E-sports continues to solidify itself as a potential competitor to, and a definite opportunity for, traditional professional sports properties. As the sector continues to grow its live events offering to complement its already strong digital presence, examining the synergies between e-sports and traditional sports serves to highlight the opportunities for leagues, teams, and sports marketing, sponsorship and brand strategy departments.
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Despite having its natural environment in the digital sphere, e-sports events have grown to become greatly anticipated and exciting events that sell out arenas, in a unique blending of sports and entertainment.
The interest in e-sports live events has grown simultaneously with ticket prices for fans to attend, as well as prize pools for participants, turning videogaming into a professional sport and triggering an e-sports boom.
Free-to-watch broadcast of e-sports content on streaming platforms continues to be the pillar of e-sports, and promising aggregated growth figures speak of OTT potential not only for e-sports, but for traditional sports properties as well.
Despite the sector being relatively new, key players are already sponsoring some of e-sports’ top events globally. Tech giants are also greatly committed to streaming, competing for content to be streamed on their platforms.
Downloadable content has had a huge impact on the gaming industry and on e-sports, creating an entirely new purchase system that has drastically lowered the price for video games and attracts more casual players and fans.
Sports properties have struggled to engage with the youngest audiences. As videogaming is growing in this segment, online gaming is key in engaging with casual and young fans. It is the case with football properties benefiting from FIFA’s e-league and NBA franchises from NBA 2K.
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