Its week two of Fun Fact Friday, a weekly blog series that uncovers interesting data nuggets discovered within our Simmons Insights Platform.
This week a couple of our team members attended and spoke at the inaugural Esports Business Summit held in Vegas. The event brought together thought leaders across a variety of sectors to explore this increasingly hot topic. According to Newzoo,1 US Esports revenues were reported at $257 million in 2017 and expected to top $600 million by 2020. For many clients we talk to, Esports are still a bit of a black box. We often hear questions like:
Who exactly are Esports fans?
Why should we be paying attention to them?
What goes on at these events?
How does this compare to traditional sporting events I'm sponsoring?
For this week’s Fun Fact Friday, we thought we’d take a look at Esports fans and specifically dig into the social elements of Esports, using data from our newly released 2018 Sports Fan and Engagement Study. Sometimes there’s the perception that Esports’ fans are mostly introverted folks, at home watching games by themselves. What’s interesting is that this group of fans is almost unrivaled when it comes to the social aspects of fandom. In fact, compared with sports fans in general, they are almost twice as likely to say that sports has provided a foundation for lifelong friendships. The only other league that comes close on this measure is the UFC. They also lead sports fans in feeling that social events at sports games are more important than the game and that sport events are social gatherings for them. Again, the only other league that can make similar claims about their fans is the UFC. For brands, this is a unique opportunity to connect with passionate fans who are attending events for the experiential elements. Tapping into that environment can drive a deeper connection with an increasingly large and lucrative fan base.
Another interesting angle is that the social connection isn’t limited to in-person events only. The nature of Esports translates to a strong digital connection during events and after. Over one-third feel a sense of community when connecting on social during the game, and almost one-quarter report participating in sports message boards after games and events. This is a prime opportunity for brands to keep the conversation going!
We’ll be sharing more from our Sports Fan and Engagement study in upcoming weeks so be sure to stay tuned for more!
Jennifer Olson is the Director of Marketing at MRI-Simmons. She has worked in the world of marketing and media research for over 30 years on both the supplier and vendor sides. Finding insights in data makes her happy, and she's perpetually searching for new data visualization ideas.