bull Battle Grounds and the Red Bull Guardians, a CS:GO tournament.
- Red Bull also hosts its own esports events, such as the Red Bull Conquerors, which brings together top gamers from around the world to compete in various titles.
Overall, these traditional sports brands have recognized the potential of the esports industry and have invested heavily in it. By sponsoring teams and events, they hope to tap into the growing market and gain exposure for their own brands.
Intel is a major player in the esports sponsorship scene, having been involved in the industry for several years. The company’s involvement in esports began with its sponsorship of various gaming events and tournaments. In 2017, Intel signed a multi-year deal with the ESL, one of the largest esports companies in the world, to become the official sponsor of the ESL One tournament series. This deal included a $100 million investment from Intel to support the growth of esports.
Coca-Cola is another well-known brand that has entered the esports sponsorship space. The company has been involved in esports since 2019, when it signed a deal with the Overwatch League. Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Overwatch League includes branding on team jerseys and in-game interfaces, as well as activations at live events. In addition, Coca-Cola has partnered with gaming influencers and content creators to promote its brand within the gaming community.
Logitech is a leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals, including keyboards, mice, and headsets. The company has been involved in esports sponsorships for several years, partnering with teams and tournaments around the world. Logitech’s involvement in esports includes sponsorships of major tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championship and the Dota 2 International. In addition, Logitech has signed partnerships with individual teams, such as Team SoloMid and Cloud9, to provide them with gaming peripherals and support.
Gaming companies are major players in the esports sponsorship landscape, with several well-known brands investing heavily in the industry. Some of the most prominent gaming companies backing esports include Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, and Epic Games.
Riot Games is the developer and publisher of the popular multiplayer online battle arena game, League of Legends. The company has been a major player in the esports industry since the game’s inception and has established itself as one of the leading game developers in the space. Riot Games has been instrumental in driving the growth of esports, particularly in the MOBA genre, and has been a key player in organizing and hosting major esports events such as the League of Legends World Championship.
Activision Blizzard is a multinational video game developer and publisher, and one of the largest gaming companies in the world. The company has a diverse portfolio of games, including Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft, all of which have strong esports presence. Activision Blizzard has been a major player in the esports industry for several years, investing heavily in the development of esports infrastructure and hosting major esports events such as the Call of Duty World League and the Overwatch League.
Epic Games is the developer and publisher of Fortnite, one of the most popular and successful games in recent years. The company has been heavily involved in the esports industry, particularly in the battle royale genre, and has established itself as a major player in the space. Epic Games has been instrumental in driving the growth of esports, particularly in the battle royale genre, and has been a key player in organizing and hosting major esports events such as the Fortnite World Cup.
Overall, gaming companies have played a significant role in the growth and development of the esports industry, investing heavily in the space and establishing themselves as major players in the landscape.
The Role of Investment Firms and Startups
- FTX: FTX is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that has been actively involved in the esports industry. In 2021, the company signed a multi-year deal with Team SoloMid (TSM), a prominent North American esports organization, making them the exclusive cryptocurrency platform provider for TSM. FTX also signed a deal with the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) in 2021, becoming the official cryptocurrency exchange of the league. The company’s involvement in esports demonstrates their interest in capitalizing on the growing popularity of the industry.
- DraftKings: DraftKings is a digital sports entertainment platform that offers users the ability to participate in daily fantasy sports contests. The company has been actively involved in the esports industry, sponsoring several teams and events. In 2020, DraftKings signed a deal with the National Esports League (NESL), becoming the official daily fantasy partner of the league. The company has also sponsored the Call of Duty League team, Dallas Empire, and the Overwatch League team, Houston Outlaws. DraftKings’ involvement in esports highlights their recognition of the industry’s potential for growth and its appeal to a wide audience.
- Team SoloMid (TSM): TSM is one of the most well-known and successful esports organizations in the world. The company has been involved in various esports titles, including League of Legends, Fortnite, and Super Smash Bros. TSM has also partnered with several investment firms and startups, such as FTX and Fastly, to support their operations and growth. TSM’s success and influence in the esports industry make them an attractive partner for investment firms and startups looking to capitalize on the industry’s potential.
The Future of Esports Sponsorships
As the esports industry continues to grow and mature, the future of esports sponsorships looks bright. Here are some of the potential trends that we can expect to see in the coming years:
- More mainstream brands entering the esports sponsorship space: As the popularity of esports continues to rise, more mainstream brands are expected to enter the esports sponsorship space. This could include traditional sports brands, technology companies, and even non-endemic brands looking to reach a younger audience. With the increasing mainstream acceptance of esports, we can expect to see more brands looking to capitalize on the growth of the industry.
- New, niche sponsors targeting specific esports titles or niches: As the esports industry becomes more diverse, we can expect to see new, niche sponsors targeting specific esports titles or niches. For example, we may see car companies sponsoring racing games, or technology companies sponsoring first-person shooter games. This could create more opportunities for smaller companies to get involved in esports sponsorships and target specific audiences.
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the esports industry and sponsorships: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the esports industry, with many live events being cancelled or postponed. However, the pandemic has also accelerated the growth of online esports, with more people watching and participating in esports than ever before. This has created new opportunities for sponsors to reach audiences through online platforms, and we can expect to see more brands exploring these opportunities in the future. Additionally, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the esports industry, and we can expect to see sponsors looking for partnerships with esports organizations that can navigate changes and challenges effectively.
The Benefits and Challenges of Esports Sponsorships
Benefits for Sponsors
Access to a young, engaged audience
Esports sponsorships provide companies with access to a highly engaged and tech-savvy audience, primarily composed of young adults. This demographic is often difficult to reach through traditional advertising channels, making esports sponsorships an attractive option for companies looking to connect with this demographic.
Opportunities for brand exposure and association with cutting-edge technology
Esports sponsorships offer companies the opportunity to associate their brand with cutting-edge technology, such as gaming hardware and software. This can help to enhance the company’s reputation as a technological innovator and can also increase brand awareness among the esports audience.
Potential for increased sales and customer loyalty
Esports sponsorships can also lead to increased sales and customer loyalty. By associating their brand with a popular and growing industry, companies can generate positive associations in the minds of consumers. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and, in turn, increased sales. Additionally, esports sponsorships can help companies to reach new customers and expand their market reach.
Challenges for Sponsors
- Navigating the complex and rapidly changing esports landscape: The esports industry is still in its infancy, and it can be challenging for sponsors to keep up with the latest trends and developments. With new games, tournaments, and teams emerging all the time, it can be difficult for sponsors to determine where to invest their resources.
- Ensuring a good fit between the sponsor’s brand and the esports organization or event: Esports sponsorships are not one-size-fits-all. Sponsors need to carefully consider whether their brand aligns with the values and image of the esports organization or event they are sponsoring. A poorly aligned sponsorship can harm the sponsor’s reputation and fail to generate the desired results.
- Balancing the need for short-term results with long-term investments in the industry: Esports sponsorships can be expensive, and sponsors need to balance the need for short-term results with long-term investments in the industry. While a short-term sponsorship can generate immediate exposure and sales, a long-term investment can help sponsors build a stronger presence in the industry and reap the benefits over time.
1. Who is the official sponsor of esports?
Answer: There is no single official sponsor of esports as the industry is supported by a wide range of companies from various industries. From gaming peripheral manufacturers to energy drinks, the esports industry has a diverse range of sponsors. However, some of the biggest names in the industry include Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Intel.
2. Why do companies sponsor esports?
Answer: Companies sponsor esports for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s about gaining exposure to a young and tech-savvy audience. For others, it’s about demonstrating their commitment to innovation and technology. Additionally, many companies see esports as a way to reach new markets and increase brand awareness.
3. What are the benefits of sponsoring esports?
Answer: The benefits of sponsoring esports can vary depending on the company and its goals. However, some of the most common benefits include increased brand awareness, access to a new and engaged audience, and the ability to demonstrate innovation and technological prowess. Additionally, sponsoring esports can help companies reach new markets and connect with a younger demographic.
4. Are there any specific esports events that are more popular with sponsors?
Answer: Yes, there are certain esports events that are more popular with sponsors than others. For example, The International, the annual Dota 2 world championship, is one of the most popular esports events and attracts a large number of sponsors. Similarly, the League of Legends World Championship and the Overwatch League playoffs are also popular with sponsors.
5. How does a company become an official sponsor of esports?
Answer: Companies can become official sponsors of esports by reaching out to the organizers of esports events and negotiating a sponsorship deal. Additionally, companies can also work with esports agencies that specialize in connecting brands with esports properties. It’s important for companies to have a clear understanding of their goals and target audience before approaching esports sponsorship opportunities.