The impressive facts and figures of the esports industry

The esports industry is here to stay posting impressive growth in everything from number of players to dollars spent.

Long past mere logo placements and rotating logo carousels, esports has become a force to be reckoned with, engaging fans and bridging partners in new, meaningful ways. One of the biggest transformations is the creation of engaging content, with nearly every relevant esports organisation having signed with multiple platforms to create video and live streamed content to drive their sponsorship marketing efforts.

The fans have responded with brand loyalty and increased engagement, which has in turn paved the way for more brand partnerships and even more compelling content. According to Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, it is estimated that revenue from esports sponsorship and media rights hit USD882.4 million in 2020 and is forecast to rise to USD1.2 billion in 2023.

The fan base is also growing, with the global esports audience reaching 474 million enthusiasts with an additional 240 million occasional viewers, according to Statisia. More than 70 percent of the US audience is 21 years or older, with a third being over 36 years of age.

Twitch is by far the largest viewing platform. According to Streamlabs, a software company catering to the esports industry, esports and gaming enthusiasts spent a combined 6.34 billion hours of viewing on the platform, representing a 72.3 percent share of the market for hours watched, a 6.5 percent increase from the previous quarter. Viewership for YouTube Gaming fell about 550 million hours from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021 to reach 1.37 billion hours (15.6 percent). On the other hand, Facebook Gaming viewership grew by about 156 million hours to 1.06 billion hours, 12.1 percent of the total hours watched.

So who is spending all this money? Increasingly, food and beverage brands are targeting gamers who often consume energy drinks and sweet and salty snacks while gaming. In fact, according to a Newzoo consumer insight report based on answers from 21,000 gamers from North America, Latin America and Western Europe, 92 percent of gamers say they regularly eat or drink while watching game related content on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. Given that many real-life teams now also have their own virtual teams, their traditional sponsors are seeing new ways of reaching an audience less engaged with traditional media.

Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. is an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand specialising in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands - acting as a catalyst by bringing them together and maximising the relationship.

We have packaged, sold and managed sponsorship and partnership opportunities for a wide range of rights holders and worked with many of the world’s leading brands to source and engage the right sponsorships and partnerships for them to maximise.

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