Better Influencer Marketing

Esports sponsorships

Gaming equipment, Social media sites, energy drinks. You could probably guess many industries who are seeing a rise in Esports sponsors. 

But if you’re not looking closely, you might miss the insurance companies, shampoo brands or unmentionable sites getting serious about their role as Esports sponsors. 

Sponsoring Esports is not only for the computer companies, it’s spreading. Here are 3 big Esports sponsors from brands you would never expect.

Mastercard

Example of Mastercard advertising on esports events

Even for me, seeing a company like Mastercard take such big moves in Esports was surprising. 

Mastercard, the huge multinational financial services company did almost 13B in revenue in 2017. Founded over 60 years ago they aren’t who you might expect to get involved in the nerd uprising as an Esports sponsor. 

But when mastercard builds a partnership, they go all in. 

“Esports is a phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity, with fans that can rival those at any major sporting event in their enthusiasm and energy… Our Priceless platform is built around connecting with people through their passions. We are excited about the experiences and benefits we can bring to the world’s largest esport – both in-game and to the millions of League of Legends fans that watch and attend the tournaments each year.” – Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard

They didn’t just sponsor some events, or do a co-marketing partnership. They sponsored the entire game.

Anytime someone enters their mastercard billing information in the League of Legends platform they have a chance to win exclusive prizes like VIP attendance to events and other goodies. 

Mastercard’s presence as an esports sponsor is definitely noticed. The sport has 14 professional leagues, over 800 salaried athletes and is one of the most popular Esports of them all. 27 million players log in and play every day, esports sponsors are right to get excited about the space.

Mastercard might be out of the box for an Esports sponsor… but would a car washing product be a fit to sponsor Esports?

Esports Sponsor: Turtlewax

If you’re not familiar with Turtlewax, let me assure you it has nothing to do with waxing a turtle. But they do qualify as one of our lists Esports sponsors. 

The interestingly unfitting esports sponsor Turtlewax is a 50+ year company that makes car shines, soaps, scratch removers, etc. According to Ccrunchbase and Owler, the company does a little less than 7M dollars in revenue every year. 

Would they be our first guess of who sponsors Esports? Absolutely not. 

Do they go BIG on Esports sponsorships? Absolutely. 

In their first year sponsoring several players in the major Esports team OpTic gaming. They reported 25% growth across most of their social media channels and saw a revenue boost. All of that success drove them to continue the sponsorship. 

They also took a leap into Eeurope as an Esports sponsor, sponsoring 2 teams from the company Splyce and introducing #Turtlewaxgaming. The nature of their sponsorships include integrations of players in marketing materials, social media content from the players.

Ah, and they parked a sports car in a bunch of the major Esports events OpTic attended.

example of turtlewax using esports gamers to sponsor their brand

Statefarm

state farm sponsors overwatch league esports gaming

Statefarm employs 65,000 people. Statefarm has been around for 100 years. Statefarm sells insurance. Statefarm is an Esports sponsor. 

If there is a more unexpected connection than a century old insurance company spending millions sponsoring Esports, i’m not sure I could name it. But, it turns out that the companies who are earning the most in the world are often the ones who are willing to tip-toe outside of the box. 

Statefarm has far reaching partnerships with League of Legends and Overwatch. 

The vice president of marketing at Statefarm commented on a partnership with Riotgames (the creator of League of Legends) last May:

 “League of Legends, along with Riot Games, are a leader and innovator in the esports community,”

Another representative described their Esports partnerships as multi-faceted. They are broad reaching and have a lot of placements. Social media content, in event placements, Statefarm logos everywhere. They are embedded in a plethera of broadcasts about League of Legends and Overwatch, they have created ESPN style commentary setups brought to you by Statefarm and more. 

Through their major partnerships across the 2 most popular games in Esports, Statefarm has leapt into the scene with no signs of slowing down. 

These brands getting out of the advertising box should be seen as a guiding light for other companies. If it’s not within your budget to sponsor huge Esports events, you can find Twitch influencers. Twitch influencers are hungry for sponsorships, drive measurable ROI and are under utilized by brands today. 

If you would like to discuss if your company could benefit from being an Esports sponsor or sponsoring Twitch Streamers; book a free call today.

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