eSports lure neophytes: non-endemic brands account for 62% of sponsorships

In 2021, a total of 69 sponsorship deals have been accounted for by 63 brands, 42 of which were non-endemic, more than half of the total.

eSports are the new religion of sport, gaining more and more followers, with non-endemic brands as the main protagonists. In 2021, 63 brands signed 69 sponsorship agreements with the fourteen clubs of the Association of Esports Clubs, entities with a professional or semi-professional structure. Although the same number of agreements have been made, one more brand sponsorship has been recorded, according to data from the Strock agency.

The key differentiator in 2021 is the increased weight of non-endemic brands compared to last year. The sector went from 39 non-endemic brands in 2020, accounting for 57%, to 42 brands, accounting for 62%.

By sector, 21 of these deals are office and retail equipment brands, while eight are in textiles and apparel, seven in food, six in distribution and food service, five in telecommunications, five in public and private services, and four in beverages. The rest are home, culture and education, finance, personal items, beauty and hygiene, transportation, travel and tourism, and health.

On the other hand, there are no more gaming and betting brands in 2021, as bookmaker Dyvip has stopped sponsoring MadLions. Some non-endemic brands no longer present are Font Vella, H&S, KFC, Telepizza, and 6K Skin. However, new brands that have bet on eSports are KitKat, Maggi, Kelme, Agora International, Garmin, Fellow Funders, Northweek, FCB&Fire, and Inspide.

“There are an increasing number of non-endemic brands venturing into this territory with the definite objective of reaching this young target, one that is very difficult to reach through conventional media,” explains Francisco Javier Mancebo, a consultant specializing in sponsorship, sports marketing, and digital marketing. “However, we must be careful since 18% of the non-endemic brands that sponsored any of these clubs in 2020 are no longer present in 2021, even though new ones have been incorporated in 2021″, he adds.

The executive considers that this high turnover may be due to “the one-off effect of Covid-19, where several brands are having a hard time and have had no choice but to cut back on marketing and advertising” or to the fact that “they have not known or have not been able to get a return on the investment made, so in the end, they decide to leave the territory”.

He also considers that “eSports is a new territory that must be professionalized little by little from a marketing point of view. It is quite complicated, not only because of the target but also because of the environment in which it moves”. “We are talking about a one hundred percent digital territory, where you have to know how to move very well and have a lot of experience,” he explains. In addition, “many brands are not yet ready to take that leap and take advantage of everything that eSports can bring them.”

“For this reason, there is a need for specialists who know this field, either internally or through specialized agencies. It is this lack of knowledge that leads many brands to enter to try it out, only to realize that they don’t know what to do or how to take advantage of it. So, they end up leaving,” he adds.

On the other hand, he recognizes that “there is a very favorable predisposition in the market for eSports” by specialized agencies, clubs, media, or competitions. “Everyone promotes the benefits of this territory, which are undoubtedly many, but you need to be careful and understand that what is good for some does not necessarily have to be good for everyone,” he reflects. “We must study what we are looking for by entering this territory and, above all, we must understand very clearly before getting into it the way we are going to exploit it and make the most of it”, says the executive, who assures that “to get into it blindly based on what we hear from others or the dragging effect of other brands will only lead us to disappointment”.

Source: Palco 23

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