eSports iQ #110 - 02/05/18
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Issue #110
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TSM and Esports Team Sponsorship ROI
When it rains, it pours. As noted by The Next Level, 25 non-endemic brand deals in esports have already been announced in 2018. And every new deal seems to open the door for another.

Since several partnerships occurred at the team level, e.g. Dr. Pepper/Team Solomid and Snickers/FlyQuest Sports, let’s take a data-driven approach to answering the following:
  • What’s the best way to influence esports team fans/supporters?
  • How does brand marketing affect team-oriented fans vs. general fans?
  • How can sponsors make the most of visibility and exposure?


We built an audience model from the social data of 4,000 fans and supporters of TeamSoloMid’s League of Legends team. The results are key insights that brand sponsors need to know. Things to note:
  • Our AI-powered software uses social data to make true predictions about audience behavior
  • Influence measurement is a proxy for awareness and share of voice (based on social media engagement)
  • TSM fans = Supporters of TSM’s League of Legends team only
What you should know about TSM fans
  • TSM mid-laner Bjergsen is 77% more influential than US President Donald Trump
  • 53% consume or create non-esports content on Twitch
  • 30% more likely to use Instagram vs. Facebook regularly
  • 54% are very likely to be influenced by brand name when making product purchases
  • 46% are traditional sports fans

Team Sponsorship ROI

To express the impact of brand marketing on TSM fans, influence ratios of four endemic (CyberPowerPC, HyperX, Logitech, Razer) and four non-endemic brands (GEICO, Gillette, HTC, TMobile) were measured. (See image above)

Non-endemic brands have 56% more influence among TSM fans, compared to general League esports fans. This is a direct indicator that sponsorship can/does return significant brand lift within a team’s fan base.

Similar levels of performance (on average) by the endemic and non-endemic brands is also key. Plus, 77% of TSM fans are unlikely to be influenced by online ads, which further strengthens the case for team partnerships.

Key takeaways

  • Brands and teams both benefit from growing fan engagement together  
  • Creative featuring pro players taps into powerful dimensions of team and player influence
  • Mountain Dew’s strategy of sponsoring multiple teams is a great way to multiply reach and exposure
  • Success is found by aligning with existing interests, not shoving product in the audience’s face
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