Esports, or competitive video gaming, has been around for more than 20 years, and sponsors such as Intel and Red Bull began hosting events over a decade ago. But 2018 was an inflection point where non-endemic brands moved esports from the experimental marketing budget to the core sponsorship lineup. Head & Shoulders, Mastercard, Domino’s and AirAsia were among the brands that dipped their toes in the esports scene.
Almost midway into 2020, and there are several esports organisations emerging in Southeast Asia out to win the hearts and minds of gamers and feeding the buzz. As competition heats up, Deloitte reports that the global esports market is expected to generate US$1.5 billion in annual revenues this year primarily from sponsorships and advertising to an estimated global audience of 600 million fans. Undaunted by the rising competition, global gaming company Razer says it retains top of brand recall using content marketing which also helps broading its reach.
To take its product more mainstream, David Tse (pictured), global esports director at Razer told Marketing that content marketing is a big part of the teams efforts to remain relevant and genuine.
According to Tse, with the vision and leadership of CEO Min-Liang Tan, the company has achieved success and top of mind in the esports and gaming space. However, as the esports audience evolves, Razer too explores unique ways to captivate audience while bringing content and entertainment to wider audiences. The content has to be engaging enough to live up, and in most cases exceed expectations to lure the audience into wanting more. At Razer, the brand focuses on telling stories about the behind the scene aspects of esports, and to celebrate the journey of its Team Razer athletes.
“We personify beyond their conventional characters on the esports competition stage, and make their appeal more relatable to wider audiences," he explained, saying that such content will achieve more than top of mind and brand influence, and drive actual revenue for the esports ecosystem.
Marketing plays a significant role in the overall business development of Razer, Tse said. The brand is committed in engaging with fans through products and/or service launches, but also through thought leadership and its contribution to the industry and ecosystem. The focus on esports professional teams’ sponsorship strategy under the Team Razer umbrella began in 2015, and Razer has since evolved to collaborate with its sponsored esports teams in a much deeper way, than just representing its brand in esports tournaments, but engaging with fans and communities.
Recently, Razer also created four short content series where it introduced its global top Dota2 team, Evil Geniuses based out of Seattle, and brought them into Singapore for the first time. Tse also added that he views gaming and esports as more of a lifestyle, and that there is a “gamer” in everyone.
There is great potential through evolving the approach of story telling. This could be through using athletes, and even in the different games and communities.
“Audiences are already engaged by just watching the gameplay, so imagine how much more entertained they will be, if we can bring these stories to them,” he explained. He added that in content marketing, the next frontier is the technology platform and the level of interactive content and marketing messaging that can be used to engage with the audiences.
“With 5G launching in the near future, and cloud gaming evolving to have more users, and different level of gamers joining, it will generate more opportunities of content creation and marketing,” he added.
Razer's Tse will be speaking at Marketing's Content 360 conference which is going virtual. The conference will bring together industry leaders to discuss challenges and share insights on future content marketing trends, as well as successful strategies to help tackle the complex marketing landscape. Sign up here!