Alongside the engagement with the dedicated fanbase of a player or a team, it’s possible that esports could become a brand new marketing ground for brands to engage in. If we consider that there will be an overlap in esports audiences between those who are interested in the sport, and those interested in the game there could be a shared interest between tournament organizers and teams to share this audience, and expose each to the other.
Then we consider the benefits of cross-promotion between video games and the real-life teams that play them. Whilst right now video games are enjoying an unprecedented level of success despite low investment in marketing efforts, there will inevitably come a time where the world starts up again and there are more hobbies and interests available for all. That’s when having an established foothold in the world of esports could pay off big for the teams and players who put in the time to assert themselves in the video games world.
Say for example Madden releases the newest NFL game in their series. If there were some pro football players who instead of just appearing on the box art could actually play the game to a competitive degree, or had a healthy following within the esports world then they could potentially open up a new level of consumer engagement – beyond that of simply appearing as a poster.
Basically, between the teams themselves and the esports/game developers there is a lot of potential for engagement with a wider audience via gaming, and a larger reach for marketing purposes. Combined with additional sponsor interest we could see more money being funneled into esports as a long term investment – as we all know that professional sports are always looking for the best ways to keep a high-profit margin in line with consumer trends.