Brands Activating Within Gaming and Esports

Tl;dr: Major brands are moving towards marketing within the video game and esports communities!

Stream Hatchet is proud to unveil the “Brands Leading in Gaming and Esports” report. Following an 80% YoY increase in live streaming hours watched (Q1 2021), brands are racing to leverage video game culture for marketing campaigns. 

Sponsored video game live streams have increased 98%, highlighting a shift away from traditional media channels into streaming. Compared to linear channels, live chat on streaming platforms allows markets to measure brand affinity in real time.

Stream Hatchet’s full report highlights six unique case studies of how leading brands across the industry are leveraging these platforms to connect with gaming audiences.

A popular marketing strategy utilized in both mainstream sports and pop culture is charity partnerships. Brands get to leverage open media space to tell captivating stories, connecting with audiences on a sentimental level. A crossover into gaming culture was only natural. 

Over the past three years, the number of charity streams has steadily increased. In the first four months of 2021 alone, there have been 53K sponsored charity streams. This is a 73% increase compared to January-April 2020. 

Furthermore, 2021 watch time of these charity streams has kept pace, with gamers watching 25M hours. Additionally, if watch time continues to increase at the same rate, we could see an 85% increase in charity stream watch time. In the report, Stream Hatchet highlights State Farm’s partnership with DrLupo. This streamer is a familiar face in charitable gaming and has raised millions for St. Jude’s. His streams have reached peaks of up to 30,000 viewers and have generated 3,200 branded chat mentions.

Sponsored esports events allow brands to promote themselves via a team, event, or influencer; maximizing exposure to both players and fans alike. Typically, brands attach their name to the title of the event, as seen with the Chipotle Challenger Series Spring 2021.

As esports audiences grow larger, so have brand opportunities. 700K hours of sponsored esports events were consumed during 2020. Esports continues to be a fast-growing market with 1.4M hours watched in 2021 so far. Tampax took a more personal approach to sponsored esports events by hosting their own Tampax Gaming Fest on Twitch.

The female-focused event allowed for seamless integration of branded content by highlighting the need for more inclusive communities inside and outside of gaming, something Tampax strives towards. The tournament generated 110K hours watched along with 11K Tampax chat mentions since the event. The success of the stream emphasizes the need for more content geared towards untapped markets.

Since its creation back in 2012, G FUEL has leveraged multiple creator lifestyles to promote products. From xQcOW to Logic, G FUEL establishes lasting connections with gaming fans by inventing custom flavors representing aspects of the influencer’s personality or content.

Similar to Gatorade being known as “the sports fuel company” and their deep understanding of passionate sports fans, G FUEL the, “official drink of esports” recognizes how immersed gaming audiences become with their favorite content creator. 

Last year, G FUEL sponsored 69K live streams generating 111M hours watched. With over 75 unique creators and teams sponsored, G FUEL continues to successfully market itself as the energy drink for gamers.

 Download Stream Hatchet’s “Brands Leading in Gaming and Esports” report HERE, to get a more in-depth look at the case studies.