The millennial marketers target moves to the world of gaming

Advertisers believe they have found a new route into the elusive millennial male market, with the rise of eGaming now on the radar of marketers.

Qudos Arena is the venue for Australia’s first Extreme Masters eGaming tournament.

Brands such as Intel, St George, Budweiser, Telstra and Virgin, Velocity, Dolby and even sports car manufacturer McLaren are now looking to the world of eGaming as a path into a connected audience, passionate about games.

The strength of the market is being tested in Sydney this weekend with the first ever eGaming stadium event expected to draw thousands of game lovers to Sydney’s Olympic park to watch professional gamers fight it out for a six figure prize package.

Tim McGregor, managing director of promoter TEG Live, which has brought the Intel Extreme Masters to Australia for the first time – hoping to replicate the model that sees tens of thousands of fans attend events in the US, Asia Europe and Asia, while hundreds of thousands more tune into tournaments through broadcast platforms such as Twitch.

“Our intent is to position it as a legitimate sport,” McGregor told Mumbrella

“Once that happens in this country it transcends into something which is of mainstream interest because sport lovers in thins country, if they know that they are watching the world’s best, and even better if the world’s best happens to include some Australians, then they gravitate towards it.”

Promoter Tim McGregor says Australian sponsors interested in eSports.

McGregor said building on the existing audience would create opportunities for brands to get involved.

“Pretty much everyone we have spoken to has a strong interest in getting involved and so what we are looking to do is to put together some long-term partnerships and how this might flesh out over the journey,” he said.

“It’s going to be a really interesting process because they know there is a large audience of 18-24-year-old males – one of the hardest demographics to reach – they certainly are very interested to see how the event is delivered.”

One of the earliest major sponsors to tap into eGaming was Intel, which uses the sport to drive sales of its processors to gamers who use high end computers.

Intel marketing director says brand hopes to make games a permanent event in Australia.

Marketing manager Anna Torres said on the back of the popularity of broadcasts of eGames – with more than 700,000 views from Australia of a major tournament in Europe last year – the local market was ready for investment from sponsors.

“The Australian market is just massively growing in numbers,” Torres said.

“It’s a very natural extension for Australia bringing  the Intel Extreme Masters. The event is a massive halo over the brand.”

Jonathan Simpson-Bint, founder of and now chief commercial officer for gaming streaming platform Twitch, said that streaming of live games and events was opening the door to a very hard to reach demographic.

Twitch has evolved into a media platform where players can stream their games live, create content such as game guides, and where major tournaments are also broadcast.

“We live in a world of human attention. Not just now people in the media, people in business, we are all competing for slices of an ever-more difficult, ever more rarified piece of human attention,” Simpson-Bint told Mumbrella.

Twitch’s Jonathan Simpson-Bint sees huge Australian audiences on the platform.

“Twitch has got 120m globals users, every month and the average Twitch user spends 106 minutes per day on Twitch. That is a huge slice out of that attention pool.”

He said that the finite pie of attention was being sliced ever thinner.

“When I was a kid back in the 80s the pizza pie of my attention was four slices – it was school, homework, soccer and TV and that was about it.”

“But the teenagers living in my house today, their pizza pie is cut up into probably two dozen little slivers – TV, school, homework, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, Hulu – you name it. I live in the same house as these kids and its virtually impossible to get their attention.”

The platform has evolved as a conduit for millennials and Simpson-Bint said advertisers looking to connect were getting involved.

“The biggest categories of advertisers we have had have been games companies, obviously, entertainment businesses such as movie studios, cable channels,” he said.

Other categories include quick service restaurants.

St George Bank represents a new partnership in the Australian market with the banks supporting a competitive gaming league.

“One of the things that appeals to people about Twitch and appeals to big brands is they have this opportunity to do something for the community so a lot of big brands do cool things with us, they don’t just come along and whack people over the head with a message, they try and do things such as sponsor tournaments, sponsor streamers and sponsor influencers.”

Mumbrella will be tackling a range of sports marketing issues including the future of sports broadcasting at the Mumbrella Sports Marketing Summit on July 21. To see the program and to buy tickets click here.


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