The following is an excerpt from The Esports Observer’s latest whitepaper on Gaming Influencer Endorsements. Click here to get the full report.
Entertainers who use gaming as a medium are a unique type of celebrity. More so than music, film, or sports stars, the activity on which a gamer builds their fame is something their audience also directly participates in. The act of playing a game isn’t itself a form of expression; instead it’s the ability with which they play and the personality behind the playthroughs that is core to a gamer’s brand. This authenticity offers a myriad of storylines and identities for brands and marketers to choose from, and dozens of segmented audiences to align with their products, providing they understand what gamers want.
Each successive generation increasingly integrates video gaming into their lives, with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reporting that 64% of the adult population in the U.S. (125M) play video games. With each successive generation of the gaming population, the association gap between product and personality lessens.
What motivates gamers to go beyond playing games, and actually use their free time to watch and engage with gaming personalities? According to a study on gamer motivation, published this year by market research firm Newzoo, 24% of viewers in the U.S. choose to watch a gaming video or stream based on the host or streamer, with the specific game being played having the most influence on which steam they ultimately land on. Couple this with the fact that in China, 74% of the study’s respondents regularly watch live streamed video content.
As the market reaches a turning point, it’s important to realize that gamers are not homogenous; everything from the games they play to the content they produce is unique and can be segmented into different audiences, each with their own purchasing preferences and personal tastes. The Esports Observer’s “Gaming Influencer Endorsements” report is one of the industry’s first guides that categorizes and visualizes the gamers who are drawing in millions of fans daily, and what exactly it is they can offer brands.
We broke down the most popular gamers into five separate personas, having analyzed the tonality and virality of their content, and how sponsors and advertisers are integrated into their content.
We’ve outlined the marketing value of gaming personalities: What parts of their streams and social channels are monetized, and how does this differ from typical athletes and entertainers?
We explain the purpose of micro-influencers in mass campaigns, and offer a comprehensive list of gaming talent agencies and their clients.
Lastly, with esports largely catching up to sports in individual player endorsements, we look at the video game athletes who partnered with Fortune 500 companies and made gaming a natural fit for their products.
We’re still at the early stages of live gaming entertainment, but understanding how the celebrities of tomorrow built their foundations today is a must for anyone looking for long-term value in this space.
To learn more about gaming influencer endorsements, click here to download TEO’s latest whitepaper.
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