With viewership equal to that of many regular season NFL games, and prize pools topping off at tens of millions of dollars, the eSports market is making waves and gaining momentum as the future of live entertainment. The eSports tournament space has quickly grown from small venues of a few hundred people, to selling out prominent arenas like Madison Square Garden. According to a comprehensive report pulled by New Zoo, the industry that is now projected to reach about $463 million by the end of 2016.
Brands like Anheuser- Busch are investing significant sponsorship dollars estimated around $1.4 billion in both the eSports and music industries. Under the same umbrella, Bud Light heads the sponsorship of an official eSports team comprised of five of the top tournament players, first of its kind. Music festivals and eSports events alike are utilizing online streaming with millions of viewers tuning into a live stream of the events. Most recently, esports industry Dota 2 developer Valve estimated that over 20 million viewers tuned into the stream of the tournament. With unlimited room for growth both events are in the position to capitalize on the opportunities provided, its only natural to consider combining the forces to create a uniquely inclusive experience. Jacob Harrison, Organizer and Founder of King of the North, and Chairman of UOM eSports affirmed that everyone goes to music festivals,and there is no reason why there has to be a distinction. He claims that aesports could be easily integrated into music festivals. Turns out, hes right. This year, SXSW in Austin Texas will be hosting a gaming expo that unlike similar gaming conferences, is positioned at the nexus of the converging music, film, and interactive festivals. It will feature a Geek Stage, eSports Tournament Stage, Indie Corner, Tabletop Experience, Free Play PC Arena, and more.
XLIVE will explore current trends and best practices for sponsorship activation at eSports tournaments while explaining how brands and agencies can develop relationships with eSports players and tournament organizers for long-term business development partnerships in the session The Activation Game, Wednesday, December 7th in Las Vegas Nevada.