Is there a hotter industry in esports than peripherals? Not by our count. Looking across all-time event and team sponsorships, the top 10 most active brands all have a stake in the consumer electronics market. In fact, the pattern goes well beyond the top 10 - you have to scroll all the way down to Red Bull who sit at #32.
All-time partnerships gives us a good idea on the history of brand activity in esports - it’s no surprise to see giants like Intel, HyperX, Logitech G, Razer, and Corsair in the top 5. But what about the state of play, today? Who are the biggest players right now?
For that, we dug a little deeper. It’s all well and good measuring up how many teams your brand is partnered with, but you can’t compare a jersey sponsorship of Team Liquid to a short term activation with a shuttered team like Denial. So instead we asked - how many gaming fans do top brands reach through esports partners?
If you’re involved in the industry, it’ll be no surprise to see Logitech G featuring so high up. Equally, SteelSeries’ partnership with FaZe Clan means we expected to see them on the podium. What might raise a few more eyebrows is that their co-sponsors, Beats by Dre reach a bigger audience than endemic brands like HyperX and Legion by Lenovo.
Of course, there’s more to brand sponsorship than reach - HyperX especially have a complex strategy involving a multitude of teams across different regions. There’s something to be said about having a diverse range of partner teams, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket.
Looking closer at HyperX, and using new filters to search through partners in GEEIQ, it’s easy to see a pattern. Partnering with teams in Argentina, China, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, UK, US - you get the picture - they’re able to address markets across 5 different continents, though of course more partnerships require more management.
Further down the table - there’s another interesting story. For many brands, the world of esports is the wild west. Who do you work with? Who do you trust? Who’s going to deliver your brand objectives? With that in mind, it’s really interesting to see the trio of brands that are a little less embedded in gaming than you might expect from a sponsor. OnePlus. Hisense and PC Specialist get in our good books for taking the leap into esports, but it’s insightful to see what their first steps are.
The eagle-eyed amongst you might have already seen that they reach almost exactly the same sized audience - and that’s because they do. All three have partnered with Fnatic, a mark of success for the UK based team and a move that will have commercial teams rubbing their hands as the brand market matures and expands.
Even in the last month the GEEIQ platform has picked up partnerships from Aldi and Lidl, the latter registering as SK Gaming’s “fresh food partner”. No we’re not making it up.
Whatever your sponsorship strategy, at GEEIQ, our mission is to help brands work together with the gaming industry to engage every gamer. As such, we’ll continue to explore more themes around how brands can succeed with esports. Stay tuned and subscribe to GEEIQ Insights.