WHY CMO'S DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO ESPORTS
TNL Take: Timing is everything. Call it serendipity, luck, being prescient. Whatever.
I wanted to follow up on ESPN’s EVO numbers but I saw this article in Forbes in the morning “Why CMO’s Need To Pay Attention To eSports”.
You got my attention.
This was a perfect start to what I was going to follow up using ESPN’s EVO numbers as an example. Let me highlight the key points mentioned in the article that showcase eSports relevance for Brands and Agencies:
/01 Young Male Audience That Has Fled Traditional Channels
Totally right that eSports provides this. So does Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Which one is easier for Ford to buy right now?
/02 Disposable Income and Category Interest Like Auto
Spot on. I was astonished when I looked at the data years ago but a large percentage of the eSports audience makes 100K+ a year. Now couple a large income with a demo that spends their disposable income on Entertainment, Food, Travel, etc.
Auto is such a missing category within eSports that I’ve written two research articles for Clients and I will release an edited version shortly. This audience LOVES cars. The eSports median age is the bullseye for 1st time car ownership
#Freebie: How much have you spent on Free car giveaways? Ill show you why eSports provides a better ROI.
/03 Brand ROI
This one has to be the most challenging aspects of working in Gaming and Advertising for a long time. Let’s forget about the struggle for a moment and get to the execution.
Hit it out of the park. Audience is happy. Brand is happy. Agency is happy. Publisher is happy. Everyone’s happy. And then the Brand moves on.
It’s the classic double-edged sword. When you create truly, unique one-of-a-kind sponsorship programs: it provides fantastic value. But how do you repeat that? How do you scale?
You don’t because of the logic — you can’t be unique and mass at the same time.
So Brands will continue to get massive value out of eSports. We just need to figure out how to make this scalable and continue to provide value.
/04 eSports Is A Growing Category
/05 Passion and Loyalty Of Audience
100% right again. Just like traditional sports and you rooting for your favorite team, the eSports audience is no different. I’d even argue, that at some level in some demographics, eSports is much more important. Here’s the reason why.
I love the NBA. As a 5' 9" Indian guy, there’s no way in hell I would have had a chance to play for the Miami Heat growing up.
But Halo? Now I got a shot.
The nature of aspiration is so critical to the eSports audience.Without getting Deepak Chopra on you, like the Yin and Yang nature of life, you have to view the eSports audience the same way. While they may be absolutely vocal and voice displeasure online — conversely, if you provide them value and treat them with some respect, they’ll reward you in droves.
/06 What’s needed?
And we finally get to the Money Shot. I’ve said repeatedly that I think SuperData and research reports in general are overestimating the market size — but I usually agree with SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen just like I said last week (stop hacking me Joost) . Here’s what he said:
There you have it. Three key points in one small paragraph but let me break it down for you:
/01 New Reality of eSports with Advertisers and Agencies:
Well if they’re contributing to ~75% of the total revenue around eSports we sure as hell better work more effectively with Brands and Agencies.
/02 The Role of Pro Gamers
Absolutely and some actual protection and education is needed as well. Some of the contract structures and deals I hear these Athletes are getting from large companies are straight extortion.
/03 Let’s All Play Nicely Together
This is the biggest point of all –and I’ll go deeper on it in the future — but eSports is constantly referred to as the The Wild West. I don’t think that’s right as The Wild West still denotes some notion of construct and idea.
eSports currently is more like Syria.
You have Athletes, Teams, Leagues, Event Producers, Media Companies, Social Networks all trying to get a piece of a pie that in reality is not that big — but we can get there and I literally said this yesterday.
I also left out the who holds the keys to the entire kingdom:
I’m a convert to the Church of IP and believe in the Power of Brand. Without that you have nothing.
I don’t have an answer on how to solve this but it has to happen for eSports to grow. The corollary that everyone uses is traditional sports but that’s also incorrect.
eSports is more like Poker and not traditional sports.
The NFL has been around for about 100 years and we’ve had fifty years of Super Bowls.
How can the “the most powerful combination of media and sports” be expected to have an infrastructure in place when just a few years ago it was being handled by a relatively young but passionate audience in hotel ballrooms?
That’s not fair at all.
This last question is critical but it goes much further than that. Ill have that follow up next.