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The Esports Phenomenon: Fuse Discusses What Marketers Should Know When Deciding to Get into the Game

BURLINGTON, Vt., May 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Esports is quickly becoming one of youth culture’s largest and most influential platforms. In fact, these days more brands ask us about esports than any other of youth culture's platforms. So why are more brands not already on board? The short answer is that to esports' newcomers, the landscape can appear a little messy and confusing. This white paper is dedicated to clarifying some of that perceived chaos and our recommendation that brands look closely into four key areas to determine whether esports is right for them.

Target Market: The Reach of Esports on Teen and Young Adults
The first step is to understand esports' impact on teen and young adult culture.  According to a Washington Post/UMass Lowell study, almost three-quarters of Americans ages 14-to-21 are either playing or watching multiplayer online games or competitions in 2017. Esports, or competitive video gaming at a professional level, now has an estimated audience reach of more than 385 million people globally.

Infrastructure: The Rise of Esports Arenas
While more than 380 million esports fans are enjoying video gaming events without ever leaving the comfort of their homes, esports arenas are on the rise. With more than 400 events worldwide and ticket revenue at $32 million (up 52% in 2016 year over year), dedicated esports arenas have started popping up all over the world.  North America houses roughly 28% of them (i.e. eSports Arena in Santa Ana, Calif., Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.) while Western and Eastern Europe currently hosts an additional 26% and 13% respectively. This kind of physical infrastructure will prove important as brands and properties try to marry traditional sponsorship (what brands already know how to do) with a new kind of venue complete with ever-evolving technology and their tech-savvy consumers. 

Trailblazers: How Some Big Names in Traditional Sports Have Already Blazed a Path
What do FC Barcelona, the Yankees, and the Philadelphia 76ers have in common? Each is a highly successful franchise who has won championships and amassed fans around the world. And each has also taken steps into esports to reach fans today and into the future. FC Barcelona signed an agreement to compete in the first edition of the PES2018 League. The New York Yankees entered into a partnership with Vision Esports. The Philadelphia 76ers became the first North American professional sports team to own an esports team. Entry into esports by a brand feels a little less risky when you consider that the path forward has been paved already by some hugely successful organizations.

Grassroots: Esports Are Built on a Solid Foundation
While high-profile events and teams may get most of the esports press, what's happening at the grassroots level may be the most important for long-term success. A few examples of grassroots interest include:

Taking Action: If it's Time to Get in the Game
Making your mark in esports can be tricky, but the opportunities outweigh the risks. If you decide to take action, keep in mind that according to the 2017 Global Esports Market Report, brands are spending about 30% on esports related advertising, 50% on sponsorship, and nearly 20% on media rights. Please contact us if we can answer any questions about opportunities in esports.

About Fuse
Fuse is an independent agency that creates authentic brand engagement for teens and young adults. We specialize in content, campus, influencers, sports, music and retail while providing services across brand strategy, social, creative and experiential. Our staff, led by partners Bill Carter, Issa Sawabini and Brett Smith, is comprised of experienced marketing professionals and cultural experts who maintain unrivaled attention to authenticity. For more about Fuse, check out our website or find us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact
Katie Beers
(802) 859-2109 

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