The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and at the end of 2020 was estimated to be worth $162.32 billion. The growth is primarily led by mobile gaming – there were 200 million mobile gamers in 2020 in the US alone. The gaming industry is constantly evolving, whether it’s the newest next-gen gaming console, the latest mobile game that everyone is addicted to or the increasing cultural influence of esports. With the increase in gaming booming but more importantly, more places to watch it brands have taken to influencer marketing to aid their journeys to become market leaders.
In recent years, gaming influencers have taken the entire industry by storm. With the rise in popularity of platforms such as Twitch and Discord, the industry and its audience will only continue to grow. Gaming influencers like DrDisrespect, Shroud and NickMercs are some of the most recognisable faces on the internet, so it’s unsurprising that brands, including non-endemic gaming ones, have begun to take the gaming industry seriously. But, how can non-gaming brands access the opportunities and audiences the gaming industry possesses?
Doritos is a well-known and loved “official” gaming snack and has earned the title through various sponsorships of esports tournaments. Most recently, Doritos partnered with Twitch Rivals to host the “Dorito Bowl 2020” competition, where top Twitch streamers compete in Call of Duty: Cold War to win a portion of the $250,000 prize. The Doritos Bowl tournament achieved an average of 138,002 concurrent viewers.
Doritos has been hosting its own tournaments in partnership with Twitch for many years, previously hosting the Doritos Disruptor Series. In addition to this, for the release of the new PS5 console, Doritos hosted a competition where customers purchasing a bag of Doritos had the chance to win a free console.
Esports Team Sponsors
German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have both entered the world of esports by signing separate partnerships with major teams. Lidl has signed a deal with leading international esports organisation, SK Gaming. SK Gaming also partners with major brands including T Mobile, Mercedes-Benz and Nike, and the supermarket is said to be a “cornerstone” of its teams’ performance nutrition plans. The partnership will last through 2021, and Lidl’s logo will be featured on the team’s jerseys.
Aldi has partnered with French esports giant Team Vitality for three years. The supermarket’s logo will feature across the esport brand’s events and uniforms. Team Vitality’s other main partners are Phllips, Adidas and Orange Mobile.
The supermarkets will access gaming audiences through the followers of these teams, and those who watch the esports events the teams participate in. These events can achieve over 3 million views, with the most viewed tournament achieving 3.9 million.
Makeup brand ColourPop recently announced it has collaborated with Nintendo to create an Animal Crossing: New Horizons themed makeup range.
The makeup range is extensive, with four eyeshadow palettes, each inspired by different characters, two blushes inspired by flowers in the game, two glitter pots inspired by the game’s currency (Bells) and six lip crayons inspired by the various fruit trees.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm towards the beginning of the pandemic, with 11 million people having downloaded the game in May 2020. By creating an inspired collaboration, ColourPop is targeting Animal Crossing fans, as well as existing makeup users.
Another brand that has accessed the gaming audience is MAC Cosmetics, who recently collaborated with The Sims 4 developers to create in-game makeup. With this collaboration, MAC became the first beauty brand available in-game to the Sims’ 20 million players.
The digitized makeup featured different eyeshadows, eyeliners, blushes and lipsticks. In addition to this, MAC Cosmetics also created an eyeshadow palette inspired by the game, however this received backlash from the Sims community as it didn’t seem to reflect the game.
Gaming has become the biggest entertainment industry in the world, and is now worth more than the music and film industry combined. Many brands have begun to notice the huge opportunities the gaming industry and its audience possess. The gaming audience has a key age range from 18 – 34, and 45% are made up of females, meaning there is a high chance you will be able to access new customers through accessing this audience.
Streaming has gained popularity thanks to Twitch and Amazon Live, and it’s not just gamers using it, but they still use the gaming audience. Non-endemic automotive, fashion, food and drink and beauty brands are all investing in streamer partnerships and esports in order to access the lucrative gaming audience.
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