Chris Louey, Esports Advisor, for NGame Esports talks about athletic apparel brands engaging in the esports space.
Athletic brand PUMA is now in partnership with 2 esports organizations, Cloud9 and AGO Esports. Do you think esports could be a platform for up and coming brands apparel brands to build awareness?
As many of us know, esports is a growing industry with a lot of potential. According to Newzoo, there were 121 million esports enthusiast in 2016 compared to 165 million in 2018. This number is expected to grow to 250 million by 2021. Statistics in viewership are important factors especially for apparel brands including Puma, Nike and Champion that sell material goods. It may sound oversimplified but as more people see their products, the more likely their product will be bought.
Do you think athletic brands such as PUMA, Nike, or Adidas will get more involved with using esports players as brand influencers?
According to Forbes, “92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.” Whether in esports and any other sporting industry, consumers trust the validity of a product if that product is backed by the professional players using it. Traditional advertising can still be an effective marketing tool, but gaining the trust of consumers should come first.
Brands should be aware of how advertising can appear disingenuous if the players in the industry do not use their product. Brands that are able to partner with esports influencers will be more intertwined with the industry and therefore trusted by consumers and their peers.