The United States Navy will be refocusing their advertising efforts to esports tournaments and YouTube in an effort to reach their target young adult audience. The highly sought-after 17-28-year-old demographic is most easily reached through online media outlets like YouTube and Twitch. In turn, the US Navy has pulled away from traditional television advertising, including multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad spots.

While the United States military wants to reach the young adult demographic, they were previously focusing their efforts on television advertising. The US Navy reportedly has an advertising budget of $45 million, and plans to allot 97% of that budget for online advertising in 2020. The other 3% will be going towards billboards and radio advertisements.

via Eleague

The Navy’s target demographic falls between the ages of 17 and 28, and is primarily made up of young men. The young adult group spends a majority of their free time not watching television, but consuming content online, such as on YouTube and Twitch. “One thing we did learn, is paying for a lot of TV ads in the middle of Super Bowl games,” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Manager Adm. Robert Burke at the annual Military Reporters and Editors conference. “[The] target audience is not watching that.”

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In 2017, the Navy reportedly spent $20 million on television advertising, and continued to scale down their television push in the year following. Despite their decrease in televised ads, the Navy did not see a decrease in recruiting numbers. The Navy now hopes to reach its target audience more directly, as esports is expected to be enjoyed by 84 million viewers by 2021. Reaching those heights would place esports above all other professional sports leagues, save for the estimated 141 million NFL viewers. The esports audience is roughly 70% male, and 61% of all esports viewers are reported to be under the age of 25.

via Eleague

This will not be the first venture into the esports world for the United States Armed Forces. The US Air Force is involved with various esports organizations, including tournament organizer Eleague. The Air Force sponsored Eleague’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major in January of 2018. They eventually expanded their partnership with Eleague to include sponsorship of tournaments in other esports titles.

The Air Force also sponsors American esports organization Cloud9’s CS:GO team, and has been featured in a number of YouTube videos working closely with the team. The US Army, which partnered with esports organization Complexity in June of this year, has its own esports team, which has competed in CS:GO and Call of Duty. The Navy plans to introduce their own esports team next year.

The Navy reportedly hopes to add 5,100 people to its forces in 2020.

Source: USNI News

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