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eSports get mainstream sponsorship

August was a record breaking month on Twitch – thanks to The International 3 and Blizzard’s World Championship Series Season 2 Regional Finals, the online streaming service saw 4.5 million unique viewers on 11 August 2013 alone. This was enough to attract the attention of car manufacturer Nissan.

Nissan has partnered with League of Legends Team Curse. They are working together to promote the Versa Note through an online campaign, Team Curse has an enormous online reach: they garner an average of 10 million viewers on streams every month and reach about 600k people through social media. Baker Lambert, senior strategist at Nissan’s ad agency explained:

“We chose to connect with e-sports because the campaign lives 100% online, and since eSports isn’t broadcast on TV or any other medium (yet), eSports fans are 100% online. The demographic fits very closely with the demographic we were trying to reach with this campaign, and partnering with eSports also provided us a lot of ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of cost per impression than most other mediums. So, when we stepped back and looked at it — it was finding the right audience in the right place at the right time — and it made perfect sense to be a part of that.”

This could have enormous implications for eSports. We have seen some important milestones recently – LoL pros were recognized as professional athletes for visa applications to the US, Valve giving away a record breaking prize pool at The International 3, and now mainstream companies are advertising with eSports. It’s not just Alienware and Monster energy drinks anymore – this is the first step towards seeing Coke, McDonalds and MasterCard sponsoring the top teams. eSports isn’t just a niche anymore, and blue chip companies are sitting up and noticing.

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Author:Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

    Dear VW, please sponsor me a GTI. Thanks

    • Kromas

      Don’t forget the petrol as well. (and throw in an e-tag while we are at it :P )

  • Skyblue

    That is very cool. Great to see these guys getting recognized for all the work they’ve put in to become top level competition.

  • Kromas

    Thanks …. now I’m in the mood for a pizza brand I cannot get.

    • Zoe

      tell me about it!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Don’t worry, it comes included with the Xbox One… oh…

      • Hammersteyn

        DAMN! That’s cold.

  • Skyblue

    “Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor.”

  • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

    Man, he got old…

    • Hammersteyn

      Still a very good actor.

  • CypherGate

    Now its time for me to get into esports!

  • Rags

    It is all about economics. If you attract a large enough audience, you attract sponsors that fit the demographic. All you need now is a bureaucracy like Swim SA and Athletics SA to kill it with politics and horde the sponsorship funding for themselves. Oh yeah, hello MSSA.

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