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BizReport : Research archives : June 16, 2016

Brands: What you need to know about eSports enthusiasts

While eSports is just beginning to gain mainstream notoriety, the people playing these games are highly involved, and that involvement can be a big draw for advertisers and marketers. New data from Mindshare sheds like on the people driving the rapid growth in this area.

by Kristina Knight

The general public may still questions what, exactly, eSports are, according to experts the industry will reach the $1billion mark in the next three years. That means it's an area in which brands need to not only be aware of, but be part of.

"There is a huge opportunity for marketers right now in eSports," says Joshua Spiegelman, Managing Director, Mindshare Spotlight--the dedicated sports and entertainment partnerships unit of Mindshare NA. "This passion point has an audience of incredibly engaged fans, many of which (for millennials and gen Z in particular) can be challenging to reach through traditional media channels. In addition, given eSports is still in its infancy relative to more established 'stick and ball' sports, there's a lower cost of entry to engage in meaningful partnerships, collaborate with talent to create contextually relevant campaigns, and dominate share of voice."

According to Mindshare's new report, the average eSports enthusiast is a Millennial (aged 18-34), with about 60% between the ages of 25 and 39. These enthusiasts earn an average of $75,000/year, and more than half (58%) have kids at home. Other relevant demographic findings include:

• 49% report spending 'most free time' with eSports
• 60% report a 'willingness to travel' to see favorite games
• 67% report making new friends through games
• 71% report watching pro-eSports players to improve their own games

"Forget the stereotypes--your typical eSports fan isn't just someone playing World of Warcraft in his mother's basement," says Mark Potts, Head of Insights, Mindshare NA. "The eSports community is varied and evolving, ranging across audiences of working professionals, parents, and more. It's important for marketers to understand the nuances and differences in fans based on different eSports games, platforms, and experiences."

As to their feelings about brands, 42% would like to see brands giving away free stuff in collaboration with games and 41% would like demos of new games.

Tags: eSports, eSports trends, gaming trends, Mindshare North America, online gaming

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