Gone are the days when sports betting was considered taboo. In many parts of the world, people can now bet on football, baseball, hockey, basketball, and eSports legally. In turn, sports teams can partner with betting firms to increase revenues.
It’s a win-win situation. Sports clubs get money to build new facilities, sign players and pay front-office staff. On the other hand, gambling companies get an advertisement platform.
In this article, we’ll talk more about why gambling companies are showing a massive interest in sponsoring eSports. Let’s get started.
eSports Wagers are on the Rise
As the eSports industry grows, so is the demand for eSports betting sites. Forward-thinking companies are taking this opportunity to promote their brands to the eSports community.
Although gambling companies can just buy adverts on YouTube and Twitch, partnering with teams produces a higher ROI. Partnering with a famous eSports team buys a sportsbook the following opportunities:
- Advertising on jerseys and gear
- Endorsements from pro-gamers
- Social media promotions
- Exposure to millions of fans
That being said, eSports fans tend to bet at the most trustworthy sportsbook. As such, gambling companies have to do more besides partnering with eSports organizers.
For starters, they need to support all major eSports tournaments. Secondly, they must offer competitive odds, fair bonuses, and reliable customer service. To be clear, we’re talking about gambling sites such as the ones listed on Online-Gambling.com.
eSports is a Ballooning Sport
Esports might be a new term for some people. But it’s been around for over a decade. It is also a rapidly growing sport with more than 400 million fans and generates over 1.5 billion in profits every year.
The best part is that the eSports fanbase spreads across the world. International betting companies can partner with one team and get exposure from the team’s global fanbase. Gambling companies pay a lot of money to partner with leading eSports teams.
They pay anywhere between $500,000 and $5 million per year for these partnerships. However, this is a chump change compared to the amount of money they can make in the long term.
Picture this. A gambling firm partners with a League of Legends eSports team. The sportsbook pays for its badge to appear on the team’s jerseys. When the team performs in front of 20 million fans, gets exposed to millions of faces.
Of course, not everyone who sees the betting badge will become a customer. But even if 100,000 became customers, it could make insane profits for the sportsbook in the long haul.
Brands Love to Associate with Successful Teams
When you think about it, most gambling companies spend their money on successful teams. Take the English Premier League as an example. It’s the most popular football league in the world.
As a result, betting companies want to partner with performing EPL teams. Some sportsbooks pay more than $10m per year to have their badges displayed on teams like Bournemouth, Brentford, and Everton.
In the eSports space, there are plenty of teams that compete in major tournaments. However, betting companies only go after successful teams. They want their brands to be associated with success.
Essentially, gambling brands believe associating with successful teams can make them more money. And that’s true. If you’re an eSports fan who supports a popular team, you’re more likely to support the brands that finance your team.
The eSports Demographic
In the early days of eSports, young men below 30 years dominated the fanbase. These days, the demographic has changed. There are eSports fans above the age of 40 years.
Also, the industry is no longer dominated by men alone. Lots of women are watching eSports. Another way to look at the eSports demographic is that it’s spread out across the world.
North America, Europe, and Asia dominate the eSports market share. However, the sport is quickly gaining fans in the Middle East, Africa, and South America. In other words, video game competitions attract young, tech-savvy people from around the world.
And guess what? Young people make up the biggest share of sports bettors online. Betting companies are constantly marketing their services to this demographic. And now, eSports is offering the perfect platform.
Sports Sponsorships Work
Another reason gambling companies are rushing to sign sponsorship deals with eSports brands is that it has worked in the past. Bwin was one of the first betting companies to sponsor a sports league.
It partnered with Real Madrid in 2007 back when it was a small company. At the end of the sponsorship deal in 2013, everyone could recognize the brand. In the next decade, Bwin has been working with teams and leagues throughout Europe, growing into one of the largest sportsbooks on the continent.
Bwin isn’t the only bookmaker that has had success with sports sponsorships. Major brands like Ladbrokes, William Hill, and 888 Sports have made millions of dollars in the past decade sponsoring football, rugby, horse racing, and other sports.
Enhancing the Brand Image
Online betting sites haven’t always had a good reputation. Some people thought they couldn’t be trusted. Others thought betting on eSports was not a good idea altogether.
To change perceptions about betting online, sportsbooks have had to create ingenious marketing campaigns. Partnering with successful teams is a good example.
You see, you probably don’t trust a certain sportsbook. Maybe you don’t which betting site to join. But if your favorite eSports organization endorses a specific sportsbook, you no longer have to worry about where to bet.
The thing about the brand image is that it can be fickle. A betting company might be top-rated today. A few years down the line, people won’t be sure if it’s still trustworthy.
Working with sports teams helps bookmakers maintain a positive brand image. Sponsorships offer a platform to conduct continuous PR.
On the surface, eSports looks too small to attract major financiers. In reality, the sprouting industry is attracting world-class brands like Mercedes, Coca Cola, and YouTube.
What’s more, every sportsbook wants to partner with an eSports organization. And that’s because eSports offer tremendous exposure to gambling businesses.