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The rising force of e-Sports talent and why brands should not miss-out

Just like any other dad worried about his son spending too much time in front of the computer, the console and of course the smartphone, I started to dig more and more into videogames world. As a marketer I was intrigued to understand why he was no longer watching his favorite TV programs (and ads included in them) and what was he actually doing in front of that devices trio all the time. The key learning was that rather than playing himself, he was watching YouTube videos of others playing!

Indeed, my son is just one of millions that keep themselves entertained by watching YouTubers videos on a variety of games, which include the likes of EA Sports’ FIFA, Riot Games’ League of Legends or Valve’s Dota2. In his case, he actually decided to launch his own channel trying to emulate most popular YouTubers, just like a kid would play football in a top football team academy dreaming of making it one day to the first team.

Considering that Prime Time Sport core business is football talent management, at the end of the summer we put together an test event by getting our represented player Lucas Silva inviting DJ Mariio and Doctore PoLLo (with such exact spelling), the top 2 most popular Spanish speaking FIFA content YouTubers, to play EA Sports videogame in his home. The aim was to check if there would be synergies when putting together our football talent with these raising digital rockstars. The results could not be better. Social media activity generated by the 2 YouTubers that evening made Lucas Silva trending topic and the videos they uploaded in their YouTube channels hit more than 1mio views. So it was a good initiative, ticking boxes for everyone involved: Player (Lucas Silva) saw his popularity increased among teenagers and YouTubers got exclusive content for their channels. And if there would have been a brand involved, it would have provided really nice notoriety at lower than usual cost.

All of it encouraged us at Prime Time Sport to launch the very first e-Sport division of a football talent management agency, hiring a full time expert to lead it and more importantly signing representation contracts with top 3 FIFA content YouTubers in Spanish language. DJ Mariio, Doctore PoLLo and Cacho01 have 1,5m subscribers combined and their videos accumulate 215m views (and 400,000 in average per video). All in all emerges as a perfect communication platform for brands and serious competitor for marketers of football players seeking endorsement revenues, and even if these numbers are still far from those achieved by most popular English speaking sports YouTubers such as KSI, W2S or Gonth.

For sure in the immediate future we will start facing more and more competition to sign the most talented YouTubers (just like it happens with youngest football players), just like we will see more and more brands engaging with YouTubers for their marketing programs. The benefits are evident and really compelling, including:

  1. Engaging with most difficult target audience (teenagers).

  2. Influence capacity of the YouTubers on their followers (or should I rather say passionate fans).

  3. Very attractive value for money marketing proposition.

  4. Opportunity to capture the attention of media due to the uniqueness of the content and the momentum associated to it.

  5. Guaranteed viewership numbers at levels that can compete with TV audiences.

We hope to be able to show some case studies with brands using e-Sports talent already in the next newsletter. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one.

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