Three reasons PR and sports marketing can drive the esports industry
Written By: Hannah Breeding
Esports has gained recognition in the media and in the public over the past few years. As awareness grows, so does the need for public relations and sports marketing professionals to use their unique skills to help bring esports into the mainstream.
KemperLesnik’s expertise in promoting and building experiences for high-profile sports clients such as the PGA, NFL, NBA and CBS Sports created a natural foundation for entry into the esports industry in public relations and sports marketing. The agency’s esports team sat down to discuss how these two disciplines are impacting the esports industry.
- What sets the esports industry apart from other current trends?
The esports industry is at a unique turning point. It embodies the next era of sports, technology, fandom and global engagement all in one. Viewership numbers will soon grow to more than one billion globally. And, most of those viewers are between ages 18-35. Similar to the sport of soccer (“football”), the esports fan base is global. It has a deep passion for the games, the teams and the athletes. In addition, with cosplay – short for costume play – the fandom around esports events is highly engaging, creative and energetic – very similar to the fandom in traditional sports.
- Where do public relations and sports marketing fit in the esports conversation?
While there is a passionate fan base among gaming enthusiasts, the general public still knows very little about esports. This is where public relations and sports marketing come in. These disciplines can bridge the gap between traditional sports fans and esports fans. They can help to take esports to the mainstream.
The PR and content divisions at KemperLesnik are working right now to bring esports to the masses. They are creating deep and meaningful story angles about esports, the athletes, teams, strategies, investors, trends, competitions and more. They are driving interest in esports among sports media, business press, consumer news and local market media, and using content marketing to spark conversations nationally and globally. These strategies are opening new doors to new audiences for the esports industry.
- From a public relations perspective, what is your advice for those in the esports industry?
Remain authentic, not insular. Those not directly involved in the esports industry may not understand the larger vision or what drives the passion behind game developers, leagues, team organizations, owners, coaches, players and fans. And, that’s ok. It’s time to show them. Open what has been a niche industry to people of many different walks of life. Shake off old stereotypes and welcome newbies. The more we can create emotional connections to esports, the more opportunity will be created for everyone – from developers and players to sponsors and fans.
It is an exciting time to be in esports. Public relations and sports marketing professionals are helping to engage new audiences and spread the esports fever. It’s time we all catch it.