TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 022: Comcast and Evil Geniuses and ESL
TNL Take: Ill continue to say it — it’s great to see another major brand make the investment in eSports.
Comcast enters eSports with multi-faceted partnership with Evil Geniuses and ESL.
This is interesting considering the multiple components as their first entry into the space. The 12-month program includes:
- Team Sponsorship: I think Evil Geniuses is a great team selection (although claiming “world’s best video game team” is a bit much). Not only did they take home the largest eSports prize ever at $6.6M by winning The International 2015 but also won the first season of the Halo Championship Series. The integration of Comcast’s Pro-Gigabit service and Xfinity X1 video service into their training facilities is a natural fit. Non-endemic brand sponsors for teams are rare and there are few popular US based eSports teams left that don’t have one. What’s that mean? If I’m those team owners, my price just went up.
- Events: Being with your audience and being able to showcase your offering are a great way to activate at eSports events. IEM Oakland, PAX Prime, and the ESL CS:GO League should draw decent crowds.
- Games: This is the one puzzling aspect for me. More than likely to due tothe ESL relationship but Halo Championship Series doesn’t draw much viewership — last Thursday night’s event was at 6,000 viewers when I checked. In a case of unfortunate timing, the day before the announcement which included Heroes of the Storm, Yahoo released an in depth report on it’s eSports problem and team’s dropping out.
Looking into this further, I was surprised by the overall lack of involvement by Telco/Broadband companies as their product is 100% suited for this audience: Fast-internet connections for playing/watching Gaming coupled with mobile subscriptions.
Here’s an analysis of the US Broadband Market Share from 2015:
This is an area that should see interest from Verizon, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and Charter as well.
- Verizon made a surprising announcement last year with a sponsorship of Dallas based Epic Gaming Lounge. In not so surprising news, just two months later Epic Gaming Lounge basically disappeared with Verizon having to release a statement separating them from the event.
- AT&T hasn’t made a move outside of offering Blizzcon on Pay-Per-Viewand an original documentary on Collegiate eSports featuring Robert Morris University, which I covered last week. College Kids. eSports. Broadband. Hmmm… Even the newly launched video subscription product Ellation seems like a good fit.
You’ll see another announcement in this category before the end of the year.